Having a holiday to look forward to is something special. The excitement of counting down the days can be almost as invigorating as the holiday itself. But what if, after all that anticipation, the holiday is ruined by an accident, or you fall ill when you get there? An event you wanted to arrive for so long – a break from it all – has now turned into a nightmare you just wish was over.
If this has happened to you, through no fault of your own, you do not have to just accept it. Whilst resorting to legal proceedings cannot reinstate your holiday the way it should have been, it can give you much-deserved compensation for the ordeal you have been through.
Unfortunately, there is a vast range of situations in which an injury or illness can occur on holiday. However, some examples of commonly brought holiday sickness claims are:
- Food poisoning at a resort or hotel, or on a plane or cruise ship
- Slipping or tripping over whilst at a resort or hotel, or on a plane or cruise ship
- Road traffic accidents (whether you were a driver, passenger or pedestrian)
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could claim compensation for:
- The injury or illness itself
- The loss of enjoyment from your holiday caused by the injury or illness
- Lost earnings (if your injury or illness prevented you from working for a time)
- Other expenses associated with the injury or illness (such as any medical or travel expenses for which you had to pay)
If you are in any doubt as to whether you can make a claim, please feel free to contact us to discuss your situation in more detail.
Claiming for Injury or Illness on a Package Holiday
If your accident or sickness occurred whilst you were on a package holiday, the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (‘the Package Travel Regulations’) allow you to claim against the tour operator through which you booked the holiday.
To do so, you must prove:
- You were on a package holiday (the Package Travel Regulations provide a detailed definition of this but, generally speaking, they cover most people’s idea of a package holiday)
- You suffered an injury or illness that was not your fault
- The injury or illness was caused by the tour operator or their representatives (this could include hotel staff, coach drivers, tour guides etc)
Your tour operator is under an obligation to supply your holiday with reasonable care and skill. The Package Travel Regulations mean that the tour operator is responsible for all parts of the holiday supplied, so, even if the tour operator itself did not cause your injury or illness, it can still be held liable if its representatives did so.
Claiming for Injury or Illness on a Non-Package Holiday
If you were not on a package holiday, matters can be more complicated. In the absence of a tour operator, you would have to bring a claim against the party directly responsible for causing your illness or injury. If, for example, you contracted food poisoning as a result of eating at a hotel, the most likely remedies open to you would be: to claim through your travel insurance (if you have it); and/or to bring a claim against the hotel. This in itself is unlikely to cause a problem when the incident occurred in the UK, but if the hotel was abroad it may mean making a claim using that country’s legal system. This legal system may have very different laws from our own.
If any of the above applies in your situation, we would strongly recommend contacting us to seek advice on your position. Other legal avenues may exist and, to advise you fully, it is crucial that we know your case’s circumstances.
Claiming for Injury or Illness suffered whilst Travelling
If you sustain an injury or fall sick on a plane or a ship, certain internationally agreed ‘conventions’ can be used to support a claim:
- Whilst flying, the Montreal Convention 1999 applies.
- Whilst travelling at sea, the Athens Convention 1974 applies.
Truth Legal can advise you fully on how these conventions may operate in your case. However, if you are considering making such a claim, we recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible. This is due to the strict time limits that the conventions impose. Unlike personal injury claims brought in England and Wales – where you usually have three years from the date of injury or illness in which to bring a claim – the conventions require any claims to be started within two years of the date of disembarkation.
Claiming for Injury or Illness on Holiday in the United Kingdom
For domestic holidays in England and Wales, holiday sickness claims can be dealt with in much the same way as any other personal injury claim.
The UK, however, is made up of several different jurisdictions. Generally speaking, jurisdictions are areas in which separate legal systems operate. The three main jurisdictions of the UK are England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. These jurisdictions do share similarities but also have many of their own distinct laws.
If your injury or illness occurred in another UK jurisdiction (and the Package Travel Regulations do not apply) a number of complicated rules can operate to determine the jurisdiction in which the case should be heard. For this reason, we would recommend contacting us to discuss your situation.
If you have suffered from an injury or illness whilst on holiday, get in touch with us and tell us about your case. We are personal injury specialists of the highest integrity, committed to recovering compensation for ordinary people who are entitled to it.
Truth Legal’s main office is in Harrogate with virtual offices in London and Manchester. We are more than willing to sit down with you for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss if there are any ways in which we can help you.
You can get in touch either by telephone on 01423 788 538 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.