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.
Sophie Davies Partner
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:
- Road traffic accidents
- Extreme and adventure sports accidents (e.g. rafting, skydiving, bungee jumping)
- Skiing accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Slips, trips and falls in the hotel
- Holiday food poisoning
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.
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.
"Osbornes always provides work of excellent quality and the advice is sound."
"The firm has the ability to handle the most sophisticated and complex matters."
"Osbornes is always client-focused and works tirelessly to obtain the best outcomes."
'The team deals with multi-million pound, often multifaceted claims, involving such factors as severe brain, psychiatric, gynaecological and spinal injury, major trauma, amputation and fatality.'
"They are a boutique firm with highly experienced partners who are well-respected in the industry."
"The team at Osbornes deals with catastrophic injury claims with the same professionalism as the largest firms, but provides a much more client-focused experience."
"A really first-rate team, well capable of dealing with the most serious and complex injuries."
"This team has carved out an exceptional reputation in catastrophic injury work."
"Osbornes has impressed me with their personal touch for clients whilst offering a first-class handling of catastrophic injury claims. The partners all have vast experience and are highly respected in their field."
"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."
"Osbornes have managed to recruit a team of outstanding catastrophic injury lawyers who are at the top of the game."
"They punch well above their weight. The quality of service they provide equals that of any of the larger top-name firms in this area"
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.
The firm has an excellent and innovative line in cases involving non-English speaking claimants, managed by recruiting paralegals with multi-language skills – an impressive route for expansion of the caseload.
Great expanding team with expertise and respect in the sector. Led by a commercially savvy and business minded team.
A really excellent group of PI solicitors, notable for their individual quality.’
A niche firm that punches well above its weight in the catastrophic injury sector, borne out by the quality of work they obtain.
This combination of experience and diligence reaps massive rewards for clients, Osbornes being well known in the industry as a fantastic firm.
The Osbornes personal injury team now comprises some of the most technically adept and hard hitting lawyers in the business.
Ben Posford is one of London’s best catastrophic injury lawyers, in my view. He is a real brain injury specialist.
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.
The group is noted for its expertise in matters relating to cycling injuries, and is the official legal partner of the London Cycling Campaign charity.
To complement its strong reputation for high-value and complex personal injury work, the firm continues to develop its 'excellent and innovative line in cases involving non-English speaking claimants'
"Osbornes comprises some of the most technically adept and hard hitting lawyers in the business"
"A small but high-powered team, dealing with cases of significant value and complexity."
"An excellent firm which achieves fantastic outcomes for clients."
"Osbornes Law have captured the magic of keeping the customer service levels of a smaller firm whilst having all the expertise and power of the biggest firms."
"A superb boutique catastrophic injury firm."
"Really good at dealing with people who have suffered a serious injury."
"Affable and charming with very good client-handling skills."
"superb firm with consummate professionals and a human touch."
Osbornes now has a team of highly experienced personal injury lawyers; particularly strong on high-value quantum cases, workplace accidents and claims involving foreign workers injured in the UK.
The team provides fantastic strength-in-depth for personal injury claims. It is also particularly well placed to service clients from Eastern Europe with specialist native language speakers. From the smallest case to a multimillion-pound spinal injury case, Osbornes has the right staff to manage every claim.
Ben Posford remains pre-eminent in his field with expert understanding of litigating cases of the upmost severity. His experience builds on Stuart Kightley’s running of the firm with recent partner additions of Rob Aylott making a fantastic addition.
A firm going from strength-to strength-which retains its client care whilst being able to offer a full personal injury service.
Beneath Ben Posford’s calm and reassuring presence, which clients love, lies a formidable tactical and legal brain. His experience tells and he gets it right at every stage of the process from arranging the best possible rehabilitation, to ensuring, so far as possible, a polite relationship with those acting for the defendant in order to ensure best and early resolution of the claim.
"Clients say he is very impressive, in terms of both his experience and his management of the personal injury team."
"They have an expanding profile in personal injury and clinical negligence and offer a superb, broad service in accidents abroad, enabled by their recruitment of bilingual legal executives who can guide non-English speakers through complex litigation."
"Solid personal injury practice well equipped to advise on high-value and high-profile claims arising from fatalities and severe head and spinal injuries."
"Offers specialist expertise in cycling-related injury claims."
"Offers specialist expertise in cauda equina syndrome cases."
"An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."
"Stuart Kightley is an incredibly empathetic solicitor who is very knowledgeable about traumatic brain injury."
"They are an outstanding firm to work with. They are consistently impressive in their work."
"Osbornes often handles claims valued at over £1m, particularly relating to severe brain and spinal cord injuries and niche areas such as cauda equina syndrome and cycling accidents."
"The hard-working, thorough and committed Robert Aylott, who brings significant heavyweight personal injury experience."
"Key team members include the energetic and personable Stuart Kightley who is head of the personal injury department."
"Osbornes has a growing influence and impressive work load and is gaining a reputation for handling complex catastrophic work."
"Catastrophic injury cases head Ben Posford is an excellent practical litigator who offers exceptional service."
"Stuart is also very experienced in advising on fatal accidents and workplace accidents."
Thank you for the hard work and patience and for being so patient with my constant questions.
"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".
Very good efficient service. Would not hesitate to use again.
I will use Osbornes for any future needs.
I don't think I could have asked for anything more. One of the best dealings I've had with the legal profession.
Sam was excellent and very professional in dealing with our claim.
Head of the personal injury department, Stuart Kightley is a first-rate practitioner, wholly focused on getting his client the best outcome in a pragmatic, sensible and consensual manner.
As a real specialist in spinal cord injuries, Ben Posford is always looking at new angles on how to maximise his cases.
Ben Posford is one of the best catastrophic injury lawyers around.
They provide exceptional service, great knowledge and understanding of the law, excellent client care and tactical nous
Stuart Kightley is praised for his expertise in catastrophic and fatal claims. Clients say he is very impressive, in terms of both his experience and his management of the personal injury team.
My claim was dealt with efficiently and professionally. Communication was excellent, and timely. Shrewd and sound advice was provided at every stage of the claim from beginning through to completion. On the basis of my personal experience I would strongly recommend Osbornes.
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.
Ben Posford … is ‘tactically astute’ and ‘one of the best personal injury solicitors around’.
Ben Posford ‘knows how to maximise the value of the claim for his clients’.
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Our Personal Injury Team View the whole team
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Andrew Middlehurst Associate Solicitor
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