Holiday Claims: Getting more than you ‘Packaged’ for!22 Jun 2015
For many of us a holiday is something that we have booked many months or even years in advance and it is seen as a well-deserved reward to allow us to spend time with our family and/or friends.
However, it is not uncommon for things to go wrong or accidents to happen while on holiday in the UK or overseas. Recently in the press it had been reported that a young woman fell from her hotel balcony while trying to climb across to the adjacent balcony in her hotel. Fortunately she received relatively minor injuries. A woman who fell from a hotel balcony when talking to her mother on her telephone, in Saloufest in April 2015 was not so fortunate and sustained a catastrophic injury. Dina Amos-Larkin was a talented dancer and she has been left paralysed from the neck down after falling nearly 50 foot from her hotel bedroom. Prior to her injury she represented Great Britain at trampolining and now will never walk again.
Recently in the press Richard Branson is being sued following the death of Jamie Hulse a 46 year old man who died on holiday in Morocco in July 2014. Mr Hulse died while on a trip provided through Virgin Limited Edition but it was a local Moroccan company KQS who ran the excursion and Virgin are therefore arguing that they are not responsible for the health and safety as this was the responsibility of KQS.
If you have purchased a package holiday in the UK or overseas and you have suffered an injury or illness while on holiday that you believe is because of the holiday company then you may be able to bring holiday claims for personal injury loss and damage.
The first thing to establish is whether or not you qualify to bring holiday claims. You will need to show that your holiday was a package holiday. The term package is defined in regulation 2(1) of The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (‘The Regulations”) as:
A holiday which when sold at an inclusive price covering a period of over 24 hours or includes overnight accommodation and
- other tourist services not ancillary to transport or accommodation and accounting for a significant proportion of the package
- the submission of separate accounts for different components shall not cause the arrangements to be other than a package;
- the fact that a combination is arranged at the request of the consumer and in accordance with his specific instructions shall not of itself cause if to be treated as other than pre-arranged.’
Who else is covered?
If you book your package holiday and you are the lead named party for the booking you also agree to purchase the package for all of the other named parties under the booking and they would be covered under The Regulations.
Who do I bring my claim against?
Under The Regulations you can pursue a claim in the English Courts, arising from your package holiday without having to sue the local supplier in the country where you took your holiday.
Regulation 15 (1) says that the other party to the contract, such as the tour operator is liable to you for the ‘proper performance’ of the obligations under your package holiday contract. This means if you become ill from eating food provided by the hotel where you are staying you can bring a claim against your tour operator whom you booked the holiday with if you meet the criteria under section 2 (a) of The Regulations.
The most important thing to remember is a holiday is a time for fun and time away from work and the stresses and strains of life. It need not be a nightmare and almost certainly can be a wonderful experience. If you are worried about an illness contracted on holiday or an accident has happened do contact Osbornes for further advice and assistance.