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Has your holiday been ruined by an injury abroad? Every year, thousands of people suffer an accident abroad and the consequences of this can result in not only a well-earned holiday
becoming a nightmare, but this can also have a life-changing impact for you.

You can make a claim following an accident abroad that was not your fault, whether travelling with a package tour operator or as an independent traveller and the responsible party can include anyone from the tour operator, cruise line operator or hotel.

What is a package holiday?

Your package holiday can be one that has already been ‘made’ by the tour operator or one that is tailor-made to suit your requirements.

This can be any type of holiday such as a city break, a beach holiday, a ski trip or even a worldwide trip.

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 will apply if you booked your holiday after 1st July 2018. This applies whether you made your booking via the internet or through a travel agency.

Within these regulations a package holiday is defined as any type of holiday that consists of at least two of the following travel services booked together and must cover a period of at least 24 hours or involve overnight accommodation:

  • Transport (such as a flight, coach or train, but not transfers from the airport)
  • Accommodation (such as a villa, hotel or apartment)
  • Car rental
  • A tourist service (such as a tour guide or a safari trip) where this is a significant part of the holiday
  • A cruise is also considered to be a package holiday

The holiday must have been sold at an inclusive price.

What if I made a direct booking – can I still claim?

Yes you can, even if you arranged your own holiday and did not book a package holiday.

If your holiday is not covered by the package holiday regulations, then you will need to bring a claim against the hotel or its insurance company. Such claims often involve complex legal issues and time limits can vary depending upon the country and therefore it is important you seek legal advice as soon as you can.

Types of accidents abroad

Accidents abroad can vary and below are examples of the types of accidents which can occur while you are on holiday:

  • Slips, trips and falls – If you slipped on a wet floor or tripped on defective steps or paths, worn carpet for example in a hotel restaurant.
  • Skiing and sports injuries
  • Accidents in hotels
  • Accident involving motor vehicles abroad
  • Swimming pools —slips on wet or defective surfaces such as broken tiles
  • Injured during an excursion
  • Injured while on a flight or cruise ship
  • Case Study

    £2,500 recovered for a minor injured whilst on holiday

    Our team acted for a minor who suffered a laceration injury to his foot when exiting a jacuzzi on holiday.

    Our client cut his foot on a sharp tile whilst exiting the Jacuzzi; immediately following the accident hotel staff carried out an inspection of the area, it was noted a pump cap was missing and a sharp tile exposed.

    A claim was brought under the relevant Regulations and after negotiations a settlement sum of £2,500 was agreed and approved. As the client was a minor the funds were invested in the Court Funds Office for the benefit of the client on reaching age 18.

    View all success stories

Types of injuries

These can vary from minor soft tissue injuries through to laceration, broken bones, burns, and in worse cases a brain/spinal injury, or loss of life.

What should you do after an accident abroad?

You should start gathering evidence for your claim as soon as possible. This is crucial to support your claim as key documentation could strengthen your case and once you have returned home, it may not be possible to secure all the evidence you need to support your claim:

  • Ensure you receive the appropriate emergency care
  • Ensure you properly report the incident to the relevant party and that it is recorded in an incident/accident book and ask them for a copy. Make sure you check any documents before you are asked to sign it.
  • Speak to the representative of the tour operator with whom you purchased the package and inform them of what has happened, as well as the management of the hotel where you are staying, if you have been injured on the hotel’s premises.
  • Take photographs of your injuries
  • Take photographs/videos of the location/defect where the accident occurred
  • Obtain contact details of any witnesses
  • Retain any paperwork relating to the holiday itself and including any documents for trips or excursions
  • Keep receipts relating to any expenses incurred as a result of your accident: travel expenses to and from the hospital, additional accommodation costs incurred, medical expenses for treatment, medication, phone calls, and any other out of pocket expenses not listed here.
  • Request a copy of any doctor’s report
  • If there has been police attendance – ask for a copy of a police report
  • Check if there is any CCTV available and ask for a copy of the footage
  • Don’t accept any offer of compensation from any party that has caused the accident without first seeking independent legal advice.
  • Notify your travel insurer if you need to make a claim to ensure you comply with your obligations under the policy terms and conditions of the travel insurance.

How long do you have to claim for an accident abroad?

Different time scales will apply depending on the type of claiming you are bringing, and you should bring your claim sooner rather than later:

  • For package holidays that meets the criteria, you have three years from the date of the accident to bring a claim.
  • For boat and aeroplane claims, you have two years from the date of the accident to bring a claim.
  • For accidents in hotels or caused anywhere else, for example while on an excursion which you have booked independently – your claim would have to be brought directly against the hotel or the company which organised the trip and within that country’s limitation period (which is time limit for bringing a claim).

Claims arising from an accident abroad are often complex and different rules apply depending on who you are making the claim against and therefore you should instruct solicitors who specialise in accidents abroad as soon as possible.

We have a team of experienced solicitors specialising in this area of law and we will be happy to speak to you if you have been involved in an accident abroad and you consider it not to be your fault.

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