Slipping accidents in hotel bathrooms are usually caused by insufficient safety features having been installed by the establishment’s owners. These safety precautions should be checked regularly by maintenance staff at hotels to make sure they are in a good state of repair. Shower doors should be constructed from safety glass or hard plastic to minimise the risk of guests breaking them during use. Leaking water from defective taps, basins and other bathroom equipment can create unexpected slipping hazards, and again, a proper system of maintenance should prevent such situations from arising.
Other potential hazards in hotel bathrooms include defective electrical items such as hairdryers, with the potential to cause electric shocks and burns. Broken hot taps and faulty pipes can also cause burn injuries if the water that runs from them is scalding hot. As British holidaymakers begin to flock to overseas hotels at this time of year, it important to note that those who have booked their stays as part of package deals are protected by the Package Travel Regulations 1992, legislation that imposes a duty on the UK tour operator through which a holiday was booked to make sure that the overseas accommodation they offer is reasonably safe for guests and adequately maintained.
Mr T was injured while on a package holiday on the Costa del Sol, Spain. While having a shower one morning, Mr T was trying to adjust the temperature and position of the shower head, when the unit became detached from the wall, and fell onto him, causing him to fall backwards into the bath. Mr T banged his head on the ceramic surface, as well as straining his back in the fall.
His wife came to his assistance, and helped pull the unit off him. Mr T was dazed and in pain following the accident, and the hotel called a doctor to examine him. Though he was not seriously hurt, Mr T suffered bruising to his head, and a pulled muscle in his lower back. He spent the rest of the couple’s week long holiday in the hotel, suffering from headaches and lack of mobility due to his back injury.
On his return to the UK, Mr T contacted Bartletts Solicitors to explore his legal options. We advised him that rather than taking action in Spain against the hotel he could make a claim under UK law against the tour operator with whom the couple had booked their trip. Under the 1992 Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tour Regulations, they were responsible for health and safety at the overseas hotels which customers booked as part of a package deal through them. Maintenance had obviously been poor at the Spanish hotel in question, otherwise there was no way a shower unit could have fallen from the wall. The tour operator initially contested the claim, but eventually admitted liability for the accident, and Mr T received £2,600 in compensation for his injuries, and the loss of enjoyment of his holiday that resulted.
If an overseas trip was part of a package holiday booked with a UK tour operator then it will often be possible to make a compensation claim for a holiday accident under British law, as per the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992. To qualify any two of three elements must have been booked with the same UK holiday company:
A) Hotel / Accommodation
B) Flights / Travel
C) Car Hire / Airport Transfer / Excursions
Mr A was staying at a hotel in the Lake District where he was involved in an accident for which he was later able to claim personal injury compensation. Mr A slipped in a hotel bathroom as he was going to take a shower. Water was leaking from a defective basin next to the shower, causing a pool of water to form and creating a clear slipping hazard.
Mr A wrenched his back and banged his knee heavily on the bathroom floor when he fell. He also slipped again as he was struggling to stand up causing further bruising to his knee. Mr A later received medical attention from a local doctor, and he left the hotel the following day, having made sure that the details of the incident were recorded in the hotel’s accident book.
Mr A experienced constant dull pain in his back for the next few weeks, and had difficulty bending and standing up during that time. His knee was also inflamed and weak. Having seen his doctor, Mr A contacted Bartletts Solicitors to discuss his situation, and we later agreed to represent him on a no win no fee basis in a compensation claim against the hotel. We wrote to them, arguing that our client had been injured primarily due to a lack of proper maintenance that resulted in his hotel bathroom being unsafe for guests at the time of the accident. The hotel had therefore failed to take the reasonable measures expected of it under UK law to minimise the risk of guests getting injured. We were able to obtain an admission of liability fairly quickly in this instance, and our client later received £3,500 in compensation.