Package holidays – what you need to know in the event of an accident
What you need to know in the event of an accident whilst on a package holiday.
As summer reaches its height we receive enquiries from holidaymakers who have had accidents abroad and who wish to know if they have a claim for compensation for personal injury against the tour operator. Ann Summerling, Senior Litigator explains what you should do in the event of an accident whilst on a package holiday and if you can claim compensation.
What protection does the law provide?
The Package Travel Regulations 1992 provide some protection for people who are injured on a package holiday (where your flight & hotel are booked through a tour operator). The Regulations cover accidents at the hotel/accommodation or whilst on an excursion arranged by the tour operator.
The tour operator has a responsibility to ensure that the accommodation they provide abroad is reasonably safe. However, safety standards in the UK may well differ to those in other countries.
The UK Courts have confirmed that the standards of services and facilities are those applicable in the country where the accident occurred. For example in the UK, a safety glass balcony door would be required as standard, but this may not be so in another country.
How do you prove local standards of safety?
The injured party has to prove what local standards of safety apply to the accident circumstances. For example, if the accident was as a result of a defective lift in a hotel, a report from a local lift engineer would be required to show the lift was faulty. If the accident was as a result of slipping on water at a hotel – there may be no local standards relating to cleaning. In those circumstances the Courts would look at evidence of what happens in other local hotels. For example, are non-slip mats routinely put down or are there any warning notices displayed when floors are wet?
What do you need to do if you have an accident abroad?
- Report the accident to your tour representative and hotel manager.
- Obtain a copy of the accident report.
- Photograph the defect or location of the accident.
- Obtain details of witnesses.
- Where possible obtain evidence of local practice from other hotels in the area, particularly with slip/trip cases.
- Enquire if there were previous complaints or similar accidents.
- Check if there were warning notices – for example on non-safety glass on balcony doors.
- Obtain copies of any medical records from the hospital/doctor and take photos of your injuries.
- Keep receipts for any medication purchased.
- Call us as soon as you arrive home.
If you have been injured whilst on a package holiday and would like further advice and assistance then please contact our Personal Injury Team on 01908 689368 or email firstname.lastname@example.org