May 20, 2014

Injury on holiday? What to do next

Dealing with an accident or illness abroad can be a very stressful experience. Speaking from experience as personal injury lawyers who have dealt with multiple claims for accidents abroad, we recommend that you always take precautionary steps, such as immunisations and holiday insurance. If you do have an accident, it is crucial that you report any accident or illness to the holiday provider, representative or hotel management and keep a copy of the accident/incident report.

Please read on to find out what you can do to secure compensation.

Package holiday claims

Many accidents occurring during a package holiday or during a travel contract will give you the right to bring a claim in the UK (even if the accident happened abroad) if you can show that:

1. The package holiday was offered for sale in the UK.
2. It included a combination of at least two of the following:

a) transport
b) accommodation
c) an additional tourist service not ancillary to transport or accommodation and accounting for a significant proportion of the package.

3. The holiday was pre-arranged
4. The holiday was offered for sale at an inclusive price
5. The holiday included overnight accommodation or covered a period in excess of 24 hours.

We have recently successfully acted for a lady who tripped over a defective flagstone at a hotel in Barbados where she was on holiday and suffered a nasty laceration to her knee for which cosmetic surgery was advised. She was able to provide photographs of the defective flagstone when her injury happened and secure Witness Statements from people who had seen the accident. Both were essential to the success of the claim.

Accidents in the air or at sea

The accident might occur when you are embarking/disembarking or actually in an aeroplane or ship which is part of the package travel arrangements. If you wish to claim for such accident or injury, you must do so within two years of the accident. This is a rule imposed by the Montreal and Athens Conventions and there are no current ways to extend this period.

Top tips to help you secure compensation

The essential steps which can help you secure compensation are:

• report the accident/illness as soon as possible preferably to the holiday representative or provider
• keep a copy of the accident report
• see a Doctor and keep a copy of his report
• gather as much evidence about what caused the accident preferably with photographs
• speak to witnesses while the incident is fresh in their memory and they are more inclined to be of assistance, and remember to take their name and address.

Also, please keep in mind that the package holiday does not have to have happened abroad for you to be able to claim.

Always instruct a specialist

Package holiday law is a specialist area. If you or a family member is injured on a package holiday and would like to discuss your options please call us on 0800 923 2068 or email [email protected]

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