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Guide to making a winter holiday accident claim

View profile for Kate Sweeney
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Guide to making a winter holiday accident claim

There’s nothing better than jetting off for some winter sun, leaving behind this cold, wintry snap and enjoying warmer climes.

So whilst the rest of us are busy defrosting our cars, navigating slippy and icy roads on foot and in vehicles, many of you take advantage of the great choice and value a winter break can bring.

But accidents can still happen, even in the warmest and sunniest of places, so here’s a quick guide to help you if you find yourself in that unfortunate position.

If you’ve had an accident whilst on holiday your package tour operator, or package holiday organiser might be held responsible. So even if you had the accident abroad, you may be able to bring your claim in the UK. But it does depend on the type of holiday you booked, and booking a package tour holiday does afford you more protection that if you booked the holiday direct, or as separate parts of a holiday “bundle” on-line.  So it’s worth thinking about that when looking at holidays, before you even book it. Those extra few pounds might be worth it in the long run!

If you are unfortunate enough to suffer an accident abroad, for a variety of reasons, not least because of language barriers, it can be very difficult to deal with.

It goes without saying that if the accident was your fault you won’t be able to claim, and in order to be awarded compensation you have to prove negligence and this is often very difficult to do in foreign locations because standards of health and safety abroad differ hugely from those in the UK, and are often nowhere near as stringent.

However if you do have an accident please remember the following:

Report the accident

Wherever you have your accident you must report it to the package tour organiser’s representative in your hotel/resort/complex. If no representative is available then report to the head office in the UK. You should also always report it to the hotel/complex/resort management and ask to complete their accident report and retain a copy.

Hopefully you should have travel insurance and you may have been in touch with them already at this point should you require medical attention, but if not, we would strongly recommend you notify your insurer of the incident. They may have advice to offer at that juncture.

Keep a record

Make as detailed notes as possible of the accident circumstances, i.e. time, location, weather conditions, activities, etc and wherever possible obtain photographs, of both whatever caused the accident and the injuries sustained. Take full details of all witnesses, including full names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

It’s often helpful to keep a “diary” of events, including how you are dealt with by those who you feel are responsible for the accident, but also from a medical perspective, detailing how the injuries progress and of course detailing expenses as they are incurred. We would strongly recommend retaining all invoices and charges relating to any expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

Medical assistance

Seek medical assistance as soon as possible and retain full details of the same, including any charges invoiced and paid for. If at all possible please ask for a copy of any medical records.  Not only is this important for your case, but it may assist any medical personnel who become involved in your care once you return to the UK.

Once back in the UK

When you return to the UK it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as it is possible as the limitation laws that apply in foreign countries are often very short, but the time needed and indeed allowed in this country, can be significantly longer than if you had suffered an injury in the UK, so it’s important to get things moving as quickly as possible.

If your accident happened on a plane or on a ship, all of the above applies, but the timescales applied to those accidents differs again from accidents on UK or foreign soil which makes it even more crucial that you seek legal advice as soon as you are back in the UK and able to.

If you have suffered an injury whilst abroad and believe that it was not your fault please call our team on 0175 321 6399.

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