Claiming for an Accident on Holiday Abroad
18 January 2016
Planning your holidays can be an exciting time. You might be thinking about lounging on a beach somewhere hot or even skiing or snowboarding, particularly with school holidays only a few weeks away.
The last thing on your mind is getting ill or injured whilst you are on holiday. If this happens, it can be very upsetting and perhaps even leave you with lasting repercussions; but what if anything can you do?
Most holiday accident claims can be dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis.
In many cases a claim for a holiday accident or illness compensation can be made if the injury or illness occurred as a result of negligence or fault by another person, party or a business; and if the holiday was booked as a pre-arranged package holiday with at least two components such as transport and accommodation.
It really does depend on the circumstances of the accident or illness whether you can make a claim for compensation or not and it is also worth remembering that other countries have their own rules about awarding compensation for personal injuries. Some countries allow smaller payments and some offer very limited compensation, even where injuries are severe.
It is important, therefore, if you are injured in an accident on holiday which someone else is responsible for, or you become ill whilst you are away due to poor hygiene or handling of food in your hotel, that you discuss the circumstances of your accident and illness with a Personal Injury Solicitor. They should tell you whether you have the chance of claiming compensation for your illness or injury.
Common Types of Holiday Accident Injury Claims
- Swimming pool accidents
- Trips and slips in the hotel or on resort property
- Accidents in hotel rooms or holiday apartments
- Accidents on a trip or excursion
- Accidents taking part in a sport such as water skiing
- Road accidents
- Trip or slip on a pavement in a public place
In addition, you may suffer from illness whilst you are on holiday caused by undercooked meat, food not stored at the correct temperature or poor food handling and preparation. Any or all of these things can cause bacterial food poisoning, which can result in you and your family become extremely unwell, with symptoms such as feeling sick, vomiting, diarrhoea which results in dehydration.
Severe food positioning can also result in long term problems with your digestive system. If you suffered from food poisoning whilst on holiday, tests can be carried out to determine which type of bacterial food poisoning as occurred such as E-coli, Botulism, Campylobacter or Salmonella. Each of these illnesses can be combated by ensuring that food is washed and prepared correctly, cooked properly and stored at the right temperature.
If the circumstances of your accident or illness allow you to claim compensation, you will usually have to make a claim against your tour operator. When you book a package holiday your tour operator has numerous responsibilities, under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. A few of these responsibilities are:
to ensure that the hotel or apartment you stay in is safethe hotel or apartment have good food hygiene standardsthe pool and hotel grounds are safe
Your tour operator has a responsibility to you to ensure that the third party provider, whether that be the hotel or tour operator, performs its obligations. Unfortunately, things become much more difficult and potentially costly if you have an accident that is not covered by the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 as any claim you make is subject to the laws of that country.
If you have an accident on holiday it is worth taking pictures to use as evidence of where you had the accident. This won't be at the forefront of your mind if you are injured, but perhaps you could ask a friend or family member who is on holiday with you to help. Also keep any receipts for treatment you paid for or medication you purchased to help treat your injuries; and keep any taxi fare or travel receipts. If you can make a compensation claim, these expenses may be claimed back.
When you are abroad on holiday, there are some things you may want to think about before you go and whilst you are there to help you stay safe:
- Any activities you undertake on the beach, such as banana boats or water skiing, won't be covered unless they are provided by the hotel. These activities may not even be covered under your travel insurance either, so this is worth checking before you take part.
- If you are taking part in any extreme sports, water sports or winter sports, make sure you have purchased special insurance for these activities. It is best to buy this insurance before you go so think about the level of cover you need carefully.
- If you are staying at a hotel full board or all inclusive, a food poisoning claim will be easier to argue than if you were eating in different places in and around the resort, in which case it may be difficult to prove.
- Book any excursions through your holiday representative at the hotel – whilst they may be more expensive than some of the others you find out in the resort, if you have an accident or are injured on one of these excursions, you could claim against the holiday company.
Whatever the circumstances of your accident or illness abroad, you may want to speak to a Personal Injury Solicitor to discuss whether you can make a claim.
Our experienced team of personal injury claims Solicitors, Lawyers and case handlers can help you through the claims process, keeping you up to date at all times and are available to discuss your claim and answer any questions you may have when necessary.
For free legal advice about a holiday accident injury claim call our Personal Injury Solicitors on 0330 606 9587 or contact us online and we'll call you.