Holidays are supposed to be an enjoyable, relaxing experience, and most are just that. But unfortunately sometimes things go wrong, and injuries or sickness occur that spoil your expensive plans.
However, you may not need insurance to make a claim for sickness or an accident that occurred while on holiday abroad. If you’ve booked your trip as a package holiday, chances are you’ll be covered by the Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations (1992) under UK law. It’s also possible to take out after-the-event legal expense insurance that works on a no-win, no-fee basis.
The main restriction is that the accident or illness must have occurred at your hotel or during an excursion that was part of your package. It also goes without saying that if the accident was your own fault you won’t be able to claim.
If you want to get compensation you need to prove that your holiday organiser or their agents, either direct or indirect such as hotel staff, were in some way negligent.
What You Should Do
You must of course, always report an accident or illness while you’re still on holiday. You can either report it to the holiday rep on the spot or directly to your tour operator by phone. But do keep a record of any medical treatments you receive.
With different medical establishments in different countries, it’s always worth keeping the packaging from your medication, together with any receipts from purchases you’ve made. Keep records of any communications and contact details of those you’ve dealt with, together with photographic evidence of anything that seems pertinent, such as unhygienic practices or damaged paving. Anything that may have had an impact on your condition.
What Can You Claim For?
Under UK Personal Injury law, you have up to three years from the date of the incident to make a claim. However, if you’re not with a UK tour operator this may be limited to just twelve months.
If you’re travelling on an all-inclusive holiday booked through a UK tour operator, you may find you can claim for illnesses such as food poisoning. However, you’ll have to show that the holiday operator failed to take reasonable care, by booking you into a hotel with poor hygiene standards for example. If this is the case, you may be able to claim for loss of earnings, expenses incurred or a ruined holiday as a direct result of what happened.
How Long Does a Holiday Accident Claim Take?
When making a holiday accident claim, it’s good to use a specialist solicitor, such as Mark Reynolds Solicitors, who has a long track record of dealing with claims that arise from accidents and illnesses that occurred on holiday.
If it’s a straightforward case where the other side admits liability, it can take between nine and eighteen months for you to receive compensation. However, it’s customary to give at least six months for those defending to investigate the claim fully. More complex cases can, of course, take much longer.
To discuss a holiday accident claim, contact us today on 0800 002 9577.