Accidents and illnesses abroad

03 Aug 2017

Imagine….a hot sunny beach with a book and cold drink in hand. Or….something more active, such as hiking in the Austrian Alps, or perhaps even a spot of skydiving. No one wants to spend their holiday recovering from an accident.


However, should such an unfortunate event occur and you are injured while on holiday, there are options available to you.


If you and your family have booked your holiday as a package holiday, then you may be able to claim damages for your injury.  This is because you should be protected by the Package Tour Regulations and if so, will be able to bring a claim under the jurisdiction of the English courts. 


To be awarded compensation under the Regulations, you will need to prove that the tour operator or their representatives (for example the hotel), have been negligent.  This may be subject to the local standards of the country in which the accident occurred and therefore will require further investigations. In addition, excursions booked through the tour operator will also be governed by the same Regulations.


Should you be injured, documentation will help you when it comes to bringing a successful claim for compensation.  A paper trail can be extremely valuable, especially if it is contemporaneous.  


Below is a helpful list of documents and/or evidence.  For example:

  • Accident Report to the hotel. Talk to the hotel Manager at your hotel and get them to log the problem and get copies of their documentation on it;
  • Accident report to the travel operator/representative at the hotel.  Talk to the tour representative at your hotel and get them to log the problem and get copies of their documentation on it.
  • Doctor/hospital reports;
  • Take photos of the area if you’ve had an accident;
  • If there are witnesses, get their details;
  • If you have to cancel excursions you’ve booked due to illness or injury, keep a record of these as well as any deposits you had to forfeit;
  • Keep receipts so that you can claim back medical expenses and/or any other expenses.


Once you return from your holiday we recommend you seek legal advice straight away. As with any personal injury claim under English jurisdiction you have three years from the date of an accident to have either settled a claim with the tour operator or to have issued court proceedings against them in order to protect your claim. It is, however, always better to deal with a claim sooner rather than later.


However, if the incident has occurred whilst in transit (such as in transit at the airport), the limitation period is less.  Therefore, it is always advisable to seek legal advice as soon as you can on your return.


Needless to say, you can still claim even if you haven’t booked a package holiday.  However, this would not be under the Package Tour Regulations.  Depending on the type of accident, it is quite possible that any claim would have to be pursued in the country where the accident occurred.  However, as always, seek legal advice first in order that you may be fully guided as to your options.



If you would like further information about any of the issues in this blog, or think you might want to make a claim against a tour operator, please contact me via the details below

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