Personal Injury Claims in Thailand

Can claims for compensation for injury be brought in Thailand?

Thai law provides that claims for compensation as a result of personal injury may be filed in Thai courts.

What is the statute of limitations for personal injury claims?

Claims for compensation must generally be brought within one year of the day the injury took place. Certain exceptions apply, most notably where claims also fall under the ambit of the criminal law, where the time limit is that prescribed by the applicable (criminal) law, assuming the period of prescription is longer. The law also provides longer time limits if it is not clear who is responsible for providing compensation.

What is the scope of compensation in personal injury cases?

Broadly speaking, Thai courts seek to put claimants in the position they would have been in had the injury not occurred. This usually involves the award of expenses (e.g. for medical treatment etc.) and damages for loss of earnings, both present as well as future. If, at the time of judgement, the court feels it cannot precisely establish the actual consequences of the injury, it may reserve the right to revise its decision for a period of no more than two years. Thai courts generally restrict the award of damages to actual losses and do not usually award damages for such 'intangibles' as pain and suffering, disfigurement, emotional shock etc. If such damages are awarded, they are not likely to be substantial.

Is it possible to bring an action for injury while outside Thailand?

Claims can be filed with the court on behalf of an applicant by way of a power of attorney, but applicants are usually required to physically appear in the Thai court to provide testimony.

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