Holiday Sickness and Accident Claims
Have you suffered an injury or illness on holiday that was not your fault? Tilly Bailey & Irvine's North East Solicitors in Hartlepool, Wynyard, Stockton-on-tees and Barnard Castle have the specialist knowledge and experience to support your claim.
Holidays are a time of joy, excitement and anticipation. The last thing anyone expects when they go on holiday is to become ill or suffer an accident because of negligence.
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Unfortunately, many people are sick or injured on holiday, and this can be a frightening experience, especially if it happens in a foreign country where you do not speak the language.
If you suffer from sickness or injury abroad, talk to us to see if you have a valid claim for compensation.
At Tilly Bailey & Irvine, we can assist you with making a compensation claim if you have suffered an injury or sickness on holiday, even if the misfortune happened in abroad. Our personal injury team is led by John Hall. As well as having years of experience running holiday negligence claims, John is a panel member of Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) and a Senior Litigator with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
Can you claim for an accident on holiday?
If you suffer an accident on holiday, you may be able to claim compensation, either under The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (Package Travel Regulations), the Montreal Convention (in the case of air accidents) or by making a claim directly against the person or organisation whose negligence resulted in your accident occurring.
The types of accidents and injuries that can occur on holiday include:
- slips, trips and falls
- skiing accidents
- being hit by falling luggage or injured in a plane crash
- road accidents, including coach accidents
- water sports accidents
Claiming under the Package Travel Regulations
If your holiday accident occurred whilst you were on a package holiday, you may be able to claim compensation under the Package Travel Regulations.
To be defined as a ‘package’ holiday, it must be made up of a pre-arranged combination of two of the following:
- other tourist services not necessary to transport or accommodation and accounting for a significant proportion of the package
The components purchased by the customer must be purchased at an inclusive price for the Package Travel Regulations to apply.
We can assist you with making a claim under the Package Holiday Regulations. John and his team have an in-depth understanding of the regulations and can swiftly organise compensation if your circumstances match the criteria.
If you have been injured on holiday and booked your trip with a UK operator, but you do not meet the criteria laid out in the Package Travel Regulations, you may be able to claim compensation under Rome II, an EU regulation. Again, our expert solicitors can quickly identify if your claim qualifies.
The Montreal Convention
If you have been injured on an aircraft, then you may be able to claim compensation under the Montreal Convention. Many international airlines, including British Airways, are party to the convention and its purpose is to provide an uncomplicated route for passengers to claim compensation for injuries sustained during air travel. Under the terms of the Treaty, for any claims up to £100,000, the claimant does not need to prove negligence if they received an injury aboard an aircraft, only that the accident occurred.
Our holiday accident team can process a claim under the Montreal Convention on your behalf, ensuring the application is submitted correctly and the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to is sought.
The Athens Convention
If you have suffered illness or injury on a cruise, you may be covered by the Athens Convention. For all “ship-related” cases, you must be able to prove that your illness or injury was caused due to the fault or lack of care of the cruise line.
Can you get compensation for illness on holiday?
Falling ill on holiday is devastating. Not only does it ruin what should be a happy time, but it can also result in you wasting a large amount of money on a trip you cannot enjoy due to feeling unwell.
Types of illness that can occur on holiday include:
- food poisoning
- bites from insects or animals
- fast-spreading viruses, such as Norovirus which can tear through cruise ships and other confined spaces such as hotels
As with holiday accidents, you may be able to claim compensation under the Package Travel Regulations, Rome II, Montreal Convention or Athens Convention, if you meet the criteria.
Claiming compensation as an independent traveller
The idea of claiming for compensation in a foreign jurisdiction can be very intimidating. Not only are the costs of taking action likely to be greater than bringing a claim domestically, but you also have to contend with overseas laws, customs and time delays.
Fortunately, John and his team have vast experience in making holiday illness or accident claims that do not fall under any regulations or international treaties. We can quickly engage an interpreter to communicate with the person or organisation whose negligent act or omission may have caused your injury. We can also call on the support of legal and medical experts in the country your accident or illness occurred in if required.
How to claim holiday sickness compensation
When claiming for personal injury compensation, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible at the time of the event. Let’s say you were injured in a car accident abroad. To give your claim the best chance of success, it is wise to take the following actions at the time the incident occurs.
- Take photographs of the accident
- Inform the local authorities (i.e. Police) and make sure you receive a copy of their record of the accident
- Get the names and addresses of any witnesses
- Write down the name and address of any other persons’ involved in the accident
- Seek medical attention if required and retain a copy of your medical file
The more information you gather at the time of the accident, the greater your chances of making a successful claim for compensation.
It is then imperative that you contact an experienced holiday accident or illness compensation lawyer as soon as possible. There is generally a three-year time limit on personal injury claims in the UK, but this may be less in other jurisdictions.
What does holiday compensation cover?
You may be able to claim for the following if you have suffered from an accident or illness abroad that was caused by negligence:
- the cost of accommodation on the days you were affected by the illness or injury
- out of pocket expenses, such as seeing a doctor (which may not be free in the country you are visiting, and medication
- loss of enjoyment
- any rehabilitation needed to recover from your illness or personal injury
Even if you are unsure whether you have a claim for compensation, come in and talk with our holiday accident and illness solicitors. We offer no win, no fee arrangements for most of our personal injury work. If we do not succeed in getting you compensation, you will not pay any legal fees (although you may have to pay disbursements).
To find out more about how we can advise you on a holiday accident or sickness claim, please call us on 0333 444 4422 to talk to one of our solicitors.