Being injured at home can be inconvenient as well as painful or uncomfortable. If you’re injured whilst you are on holiday, particularly if you are in an unfamiliar country, this can be even more difficult to cope with. You may have to arrange hospital treatment or doctors’ appointments and either return home early or delay your return until you are fit enough to travel. Your recovery time may take longer because of the stress that these issues can cause and as well as suffering financially, you may well suffer emotionally from the loss of enjoyment of your holiday.
Accidents can sometimes just happen and no-one is necessarily to blame. In these circumstances, you may simply have to claim against your travel insurance and try to recover as quickly as you can. However, if a person or company was to blame for your injury, you are entitled by law to seek compensation for your pain and suffering as well as any consequential losses.
Common types of holiday accidents
In the UK and much of the EU, there are stringent Health and Safety laws that govern public spaces. These are not necessarily in place in other parts of the world. Wherever your holiday injury occurs, though, you may be able to claim compensation if a person or company has failed to act, or acted negligently and the result was that you suffered, perhaps through:
– A slip, trip or fall accident (e.g. on wet or poorly-maintained flooring)
– A road traffic accident
– Sports activities or excursions
– Use of public transport;
– Accidents on board a cruise ship
– Food poisoning
– Any element of a package holiday claim (including flights, hotels, transfers or excursions)
How much compensation are you entitled to?
Whatever injury you suffer as a result, you are entitled to:
- Be put back in the financial position you would have been in if your accident or illness had not occurred
- Receive compensation to make up for the physical and emotional suffering you have experienced.
In terms of financial losses you might have suffered, your claim could cover the cost of:
– Extending your holiday accommodation if you are not fit to return home as planned;
– Paying for unplanned flights;
– Medical or hospital fees including ambulance costs;
– Any out-of-pocket expenses (e.g. taxi fares, additional meal costs etc.);
– Private healthcare upon returning to the UK if this would reduce your recovery time;
– (In cases where serious injury has been sustained) adaptations to your home and lifestyle;
– Loss of earnings if you are off work as a result of your injury.
It is difficult to put a price on pain and suffering – you may well believe that there is no amount of money that could make you feel better. The courts do have to put a figure on this, though, and will consider how long you were in pain for, what type of injury you suffered and any long-term effects of your injury on your health and lifestyle.
You may also be able to claim for your loss of enjoyment of your holiday.
At Mackrell & Thomas, we have many years’ experience in helping clients to claim holiday accident compensation and will be able to give you a good idea of how much you should expect to receive for your particular injuries or illness.
Holiday accident & injury claims in the European Union
If you were injured or made ill whilst on holiday in the EU, you will need to apply for compensation through the courts in the country where your accident occurred (e.g. the French courts for an accident in France; the UK courts for an accident whilst on holiday in the UK). This is something that we have a great deal of experience with and can help you at every step.
If your accident was caused by a road traffic accident, we can make use of European law to trace the driver of the car who was at fault, so that you can claim against their insurance or claim compensation from them through the courts. If the driver cannot be traced for some reason, we can support you to make a claim through the Motor Insurance Bureau for your injuries.
Holiday compensation accident claims outside the European Union
If you were injured whilst on holiday outside the EU, your claim will still need to be made through the courts in that country rather than in the UK. We have considerable experience in helping clients to make such claims in order to secure compensation as quickly as possible.
Advice following a holiday accident
Your priority must obviously be to seek medical help and concentrate on your recovery. If you or a family member have the opportunity to do so, it may help to speed up your claim if you:
– Photograph whatever caused your accident (if you tripped over a pothole, for example, try to photograph the hole alongside something like a coin that will give an indication of its size and depth);
– Take a note of the name and address of anyone who witnessed the accident or who had suffered a similar fate;
– Keep receipts and full details of anything you have to pay as a result of your accident;
– Take photographs of your injuries and make a note of all treatment received.
How long do you have to make a holiday accident compensation claim?
Typically, you will have three years following the date of your accident to submit a claim to court. However, this can differ depending on the law of the country in which your accident happened. We strongly advise you to contact us as soon as you are well enough to do so, so that we may begin our enquiries on your behalf and start working towards getting the compensation you are entitled to.
How do you make a holiday illness claim for compensation?
Even if you have not been able to gather any of the evidence listed above, you can still seek compensation if you have suffered an injury or illness that was someone else’s fault.
Claims for personal injury compensation can take time. You may need to see doctors in the UK to have reports written about your injuries and how these will affect you in the future. All claims of this kind will start with communicating with the person or company at fault and seeing if there is a way to quickly achieve the right level of compensation. Ultimately, if no agreement can be reached, an application will need to be made to the court in the country where the accident occurred.
At Mackrell & Thomas, we have over 35 years’ of experience in handling personal injury claims and have helped thousands of clients to secure compensation on a no win, no fee basis. We pride ourselves on being approachable and helpful and we are delighted to say that many of our clients come to us on the recommendation of their friends or family members who have been happy with our service.
If you have suffered an injury or illness whilst on holiday in the UK, EU or anywhere else, please call us to tell us what happened and find out how we can help you to recover the compensation you are entitled to.