If you have suffered an injury whilst on holiday, you may find these video guides useful for answering any questions you may have about the compensation claims process.
How do holiday accident claims work?
First option is to seek compensation in the relevant country. You can pursue a case against the travel agent here in Ireland, but you must have booked the entire holiday as a package through them. Or you can pursue a claim against the insurance company for the driver once the insurance company has a representative here in Ireland. If you have an accident in a country that is outside the EU, then you will have to pursue a claim within that country.
Will my claim have to go to court?
Unlikely – Over 90% of claims are settled out of court. You submit an application for assessment of damages to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. If the holiday was booked through a tour operator then their insurance company will allow it to be assessed by the PIAB. Your injuries will be assessed by medical professionals and the PIAB will decide on the breakdown of damages.
Who will pay the compensation for an injury sustained on holiday?
Generally speaking, it will be the insurance company for the liable party – any providers of services abroad will have insurance to cover them in the event of an accident.
Can I make a claim for holiday accident compensation without travel insurance?
Yes. If you don’t have travel insurance then you are still entitled to compensation. If you have travel insurance and your insurer has paid out for medical treatment either here or abroad, then you have to make sure you recoup that money through your claim with the liable party.
If I have an accident whilst on holiday and it’s my fault, can I still make a claim?
No – the whole principle underpinning the entitlement to be compensated is that there has been negligence or breach of duty on the part of some other person. If there is an instance of contributory negligence on your part, then the amount of compensation will be reduced accordingly.
Can I claim compensation for an injury sustained at an airport or on an aircraft?
Yes. The Montreal Convention covers any accident that occurs in an airport between security points before and after the flight. You don’t have to establish negligence under this convention – you just have to show that an accident occurred that was out of your control. If an accident occurs in the main area of the airport outside the security point then you need to pursue a case against the airport in that country.
Can I claim compensation for food poisoning or for poor hotel standards?
Yes but unless it is a very severe case of food poisoning that causes significant personal injury then the amount of compensation that you would be entitled to would be quite small and not worth pursuing. Poor hotel standards are not classed as personal injury.
What level of compensation can I expect for holiday accident claims?
Hard to say. Most EU countries have their own Book of Quantum – a document that the PIAB looks at in order to decide the rate of compensation. Each EU country has extremely different rules as to what you are entitled to recover for personal injury and compared to Ireland and the UK, the levels are quite low.