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If you are injured while on holiday, in circumstances that are not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. As well as an award for your pain and suffering, this can help you to offset any medical costs that you incur due to your injury, refund you for any parts of the holiday you missed during your recovery, and pay for any lifestyle adjustments you need to make if you have sustained a more serious injury. However, it may not always be clear who you need to claim compensation from or who will be considered responsible for your accident.
If you are injured during a package holiday, the tour operators will often be responsible for accidents that happen during activities that they have arranged, but not for other accidents you might experience during the trip. Because tour operators will often be based in England, it is often easier and more cost-effective to claim compensation from them in the courts of England and Wales - whereas, coach and transportation companies, hotel owners and others may be based in the destination country and harder to take to court. Therefore, it is important to establish whether there is a legal argument that the tour operator is responsible for your accident.
If you are unsure whether you will be able to claim compensation following an accident on holiday, speak to our expert personal injury solicitors for advice tailored to your situation. Call us on 0800 054 6570, or complete our online enquiry form to arrange a call back at a convenient time.
What Counts as a Package Holiday?
A package holiday is one where several travel services are booked at the same time through a tour operator, travel agent or other company, or where they are purchased from separate companies but are sold through a linked online booking process or a single shopping cart to which multiple services are added. To meet the legal definition (to which this advice applies) it must include an overnight stay or last more than 24 hours.
Travel services might include a hotel stay, flights, rail travel, vehicle hire, a bus or coach trip, or other transportation. They might also include admission to an event, a guided tour or other similar “tourist service”, provided that this is considered an essential feature of the overall holiday or accounts for more than 25% of the overall value of the experience. If you have booked a trip with two or more such services through a single provider, or linked booking service, this will usually be considered a package holiday.
One thing to bear in mind is that tour operators are responsible for you when you book an activity or other tourist service through them. Even if the service does not account for more than 25% of the value or is not essential to the trip, you may still be able to claim compensation for any injuries you sustain as a result, so long as the trip is a package holiday.
How Can I Make a Claim for a Package Holiday Injury?
Your first priority if you suffer an injury while on holiday should always be to seek medical attention, but if possible, you should also try to collect details of the incident and any witnesses who might be able to help your case later on. If you cannot do so, a travelling companion or other friend can do this for you.
You should report the incident to your tour operator as soon as possible, as well as the hotel staff. If you think someone else may be responsible for the accident, whether your tour operator or another party, you should also contact a legal representative as soon as possible. They can advise you on whether you might have a claim, and start the process of gathering evidence on your behalf. This can also help you to understand who might be found responsible for your accident and how you can pursue a claim for compensation.