Holiday Accident Claim
When an individual suffers an illness or accident which wasn’t their fault whilst on holiday then, the chances are, they may be able to claim compensation.
A holiday accident can encompass a wide spectrum of scenarios, from hotel accidents and injuries and travel accidents to sporting injuries and illness.
Hotel accidents may include:
- Slips and falls within the hotel or on the hotel grounds
- Swimming pool accidents
- Food poisoning
Travel accidents may include:
- Accidents and injuries on board pleasure craft and cruise liners
- Road traffic accidents
- Aircraft accidents
- Coach accidents
Sporting accidents may include:
- Skiing or ski lift accidents
- Snowboarding injuries
- Sailing or yachting accidents
- Paragliding accidents or other extreme sport accidents
What should you do if you have an Accident on Holiday?
When an individual suffers an accident or injury whilst on holiday their first instinct or that of their travelling companions if the individual is unconscious, is to seek immediate medical attention. Claiming compensation will more than likely be the furthest thing from their mind at that particular moment in time.
However, if the accident was someone else’s fault then the injured individual will have the right to put in a claim for compensation.
Compensation is a tricky area and, in order for the individual to make a claim, their personal injury solicitor will require a certain amount of evidence.
- The individual or the individual’s travelling companion should attempt to document the accident and take pictures or footage of the accident site, the resulting injuries and any other vehicles, equipment or parties involved. Pictures can be taken using a camera, camcorder or a mobile phone.
- If possible the individual or the individual’s travelling companion should take down the names and contact details of anyone else involved in the accident and any witnesses who were present.
- Once the injury has received medical attention the individual should request a medical certificate or report from the medical staff who treated them.
- Any prescriptions required should also be recorded as too should the prescription costs, both whilst still on holiday and once the individual has returned home.
- All receipts for travel expenses to and from hospital, doctor’s surgeries, chemists and any other journey related to the injury should be retained both during the holiday and once the individual returns home.
- Further expenses such as having to relocate to a more expensive hotel closer to the hospital whilst receiving treatment or, depending where the individual is holidaying, the cost of the treatment itself, should also be documented.
- The individual should also keep a record of any ongoing treatment required, symptoms experienced and the level of pain the injury is causing.
- If the individual is no longer able to enjoy or partake in a specific activity that gave them pleasure and enjoyment, known as loss of amenity, this can also be included in their case.
- If the injury is so severe that it requires the individual to take time off work then all loss of earnings should be recorded.
It should be noted that a claim for holiday accident compensation will need to be filed within three years of the accident taking place and in some cases, if the individual is also intending to claim compensation from the tour operator, the claim may need to be files within two years, depending on the tour operator’s regulations.
The individual can file for compensation against the individual, company or hotel responsible for their accident or injury but may also be able to make a claim against their tour operator if they used one.
Once the personal injury solicitor has all the information and evidence required he can start to build the case. Most personal injury lawyers or solicitors will offer their services on a ‘no win no fee’ basis which ensures that, even if the victim doesn’t win their case, they will not be left with an extensive bill for court costs which would, quite literally, add insult to injury.
If the victim is successful and is awarded compensation then the defendant i.e. the tour operator or the hotel chain, will not only be required to pay the victim’s compensation but also all court costs incurred by both parties.
Compensation will be calculated according to both the individual’s particular set of circumstances and the judge’s discretion.
The judge will take into account the severity of the injury, the effect it has had on the individual, any loss of amenity, all expenses incurred as a result of the injury and any loss of earnings.
What a Result
Recently one UK solicitors firm had some very impressive results with holiday accident claims.
- Mr. H, who was holidaying with his family at a resort in Mexico, snapped his left Achilles tendon when he slipped on water which had collected around the hotel’s swimming pool and had not drained away. It was discovered that the hotel’s drainage system did not comply with local Mexican regulations and Mr. H was awarded £40,000 in damages.
- Mr. W, who was enjoying a skiing holiday in Italy, fell 30 feet from a ski lift, landing on steel beams below. Mr. W received injuries to both of his wrists, his heel and teeth. These injuries were exacerbated by the fact that he landed on the steel beams. Eventually, after a long fight, Mr. W was awarded £50,000 in compensation.
- Mr. C, who was holidaying in San Juan in the Dominican Republic, was taking part in a game of water polo with other hotel guests and the hotel’s water polo team. One of the hotel’s team members leaped onto Mr. C’s shoulders and dragged him under the water. Mr. C spent the next two years suffering from the after effects of whiplash. The tour operator, at first, refused to admit liability, saying that the water polo manoeuvre was completely legal within the game, it was later discovered that the manoeuvre would have been deemed as foul play and Mr. C was awarded £6,000.