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 injury claims, include:
- Being involved in 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 poolside) make sure that you take plenty of photographs that 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.
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Holiday Accident Compensation
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About McCarthy + Co
With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims, McCarthy + Co. has expertise in a wide variety of fields including product liability and holiday accidents. We are a family-run business, and we pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial, and helpful advice.
Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork, but we work with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. You can count on us for legal advice, guidance, and assistance on any form of personal injury.
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Flor McCarthy wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.
Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
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John McCarthy is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.
John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.