On her return to the UK, Mrs B decided to engage Bartletts Solicitors, as she had read on our website that it was possible to claim compensation from a UK tour operator for injuries at an overseas resort (as long as the holiday was booked as a package deal). We got in touch with Mrs B’s UK tour operator, stating that the hotel’s staff had been negligent in failing to identify the broken glass at the bottom of the swimming pool. It was reasonable to expect that they would have done so, given the number of holidaymakers using the pool on a daily basis. After further correspondence, the tour operator accepted liability for the negligence of their overseas representatives, i.e. the hotel’s staff, and Mrs B received £3,000 in compensation for her injury.
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 & Mrs R were enjoying a package holiday in Malta, and were dining in the hotel’s restaurant one evening. Mrs R was returning from the toilet, and as she sat down, her chair collapsed under her, causing her to fall heavily on her back. She was in severe pain, and was helped to her room by her husband, before a doctor was summoned by hotel staff.
Mrs R had partially torn several muscles in her lower back, and was rendered temporarily immobile by her injury. She remained in bed for 3 days, and the couple’s holiday was effectively ruined by the accident. Mr R reported the incident to their tour operator’s representative, and decided to seek legal advice when they returned to the UK.
Mr R contacted Bartletts Solicitors having read on our website that we specialise in accidents at foreign hotels. We advised him that his wife could pursue a compensation claim against their UK package tour operator, who is ultimately responsible for the health and safety of its holidaymakers while staying at overseas resorts. We wrote to the tour operator, pointing out that the restaurant chair must have been in a defective state for it to collapse under Mrs R’s weight. The hotel was therefore negligent in failing to ensure that their premises were safe for guests to use. On admission of liability, Mrs R received £2,500 for her injuries and the loss of enjoyment of the couple’s holiday.
1) Report the circumstances of an accident to the tour operator’s representative at the hotel or resort overseas. They should pass the details on to the company’s headquarters in the UK and provide you with a written report concerning the incident.
2) Management at an overseas hotel or resort should also be informed, and details should be recorded in their accident book or equivalent. It is important to obtain written reports or other paperwork confirming the circumstances of an accident from as many sources as possible.
3) The injured person’s travel insurance company must be notified at the earliest opportunity, to ensure that medical expenses are met and / or emergency travel requirements are dealt with promptly. If a UK national is travelling independently and their trip does not qualify as a package deal, travel insurance will be the only way of offsetting what are often exorbitant overseas medical bills. Again, the insurers should be contacted as swiftly as possible, and the local British Consul’s staff may be able to assist with emergency situations and offer practical advice.
4) Though this sounds obvious, seeking specialist medical attention as quickly as possible following an accident is essential, as a medical report will be the only verification of the extent of a person’s injuries. Along with a copy of the medical report, receipts for medical charges and any sundry expenses should also be retained.
5) Write down the names and contact details of any witnesses to an accident, as well anyone else injured in the same incident. Photographs or video footage of the cause of an accident and the nature of a person’s injuries should also be taken, and a version of events should be written down and retained to help build an accurate picture of events later on.
When an injured person returns to the UK they should seek legal advice from a firm of solicitors specialising in holiday accidents abroad. Bartletts Solicitors is one such firm, with over 50 legal staff experienced in claiming compensation for accidents and injuries sustained overseas. Contact us today for free legal advice from a firm that you can trust and rely on.