Accidents on Holiday

The weather in the UK has not been fantastic recently and as a result, thousands of people will be counting the days until their foreign holiday.

Even though holidays should be a time for relaxation and enjoyment, whilst many people return having had a wonderful time, some will have had a far less enjoyable experience after their holiday was ruined by an accident or by an illness.

Unfortunately holiday accidents can happen, even if you think the holiday you are going on will be safe. You could get food poisoning, slip or fall, or even be involved in a road traffic accident.

Holiday accidents can happen on board boats, trains, planes and in hired vehicles and many occur because we often participate in activities which are unique to the holiday environment and higher risk such as paragliding.

If you are unfortunate enough to have an accident or contract an illness abroad this can be a very traumatic and stressful experience for you and your family as not only will you face dealing with the pain and inconvenience of the injury, you will also have found yourself to be in a foreign country having to seek help and treatment within unfamiliar health systems.

Wherever you are when you have your accident or contract your illness, there will be laws in place to protect you and ensure that, where necessary, you have a right to claim compensation in respect of the accident or illness you have suffered.

Holidays abroad that have been purchased as part of a package are covered by the Package Travel Regulations which were introduced in 1992. These regulations allow a holiday compensation claim to be made in the UK for a holiday accident or illness on holiday abroad.

On a package holiday, the tour operator organises, and is therefore responsible for, all the elements that make up the “package”. This includes transport to and from the holiday destination, the accommodation and any catering that is included, and may also include “extras”, such as excursions. If you are injured in a holiday accident or suffer an illness on holiday you may be able to make a claim against the tour operator or travel company that made the booking.
Common holiday accidents include :-

  • Accidents in and around the hotel, swimming pools or hotel grounds
  • Injuries on boats or cruises
  • Road accidents during hotel transfers, whilst using a hire vehicle or on organised trips
  • A slip or trip accident caused by wet flooring or misplaced objects
  • Injuries which occurred on foreign transport
  • Injury whilst on a holiday excursion
  • Food poisoning from the hotel restaurant/ buffet
  • Illness resulting from bad hotel hygiene
  • Water sports accidents
  • Skiing accidents
  • Food poisoning as a result of poor hygiene standards
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Other illness e.g. legionnaires’ disease, norovirus

Of course, holiday accidents can happen in the UK, too.

If you do have an accident, once you have received appropriate medical attention, report your accident to your travel representative and then note down as much information as you can about your accident, including details of any witnesses and names of hotel staff who you may have spoken with. Photographs are also exceptionally helpful both of your injury and also where the injury took place / what caused the accident.

To afford you protection when you travel, it is highly advisable that you take out travel insurance. A good policy should cover almost any eventuality, and ideally be tailored to include any high-risk activities you may want to participate in.

These policies should also cover the cost of medical treatment which will alleviate any financial burden for you and your family.

If you have any questions about the above or require any further information, please contact the one of the team on 01483 543210.