This is the time of year that we all come back to work after several weeks in the sunshine, proudly sharing our holiday photos with our families, friends and colleagues. With the children comfortably back at school, most of us reflect on our memories of the summer holidays. For most of us the memories are joyful ones, yet for thousands of others who have suffered injuries from a holiday accident, this period can be a distressing one of reflection and recuperation.
Any holiday accident can lead to injuries which may linger as not only is there the ruined holiday you are reflecting over but the negative thoughts associated with it, especially if the holiday accident led to involvement with foreign authorities like the police force or even a stay in hospital.
You should be wary of your rights at all times and also be aware that holiday insurance is not your only recourse if you have had an accident whilst on holiday. Here is what you can do:
If you have had an accident or injury abroad (including food poisoning) always act quickly and tell the local on-site holiday agent or tour operator as quickly as possible about what has happened. If there are any witnesses, ask them for their contact details – They may prove to be very useful to you. If your injury is a serious one and has required hospitalisation, always keep a record of which hospital you were admitted to and who treated you there. Then inform your insurers to avoid having to pay out personally for any medical expenses.
Always take photographs/video footage of the place where the accident happened as well as your personal injuries. You can do this nowadays on most modern mobile phones. You may not be going back to the place you had your accident for example; if you have a holiday accident just before your flight home so, you must keep an accurate record of what happened. Whilst you are advised to have adequate holiday accident insurance cover, it is important to be aware of the small print. Very often, financial losses and compensation for the injury is not covered by Insurance so for this you will need to make a separate claim.
The Law in this area is complex and can be tricky for you to unravel as there are many regulations to fall foul of and there is a danger that without proper legal advice, you could become confused and not claim for everything that you are entitled to claim for.
There is some good news though. If you made your holiday booking through a travel agent or online as part of a package deal, then there is a strong chance you can start your claim for your holiday accident through them when you come back to the UK. The specific law to be applied here is the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations (1992). This gives you a right to claim against the UK based holiday company you booked your holiday with i.e. the tour operators.
Saracens has years of experience in dealing with this intricate area of law and we have helped many injured clients who have either been misinformed of their rights or where a holiday accident has led to someone offering them an immediate cash incentive such as vouchers and refunds just to avoid a claim being made. If you have had a holiday accident, do not be lured by such offers. What may seem like a trivial injury when you are many miles away from home, can suddenly transform itself into something much more sinister and critical. Do not under settle your claim by accepting the first offer you receive.
Also, make sure you read your holiday brochure carefully. Does it offer you services to a high standard of safety? Why not make sure that you hold the tour operators to their word?
It may be that a piece of furniture injured you or that you slipped in a bathtub where there was no safe matting. You may have fallen from a tour bus where there were no handrail to help you get to your seat.
Have you had a holiday accident in these ways? The holiday company can be held responsible for poor service so make sure you keep a record for when you return to the UK and always speak to a solicitor for proper legal advice before deciding on what you wish to do.
Here are some more examples of holiday accidents you can claim for:
- Road accidents [If you are involved in a car accident you can claim in the UK, even if the foreign driver does not have insurance]
- Accident as a passenger in a bus or coach or other vehicle.
- Food poisoning
- Cruise boat injuries
- Tripping over a broken or damaged path or floor
- Injuries caused by falling objects.
Whilst these are just some examples, there are many others, such as skiing holiday accidents or accidents involving poor treatment when on holiday.
Always remember, if you have had a holiday accident, don’t be influenced by any company telling you to accept an early payment. You will not know what the value of your claim is unless you have had proper legal advice and have been medically examined.
Have you had any shocking accidents whilst abroad on holiday? We would like to hear from you if you have had such a holiday accident. Why not write to us directly through our website or on Saracens’ facebook? It will only take you a few minutes. Our consultation is free, so you need not have any more nightmares about your holiday accident experience.
Miss Minal Popat