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Holiday Accidents: Package Tour Holiday Claims Explained

We all look forward to a well-deserved holiday abroad and a few weeks in the sun - but an unfortunate injury can be painful not only to the body but to the wallet as well.

The Package Tour Regulations introduced in 1992 have made the daunting prospect of using a foreign lawyer unnecessary with many accidents abroad. You can claim compensation against your tour operator without having to pursue a case in the country where the incident took place - and because this usually involves a foreign company or foreign national, making a claim under these Regulations is considerably more straightforward.

How Does it Work?

Here's a good example:

Joe and Martha buy an all-inclusive package holiday to Spain from Second Choice in Manchester. On the first night of the holiday, whilst walking down the staircase to dinner, Joe trips on a missing marble tile on the stairs and breaks his arm. The wall light at the top of the stairs was broken, so he did not spot the damaged flooring.

Their holiday is ruined; he has to pay out over £600 on his credit card for medical treatment and is in hospital for 3 nights. They bring a claim against Second Choice in the UK under the Regulations on the basis that the Spanish hotel failed to keep the staircase reasonably safe.

Their solicitors win compensation for the injury, the ruined holiday, Joe's loss of earnings and repayment of his out of pocket expenses.

What Holidays are Covered?

The Regulations only apply to package holidays that are either pre-arranged or include at least two of the following three things: transport, accommodation, and "other tourist services which account for a significant proportion of the package".

Although the majority of claims relate to holidays abroad, they don't have to. For example, a package which includes a berth on a narrow boat and meals will be covered by the regulations.

Can I Claim for Anything That Goes Wrong?

No - the Regulations stipulate the tour company isn't liable for any and all problems which occur. You have to prove that someone who was responsible for services provided under the package holiday contract failed to exercise reasonable skill and care which directly led to your loss or injury. What is 'reasonable', of course, will depend on the circumstances and this is where an experienced solicitor can help.

If the situation was beyond their control, the company will not be liable.

Claims are not limited to accidents either. The Regulations stipulate a claim can be made for a breach of contract - therefore it could be purely for financial loss, such as paying out of your own pocket for transport that should have been provided but failed to turn up.

Local Standards

As anyone who's been on a foreign holiday will know, there can be a huge difference between the standards abroad and what we'd expect in the UK.

The law recognises the standards of other countries, even within the EU, can vary greatly. One of the most common is the 2-pin electrical bathroom socket, common in lots of Mediterranean countries but would be met with gasps of horror by any UK electrician.

Similarly, Mediterranean marble flooring is cool and aesthetically pleasing but very slippery when wet. Not acceptable on these shores, but absolutely nothing wrong with it abroad.

In other words, you have to prove the otherwise acceptable standards of the foreign country have been breached - simply because it's unacceptable in the UK is not enough.

What Should I Do if I'm Injured on a Package Holiday?

n the unfortunate event you're injured on your package holiday, obtain as much evidence as possible - photographs, witness contact details, names of holiday reps, documents and receipts, even the holiday brochure. Anything that will define the terms of the contract with your operator - after all, you will need to prove the contract was breached.

And make sure you then contact a specialist solicitor immediately on your return.

New Deal Fair Deal Can Help You

It's the British way to grumble and complain to friends and family after the event - but it's also the British way to do nothing about it.

Therefore if you have been injured and your holiday ruined get advice from one of our expert lawyers and establish whether or not you've got a legitimate entitlement to compensation. Don't be fobbed off with an insincere apology or a voucher for M&S - get the full amount of compensation you deserve for the injury and loss you've suffered.

For a completely FREE, no obligation case assessment, call us today on 0800 955 1038, or email us at