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Can I claim for an injury or illness whilst on holiday?

View profile for Pauline Smith
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When holiday high spirits end in tragedy

After a difficult two years, the world is opening up again, and UK holidaymakers are venturing abroad again in their thousands. Despite news channels currently painting a bleak picture of travel chaos, this isn’t deterring those of us who have missed the chance to relax around a pool, sipping a cool drink. But, having finally got to your destination, what if the unthinkable happens and you suffer an accident which leads to an injury? What happens if you contract an illness from your hotel which ruins your holiday? What if you book an activity as part of your hotel package and trip and you are injured whilst doing this?

You do have protection under UK legislation if you booked and paid for your holiday in the UK, however, how you booked this will be important as different types of bookings afford different types of protection for you, as the consumer.

Holidays which are booked with one provider and include two or more elements as a package, for example accommodation and flights, or flights and transfers, and which are paid for together at the time of booking, offer the greatest level of protection and were previously covered under The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. For example, someone booking and paying for a flight, accommodation, and a taxi transfer with one travel agency at the same time would have booked a “complete package holiday”.

However, the regulations have been updated and changed in 2018, to afford wider protection for consumers and holidaymakers who choose to book a Linked Travel Arrangement holiday (LTA) or to book some elements of their holiday separately.

The regulations now includes “travel or tourist services”, which were not previously covered. Examples of “tourist services” could mean theme park tickets or spa treatments which are purchased in a single booking process, even if they have separate prices, or all the elements of the additional tourist services being incorporated into a single contract. It could also include you paying a fixed price for the additional services, but being able to choose which ones you want to opt for after the contract is completed.

Essentially, with the introduction of the new Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations in 2018, tour operators are now responsible for more elements of your holiday, however you may not be covered by the failure of a supplier of part of your holiday to meet required expectations. It would be important for any solicitor to look into the terms of your holiday booking to ensure that the way you booked and paid for the element of your holiday are covered by the current legislation.

So, what types of accidents can you claim for? ­

  • Food poisoning ­
  • Illness contracted due to unclean water in a hotel pool ­
  • Slipping and tripping on hotel or resort premises ­
  • Skiing and snowboarding activities ­
  • Burns due to faulty electrical wiring or in hotel restaurants ­
  • Injuries whilst on a flight ­
  • Injuries or food poisoning whilst on a cruise

These are just some of the types of accidents or injuries which might befall someone on holiday.

So what would you be able to claim by way of compensation? ­

  • Compensation for the illness or injury suffered ­
  • Any subsequent loss of earnings, when returning from holiday ­
  • Loss of enjoyment of the holiday ­
  • Refund of any pre­booked activities which you were not able to do ­
  • Cost of any in resort treatment or medication ­
  • Travelling expenses to seek treatment

What should you do to ensure the best possible chance of getting compensation?

1. Report the accident to your hotel or holiday representative and get them to record this in writing. Ask for a copy of their report and get their names.

2. If you have been injured as a result of defective premises, take photographs of what has caused you to become injured – the better your evidence, the better the prospects of winning your case.

3. Keep a diary of what happened, and when. For example, if you become ill as a result of food poisoning, write down what you had eaten recently, and whether this was in resort or whether you had gone outside of the hotel to eat. If you have been injured in a hotel, take a note of what date and time this happened.

4. If you have witnesses to your accident, get their contact details.

5. If you pay for any medical treatment or need a taxi to get to a local hospital, ask for and keep receipts. Accidents whilst on holiday do not happen often, but when they do, they can be a time of great stress and worry, when you should be enjoying a well earned break.

If you are injured or suffer an illness abroad, then Stephensons have a team of specialist personal injury solicitors and executives who are happy to help you through the process of making a claim. Call us today on 0161 696 6235 or complete our online enquiry form.