An accident abroad can ruin your well deserved break and leave you out of pocket. The fact that you are in a foreign country adds further to the worry as there are usually problems due to the language barrier and determining which legal system applies. Common examples of holiday accidents include the following:
- Trip or slip in Hotel or swimming pool area
- Illness due to food poisoning or poor standards of hygiene
- Accident during day excursion
- Road Traffic Accident during hotel transfer
The Package Tour Regulations 1992 have made it easier for victims of holiday accidents to bring a claim for compensation in the UK. The Regulations allow you to claim compensation against your UK tour operator rather than pursuing a claim against the person responsible for the accident in a foreign country which is usually quite complex.
When you book your holiday, providing you book your flights and accomodation together in one payment it is likely you are buying a package holiday and this affords you extra legal protection if an accident occurs abroad.
In order to succeed in a compensation claim, you have to show that the foreign supplier who provided services under the holiday contract failed to do so with reasonable care and skill, and that loss or injury arose as a direct result. If so, the tour operator will be liable for this breach of contract.
However, the hotel or resort will be judged by the safety standards of the foreign country you are staying in and not the UK. In order for a claim to succeed you must show that the that the accepted standards of the local area or region have been breached, not just show that something would be unacceptable in the UK.
If you do suffer an injury abroad you should try to gather as much evidence as possible such as photographs, receipts for expenses and details of witnesses such as other holidaymakers and travel representatives. You should also retain all your original booking confirmation together with terms and conditions which will form the basis of your contract with the tour operator.