Claiming compensation for injuries sustained on a foreign holiday *
Unfortunately, accidents while on holiday abroad happen all too often. Typical events that give rise to personal injuries * for holidaymakers, leading to holiday accident compensation *, include:
- being involved a road traffic accident while travelling.
- sustaining injuries caused by the defective or dangerous condition of your accommodation or holiday complex.
- suffering a slip or fall at a swimming pool, in a sauna, or at a gym.
- getting injured while on a tour, day trip, excursion, or other organized activity.
- suffering injuries caused by being forced to use unsafe equipment such as sun loungers or camp beds.
- getting food poisoning caused by poor hygiene at your hotel’s restaurant.
When one experiences a horrible ordeal such as any of those referred to above in a foreign place, the overriding urge is to get back home to familiar settings and to put the whole thing behind you.
Once home, the notion of returning to the scene of the crime to seek redress for the wrong which has been occasioned to you is the last thing that most people would think of doing.
Imagine having to travel abroad again to grapple with a totally unfamiliar and unwelcoming legal system in a foreign language that you have a smattering of expressions in, at best.
This is where the Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act 1995 comes to the aid of injured holidaymakers. Put simply, section 20 of the Act provides that if you’ve been injured on a foreign holiday that was organised by an Irish package holiday provider or travel agent, you may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation * in Ireland once you get back home.
If, at the time of reading this, you’ve suffered an injury on holiday but haven’t returned home yet, the following steps should be taken by you in order to maximise the chances of succeeding with your claim *:
- report the accident to the hotel or resort that you’re staying in and the tour company that organized the trip as soon as possible. If they have a standard accident report form be sure to fill this out and request a copy of anything that you sign.
- if you don’t meet with co-operation from the management of the location at which the accident occurred, report the accident to the nearest police station.
- where possible, get details of as many witnesses to the accident as you can, including their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses.
- if the accident was caused due to any physical defect in any building or equipment (such as dangerous flooring in your apartment or a rickety sunbed at the pool side) make sure that you take plenty of photographs which show how you were injured.
- if you’ve had to receive any medical treatment in the foreign country where the accident happened, make sure to keep receipts for any medical fees and expenses paid for, as getting these after you’ve returned home could prove very difficult.
- ask any doctor or other medical health professional who has attended on you to provide you with a written report confirming what treatment you’ve received. Don’t worry if this documentation isn’t in English – it can easily be translated on your return.
- if you or your family members or co-travellers have had to cut your holiday short and pay for alternative travel arrangements (such as bus transfers, taxi fares, flights or ferries, etc.) to get home early, keep a full record of the additional costs incurred as a result.
If you’re reading this after having returned home, don’t worry if you haven’t got all of the information referred to above. It’s still possible that you will successfully secure compensation for the pain, suffering and inconvenience that you’ve endured.
Once you return home from your trip – or if you’re already at home and are now thinking about proceeding with a claim – you should consult a solicitor in Ireland who is a specialist in personal injuries claims * and who is willing to investigate your claim as soon as possible, as assembling the appropriate evidence and working out if there are any specific time limits that apply in the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred as quickly as possible could be the difference between you successfully securing compensation or not.
Further advice on holiday accident compensation *
If you have any questions about injuries you’ve suffered while on a foreign holiday, our live chat operator is available to help you with any queries you may have at any time or, you can just give us a call on our nationwide Local number 1890 390 555 during office hours. Our holiday accident compensation claims * solicitors are based at our offices in Dublin and Cork but assist people from across the country.
If you would prefer, we can call you, just click the Request a Callback on the right, leave your number and we’ll call you back at a time that is convenient for you. Finally, if you just wish to send us a confidential message, click the Send Us a Message Button on the right.
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*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.