Holiday Accident Claims

Specialising in Package Holiday Claims

If you have been involved in a holiday accident abroad or suffered from ill health you may be entitled to make a holiday sickness compensation claim against the tour operator who organised your package holiday. Osbornes Law specialise in holiday accident claims. Read on to find out how we can help.

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  • “This is a really excellent personal injury team that can be regarded as one of the major players in the London claimant personal injury market.”

Make a holiday accident compensation claim

If you’re unlucky enough to have an accident while on holiday abroad, there are a few things you need to do to make sure you’re protected. Package holidays offer a range of benefits to holidaymakers, including legal protection under Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992, but it’s important to know what is and isn’t covered.

The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992 cover ready-made “package” holidays. This means that you must have arranged at least two different types of travel services with the same tour operator as part of an all-inclusive price. Travel services include flights, transfers, accommodation, car rental and similar tourist services.

A holiday will not be a package if you organise your flights and hotel separately. Check with your tour operator if you are not sure.

Whether it’s a broken bone or something more serious, this article will guide you through the process of getting medical care and making a claim. If your holiday injury occurred whilst on holiday in the UK, it will be dealt with in the same way as any other personal injury claim for compensation.

What type of holiday accident can I claim for?

If you suffer an injury or illness while on a package holiday and someone else was at fault, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim. Among the common causes of package holiday accidents are:

What should I do if I get injured on holiday?

The first priority is to seek medical attention. In most countries, dialling either 112 or 911 will connect you to the emergency services. After that, you should do the following:

Step one: collect evidence

  • Write a record of what happened while the incident is fresh in your memory
  • Obtain the contact details of any witnesses
  • Take photographs of the scene of the accident
  • Take photographs of your injuries
  • Record the dates of your visits to a doctor, clinic or hospital
  • Get a copy of any official written medical reports
  • Keep receipts for expenses related to your accident, such as medical bills and taxi fares to the hospital

Step two: report the accident

  • Report your incident to the package holiday rep
  • If there is no rep, report the incident to the tour operator’s UK head office
  • Report the accident to the hotel manager and take a copy of the entry in the accident book
  • Contact your travel insurance provider

Additionally, if you have a road traffic accident abroad, you should report the incident to the local police. Do not admit fault or sign anything without advice from a solicitor as this could affect your claim.

The claimant booked a flight and hotel in Cyprus. Due to a faulty air conditioning system, she suffered Legionella pneumophila and was hospitalised and repatriated. The tour operator has agreed to compensate her for the hotel’s alleged negligence.

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    What is the Montreal Convention?

    The Montreal Convention is a set of rules that govern international air travel. It imposes ‘strict liability’ on airlines for injuries that occur during a flight or during boarding and disembarking. Strict liability means that you do not have to show that someone was to blame for your accident. The airline is considered responsible simply due to an accident happening within the confines of their aircraft.

    However, you must prove that there has been an accident. Common examples include:

    • Items falling from overhead lockers
    • Trips or falls whilst boarding or alighting the plane
    • Burns from hot drinks spillages
    • Food poisoning from meals
    • The cabin crew hitting you with a food or drinks trolley
    • Injuries caused by faulty equipment

    Without wishing to get bogged down in legal terminology, the definition of an accident can be very complex and different to what you might expect. Generally, you must show that the accident itself was unusual and not something that ordinarily happens on a flight. Being struck by the drinks trolley is an unusual accident that you potentially could claim for. Injuries caused by difficult landings that are within the normal range are not unusual, and you would not be able to make a claim.

    The injuries must result from an external accident. You cannot claim for ‘internal’ medical conditions such as deep vein thrombosis or a perforated eardrum caused by changes in air pressure.

    Who will pay for healthcare?

    When on holiday in the European Union, you’re entitled to receive healthcare through your European Health Insurance Card if it is still valid, or its post-Brexit replacement the UK Global Health Insurance Card. Generally, this means you will receive healthcare for free or at a reduced cost, as if you were a national living in the country where you suffered your injury.

    However, it is always advisable to also take out travel insurance as an EHIC/GHIC does not always cover the entire treatment costs. It definitely won’t cover the cost of your travel home to the UK, which is known as repatriation.

    A travel insurance policy will usually cover your medical bills to the value stated in the policy. However, it will not pay out for the pain and suffering caused by your accident. You might also have other financial losses, besides medical bills, that your travel insurance will not cover or will only cover to a certain monetary amount. Examples include loss of earnings, the cost of medical equipment, and the costs of ongoing care. You can include all of these expenses in a personal injury claim.

    Often, your insurers will require you to attempt recovery of financial losses from the person responsible first. Your solicitor will be able to advise you further if this condition applies.

    Who do you claim against?

    The Package Holiday Regulations say that if you booked the package holiday through a UK-based tour operator, they will be responsible for any problems you suffer. Therefore, your claim is made against the holiday company, applying English law. This makes it much easier to receive compensation as you do not have to bring a claim in a foreign court.

    Any flight, transfer, accommodation, excursion or activity that was included in your package holiday booking is covered by the Regulations.

    The Regulations do not apply to an accident that occurred at a place or during an activity that was not included in the package. Examples include jet ski rides or a road accident on a hired moped. You may still be able to make a personal injury claim in these situations, but you will need to bring a claim against the people based outside the UK.

    How long do I have to make a claim?

    If you were injured on a package holiday booked through a UK-based tour operator, you have up to 3 years from the date of the accident to make a claim.

    If your injury was caused by an activity outside of the package, then the time limit depends on the laws of the country you were injured in. It’s advisable to consult a solicitor as soon as you get home. The faster you act, the greater the chances of making a successful claim.

    What are my next steps?

    Contact us on 020 7485 8811 for a free initial consultation on your case. We’ll tell you whether we think you can make a claim and what you need to do to get started. Most claims can be funded through a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s nothing to pay upfront and that you only pay legal fees if your claim is successful.

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      Legal 500 2023

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      Chambers UK 2022

    • Ben Posford is fiercely bright, with an unrivalled passion for his clients’ cases. His encyclopaedic knowledge of all things PI is second to none. His foresight and commercial nous have propelled Osbornes into the highest echelons of the market where they rightly belong.

      Legal 500 2022

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      Legal 500 2022

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    • Ben Posford is one of London’s best catastrophic injury lawyers, in my view. He is a real brain injury specialist.

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    • Excellent coverage of personal injury, and traumatic brain injury. There is a real specialism in claimants who do not speak English as a first language.

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      Chambers UK

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    • Thank you for the hard work and patience and for being so patient with my constant questions.

      Personal Injury Client

    • "I have found Osbornes to be thorough, clear and understanding from the initial call. They do exactly what they say they will and with passion! I would recommend them to anyone".

      Client Review

    • Very good efficient service. Would not hesitate to use again.

      Personal Injury Client

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      Personal Injury Client

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      Personal Injury Client

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      Personal Injury Department Client

    • I just wish to thank you for your hard work and successful outcome. I am pleased with the result and would recommend you and your firm to anyone in the future.

      Personal injury department client

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    • Ben Posford ‘knows how to maximise the value of the claim for his clients’.

      Legal 500

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    Contact us about a holiday accident claim

    For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

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