Accidents on Holiday

In the unfortunate event that you have an accident whilst on holiday, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim for compensation.

Like any other personal injury claim, in order to successfully claim compensation you must be able to establish that you were owed a duty of care by another party and that they breached that duty by acting negligently, which caused your injury. A common example is an employer failing to provide the correct safety equipment to an employee, resulting in their injury: clearly the employer owed a duty of care to their employee which they have breached by acting negligently.

It is easy to think that on top of this, claiming for an injury that occurred on holiday is more difficult to establish because it is not clear who to bring the claim against, or what law applies. However, this is not necessarily the case, especially if the accident occurred whilst on a Package Holiday.

Holidays within the United Kingdom

If your holiday was within the UK, or the tour company that arranged your holiday is based in the UK, then your claim could be dealt with in the same was as a normal personal injury claim, through the UK court system.

Holidays outside of the UK

If your holiday was abroad, you may still be able to bring a claim. The UK tour operator that organised or sold you the holiday has a duty of care under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992/3288. Under these regulations the tour operator owes you a duty of care for all aspects of the Holiday, provided that the holiday was a Package Holiday.

What constitutes a ‘Package’ Holiday?

The regulations explain that for a holiday to be a ‘Package Holiday’, it must have been:

  • Arranged in advance
  • for a period of more than 24 hours, or include overnight accommodation
  • AND
  • Include two or more of the following components of the holiday, bought at an inclusive price:
    • Transport
    • Accommodation
    • Other services not related to transport or accommodation, but that are a significant portion of the package, (such as Ski passes on a Skiing holiday).

Even if you were injured on an activity or excursion, as long as this was arranged in advance as part of the package; the tour operator will remain responsible. In some situations they can also be responsible for activities arranged whilst on the holiday, depending on the tour operator’s involvement on arranging or booking the activity.

In what circumstances can a claim be brought?

Although each case varies depending on the relevant law of the county in which the accident took place, claims often concern the following:

  • slipping around pool areas
  • Cuts from glass around pool areas
  • Tripping slipping in the hotel
  • Food poisoning
  • Accidents involving activities/ excursions on the holiday
  • Skiing accidents

Therefore, if you are injured whilst on a package holiday, even if your injury occurred whilst you were on an activity on the holiday, you may still be able to bring a personal injury claim in the UK against the tour operator that organised or sold you the holiday.

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