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What should I do if I sustain an injury while on holiday?

  • Posted
Sun Awareness 2018 - 14th-20th May

Before we know it, the school holidays will be upon us. Did you know that over 52% of the population go abroad throughout the year? With this percentage rising, accidents abroad are also becoming more common.

Unfortunately, slip and trip accidents do commonly occur whilst on holiday due to the negligence of the hotel or resort where you are staying. This includes accidents caused by hazards such as raised flags/uneven flooring, wet floors, poorly maintained walkways, poorly maintained railings/balconies and inadequate lighting. The most common injuries from these types of accidents, unsurprisingly, are fractures and dislocated joints. These are most common to the ankle or wrist, but fractures to fingers are also common. Shoulder dislocation and knee injury also tend to occur quite often

If you are involved in an accident abroad it can be hard to know what to do, as this is not something you thought would happen, so here is a small guide on what to do it you are involved in an accident abroad:

Seek medical advice

Now this goes without saying really, for anything other than basic first aid you will need to seek medical attention. If it is an emergency then you will need to call the emergency services, or hopefully someone at your hotel will do that for you if you are unable to. Remember some injury symptoms can take a few days to develop, so it is suggested that you seek medical attention as soon as you can.

Always take photographs

I cannot stress how important this is when it comes to making a claim. If you slipped/tripped over due to a wet or defective area, then there needs to be evidence of this, so photographs must be taken. Measurements of defective areas are also very helpful when making a claim so take this into account when taking the photographs. You may also want to draw a sketch of the area to help your solicitor understand the layout.

Report the incident

Make sure you report the incident to the hotel to make them aware of what has happened and make sure that the incident is also recorded in the accident book. Again, this is great evidential proof of the accident occurring. It is also suggested that you report it to travel representatives so that they are also aware of what has happened.

Request details of any witnesses

Speak to any witnesses to the incident and make a note of their details, especially if you weren’t travelling with them and may not see them again. They might be able to provide you with a supporting statement that will help strengthen your claim.

Finally, it is also suggested that you keep a record and keep any receipts in respect of expenses you have incurred due to the accident, such as travel costs, prescription charges or the excess you have to pay on your insurance.

Legal advice

Now you know what you are meant to do after an accident, what happens when it comes to finding a solicitor on your return to the UK?

Firstly, in order to receive help from a solicitor within the UK, your holiday must usually be booked as a package holiday. This is where two or more parts of the holiday are booked together, which can include flights, accommodation and travel. If all of these items are booked separately, then the accident may fall out of jurisdiction and a foreign solicitor may be required.

Secondly, the location of your accident is also important when making a claim. If it happens within the hotel or on a trip booked through your holiday, then you are more likely able to claim using an English legal firm. If your accident occurs outside the grounds of where you are staying for reasons not caused by your holiday provider, again you may need a foreign solicitor. Therefore, it is important to check with a solicitor once you are back in the UK, as they will be able to advise whether or not they can assist based on your accident circumstances.

If you or anyone you know has been involved in an accident abroad then please do not hesitate to contact Stephensons on 0161 696 6235, where one of our new business advisors will be able to confirm whether or not a UK based or foreign based solicitor is required. Once this has been established the full details of your accident will be discussed and assessed further to see whether or not we feel you have a valid claim.

By Rachel Gildart, personal injury claim new business advisor