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.


  • “They have quality and depth and provide an excellent service.”


  • “A niche firm that punches well above its weight in the catastrophic injury sector, borne out by the quality of work they obtain.”

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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For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

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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.

    • "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"

      Chambers UK 2022

    • 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.

      Legal 500 2022

    • "A small but high-powered team, dealing with cases of significant value and complexity."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "An excellent firm which achieves fantastic outcomes for clients."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "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."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Really good at dealing with people who have suffered a serious injury."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • "Affable and charming with very good client-handling skills."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • "superb firm with consummate professionals and a human touch."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • 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.

      Legal 500 2020 - Personal Injury

    • 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.

      Legal 500 2020 - Personal Injury

    • 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.

      Legal 500 2020 - Personal Injury

    • A firm going from strength-to strength-which retains its client care whilst being able to offer a full personal injury service.

      Legal 500 2020 - Personal Injury

    • 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.

      Legal 500

    • "Clients say he is very impressive, in terms of both his experience and his management of the personal injury team."

      Chambers UK

    • "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."

      Chambers & Partners Directory 2020, Personal Injury

    • "Solid personal injury practice well equipped to advise on high-value and high-profile claims arising from fatalities and severe head and spinal injuries."

      Chambers UK

    • "Offers specialist expertise in cycling-related injury claims."

      Chambers UK

    • "Offers specialist expertise in cauda equina syndrome cases."

      Chambers UK

    • "An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."

      Chambers UK

    • "Stuart Kightley is an incredibly empathetic solicitor who is very knowledgeable about traumatic brain injury."

      Chambers UK

    • "They are an outstanding firm to work with. They are consistently impressive in their work."

      Chambers UK

    • "Osbornes has a growing influence and impressive work load and is gaining a reputation for handling complex catastrophic work."

      The Legal 500

    • "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 Legal 500

    • "The hard-working, thorough and committed Robert Aylott, who brings significant heavyweight personal injury experience."

      Legal 500 2019

    • "Key team members include the energetic and personable Stuart Kightley who is head of the personal injury department."

      The Legal 500

    • "Catastrophic injury cases head Ben Posford is an excellent practical litigator who offers exceptional service."

      The Legal 500

    • 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

    • I will use Osbornes for any future needs.

      Personal Injury Client

    • I don't think I could have asked for anything more. One of the best dealings I've had with the legal profession.

      Personal Injury Client

    • Sam was excellent and very professional in dealing with our claim.

      Personal Injury Client

    • 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.

      Chambers UK

    • As a real specialist in spinal cord injuries, Ben Posford is always looking at new angles on how to maximise his cases.

      Chambers UK

    • Ben Posford is one of the best catastrophic injury lawyers around.

      Chambers UK

    • They provide exceptional service, great knowledge and understanding of the law, excellent client care and tactical nous

      Chambers UK

    • 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.

      Chambers UK

    • 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.

      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

    • Ben Posford … is ‘tactically astute’ and ‘one of the best personal injury solicitors around’.

      Legal 500

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

      Legal 500

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