Martyn Gwyther, head of overseas accident claims at Thompsons Solicitors, discusses how to avoid injuries while on holiday and what to do if you are involved in an accident or become ill abroad
From skiing on the slopes to diving into hotel swimming pools, the risks of personal injury can be more common than you think when you’re on holiday.
By planning ahead, using common sense, and being aware of your surroundings you can avoid unnecessary risks and serious injury during your time abroad. But, if you do become ill or suffer an injury while on holiday that was someone else’s fault then you may be able to claim compensation.
We’ve put together some top tips about staying safe abroad, and advice about how to start a holiday injury compensation claim, should the worst happen.
Driving a vehicle on your holiday abroad
It’s important to get to know the regulations that apply in the country you are going to be driving in. Take time to plan your journey, familiarise yourself with your destination and ensure you have plenty of time to travel to avoid rushing and potentially causing an accident. Just like when driving in the UK, remember to always wear a seatbelt and never drink and drive.
Staying safe at height on holiday
Some of the most serious injuries abroad result from falls from height. There have been numerous news reports about holiday makers falling over the railings of a balcony so take extra care when holiday high spirits and heights are involved.
Safety first at the poolside
Accidents in swimming pools can, unfortunately, lead to serious spinal cord or head injuries so it is important to familiarise yourself with the layout and depth of the pool water - and always use the steps when getting into a pool for the first time.
We would recommend checking that your resort has lifeguards before booking your holiday, especially if you are travelling with children.
Claiming holiday injury compensation
To make a successful holiday injury compensation claim, you will need to be able to prove that your accident or illness was someone else’s fault.
What if I’m injured or become ill while on holiday?
If you are injured or become ill while on holiday and plan to make a compensation claim, you will need to prove another party was at fault. If, for example, you slipped and injured yourself as a result of a poorly maintained area of your hotel, then you would be able to make a claim against your tour operator. If you tripped while out and about in the town, you would not be able to claim against your tour operator, but you may still be able to make a claim for compensation.
Report your injury
If you do fall victim to injury or illness abroad, it is important you report the incident as soon as possible to your travel agent’s representative. They should make a note of your injury in their accident log book, and take note of any important information about the incident, including the names and address of any witnesses and the location and time of your accident. Where possible, try to take photographs of the area where the accident took place - this kind of information can be used to support a compensation claim.
We have helped hundreds of people secure compensation after they have suffered an injury or become ill abroad, including 32-year-old Stacey Sewell.
Stacey was on holiday in Gran Canaria with her husband, two children and parents when she contracted salmonella, a serious food poisoning bug, from food served at the all-inclusive hotel. The family’s relaxing holiday became a nightmare and, when Stacey returned home she was rushed to hospital and placed on a drip for four days.
Stacey now has long-term bowel problems and has been told that she may have to have her bowel removed. Her health problems also mean that she is unable to work and that she has difficulties sleeping and socialising. Thompsons Solicitors helped Stacey to secure more than £22,000 in compensation.
Need compensation to get you back on track after an injury? Trust Thompsons Solicitors with your personal injury claim.
If you’ve been injured and would like advice on whether you have a case for personal injury compensation, contact Thompsons Solicitors’ personal injury solicitors today.
If you have suffered a personal injury that was someone else’s fault, whether it’s a slip or trip, an accident at work, in a public place or on the roads, we can help you to make a personal injury compensation claim and gain access to any rehabilitation you require.
Thompsons Solicitors’ commitment to acting only for the injured is written into our partnership deed. We are among the UK’s only claimant-only law firms, which means that we will represent the injured or mistreated person and refuse to act for employers or insurance companies. We know whose side we are on, and we are committed to securing a better deal for you.
Contact our friendly team of experts today for a free, no obligation assessment of whether you have a case. If you do, we’ll work with you to build a solid case for personal injury compensation that takes into account all of the ways you’ve been affected by your injury.
If you’d like more detailed information about how to start a claim before you call, visit our How to Make a Compensation Claim page.