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Accidents Abroad

Accidents Abroad

With spring upon us, and summer not too far away, many of us are beginning to make holiday plans.
If the recent news about the family members of the victims killed by terrorists whilst on holiday in Tunisia suing the tour operator strikes fear into your heart and dampens your holiday excitement, don’t let it. The likelihood of being caught up in a terrorist attack during your holiday is very slim. Statistics produced after the Nice bombings last year showed that the chances of being killed by a terrorist attack in France were less than two-ten thousands of one percent. With those kinds of odds, your mind should be at rest, and your thoughts on the sunshine.

However, with as many as 10 Brits per day being hospitalised whilst on holiday, the chances of being involved in an accident are unfortunately more real. If you were involved in an accident whilst on holiday would you know your rights? Do you have adequate protection in place should you be unfortunate enough to fall ill or be involved in an accident whilst abroad?

One of the first things to consider is whether or not your trip is part of a package holiday. A package holiday contains one contract and must consist of a combination of at least two of the following: your transport; accommodation; other tourist service (e.g. car hire). The holiday must also be sold at an inclusive price. If your trip is part of a package holiday, making a claim for compensation is more straightforward as you may be able to recover damages from the tour operator for an accident or illness which was not your fault.

In order to recover compensation for an injury or illness it will be necessary to show that the standard of care fell below the expected level. The standard of care will be the local standard. So if for example you are injured after falling through a wooden floor whilst at a cooking class in Thailand, or by melting icicles whilst sipping cocktails in the hotel cave bar in Iceland, the focus will be on the building standards and Health and Safety Regulations of that country.

If your trip does not fall within the protections afforded by the Package Holiday Regulations but your accident occurs whilst in transit e.g. onboard the plane or a passenger ferry, then you may still  be able to recover compensation from the carrier. If you’re not on a package holiday, or in transit, then you will need to find a good foreign lawyer for the area your accident happened in!

If you are unlucky enough to suffer an injury or fall ill whilst abroad, do all you can whilst you are there by taking photographs, reporting the accident or illness and asking witnesses for contact details. Upon your return home you should contact your lawyer as soon as possible to allow time for proper consideration of all the added complications that can be thrown in the mix from overseas destinations.

If you have been injured or fallen ill whilst abroad or you have any questions relating to the above article or a similar topic please contact Joanne Clancy for advice on making a claim for compensation using the details below.

Posted by Joanne Clancy

Senior Solicitor

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