- Compensation can usually be recovered from the operator in the UK
- The Package Travel Regulations help protect holidaymakers
- Travel solicitors recommend quality holiday travel insurance
Every year Simpson Millar LLP’s holiday claims team are contacted by holidaymakers that have, through no fault of their own, been injured abroad.
The accidents range from breaks and sprains, to serious head or spinal injuries. Although genuine accidents can and do occur, more often than not they could so easily have been avoided had simple health and safety procedures been put into place and followed.
When a person is injured during a package holiday the likes of which are typically provided by well-known tour operators such as First Choice, Thomas Cook and Thomson Holidays etc. Compensation can usually be recovered from the operator in the UK, if the accident was caused by something that could reasonably have prevented by the tour operator or the hotel. This is because consumers that book package holidays are protected by legislation commonly referred to as the Package Travel Regulations.
Holidaymakers that make their own travel arrangements by booking separate flights and accommodation are not afforded the same protection, although these holidaymakers may still be able to claim against the hotel provider if something goes wrong. This however, usually has to done in accordance with the laws that exist in the country where the hotel is based.
In recent times a large number of holiday companies have appeared, specifically on the internet, that appear to be selling regulated package holidays. Potential customers can typically go onto these sites, choose where to stay and for how long, then arrange their flights at the same time with the company.
When something goes wrong on these holidays, many of these companies will hide behind ‘cleverly drafted terms and conditions’ and state that they merely assisted in the booking of different holiday components and will NOT accept any responsibility under the Package Travel Regulations.
Top Tips For This Year’s Getaway
- Know what you are booking – When booking a holiday, make sure you know whether it is a regulated package holiday or not as this is not always clear. We suggest you specifically ask the question. You should have the holiday company put this in wring BEFORE handing over your money or providing any payment details.
- Do your research – Whether you are booking a package holiday or consciously choose to book another type of holiday, it pays to research. See if other people have used the same company and get their views. Check whether the company has been reviewed on any independent review sites. Is the company is ABTA bonded? If you are in any doubt, see if you can find the same or similar holiday with a reputable and well known tour operator.
Above all else, you should purchase quality holiday travel insurance. Should you sustain an injury abroad it will be vital that you get immediate medical treatment and in some cases, you may need to be transported back to the UK or to another destination. It may also be the case that you are unable to fly and have to remain abroad until you have recovered.
It is important therefore that you have insurance that will cover any of these costs.