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Accidents and Illnesses Abroad

Where do I start with claiming for holiday compensation?

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An accident or illness abroad can ruin your holiday and lead to great personal costs.
Search for more specific information about accidents and illnesses abroad.

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

Holiday claims guide

A holiday is a big ticket expense. For many people, a holiday is something to save up for, and look forward to, sometimes for over a year or more.

That’s why, if a holiday is ruined or cut short by an accident or illness, it’s more than an inconvenience or bad luck; it can be understandably upsetting.

If the accident or illness was not your fault, this can make the situation even worse. It adds to going through such a traumatic event in a foreign country; which can be particularly stressful, even frightening sometimes.

The financial impact of this can also be significant. If a holiday costs you upwards of £1000, this is a substantial expense. In any other time, a consumer would expect a certain level of quality for a payment as large as that; however, some people are still shy about complaining or reclaiming their money from travel companies after their holidays are ruined.

For those who decide to claim compensation though, our experienced holiday solicitors can handle holiday claims in their entirety, seeking maximum compensation for our clients. 

What should I do next?

If you feel ready to get in touch, you can call us at 0151 550 5228 to begin your claim. In anticipation of your call, it’s a good idea to

  • Gather up all evidence that you have of your claim
  • Write up an outline of events, so you don’t forget anything
  • Write down any key dates or important facts

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the information to hand, our excellent first response team will ask you for any extra information you may need to provide us with when assessing your claim, and are happy to make another telephone appointment with you to give you time to gather any extra information you are asked for.

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Our expert team will call you...

Our holiday illness team have years of experience pursuing claims on behalf of disappointed holidaymakers.

Our Accidents and Illnesses Abroad expert team. We deal with claims arising from Accidents and Illnesses Abroad.

At Your Legal Friend, our experienced holiday sickness solicitors will review your case for holiday illness compensation and take you step by step through the process of pursuing your holiday sickness claim.

If you’d like advice as to whether you might be able to pursue a holiday illness claim, either call our freephone number or submit your details through the form on this page and we’ll be in touch to schedule a phone call at a time that’s convenient for you. If you decide that you’d like to start a claim, one of our lawyers will be able to tell you whether you can enter into a No Win, No Fee agreement*. A ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement means that in the event your claim is unsuccessful, and you have co-operated fully with us throughout, you won’t have to pay any legal costs, so there’s no financial risk to you.

Talk to us today

For an informal, confidential chat with one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors, call us now on 0151 550 5228(calls free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.

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Request a callback that suits you

When would you like us to call?

There are many people injured in accidents each year through no fault of their own and the circumstances will be different in each instance. Our team has extensive experience of successfully managing a wide range of personal injury claims, so we can help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

Alison Saul

Director of Personal Injury

Your questions... answered

What counts as loss of enjoyment on holiday?

Claiming for ‘loss of enjoyment’ is really making a claim for a breach in contract. For all holiday claims, the holiday contract needs to have been breached in order to be successful. Your holiday provider, hotel or cruise ship providers are all required to fulfil the terms of your holiday contract. For example, if your holiday is ruined due to a bad case of food poisoning and this can be provably traced back to poor hygiene practices at your hotel; this could potentially be grounds for a case. In this example, your enjoyment would have been lost due to illness, and the holiday provider would have breached contract by failing to provide a clean and hygienic holiday environment.

Can I make a claim if I didn’t have travel insurance?

Yes. Claiming on your travel insurance and making a claim for a holiday illness or accident can be two different things. It’s important to get travel insurance, as this is what you can use to recoup financial losses due to having to pay for medical care while abroad, or if your belongings are damaged or stolen.

However, making a claim against your holiday provider or hotel is making a claim against their insurance, to recoup the cost of your ruined holiday and sometimes expenses you have had to pay.

To use an analogy, if your car is damaged and it is your own fault or there is no third party at fault, you would claim on your own insurance to have your car fixed. However, if your car was damaged in a collision that was someone else’s fault, you would claim on their insurance to cover the costs of car repair.

Read less

Do I have to accept holiday vouchers as compensation?

Absolutely not. You can choose to accept vouchers from your holiday provider as compensation for a ruined holiday. When making a complaint to your tour operator, this is often what is offered instead of settlement or refund. However, you are not obliged to take this from the tour operator, as you may not wish to use their services again after your holiday experience. If you feel an offer of vouchers is insufficient for your complaint, contacting solicitors such as ourselves can help you to advance your complaint and start the process of claiming your deserved compensation.

How much compensation can you claim for loss of enjoyment on holiday?

Compensation for holiday claims is based on your actual loss, resulting from your holiday provider’s breach of contract. It is difficult to provide exact settlement figures without context. Your loss is subjective, based on your circumstances. An accident that results in a broken bone may result in lost income when you return home, making your claim potentially much greater than if you were to suffer an illness while abroad that caused you to lose a few days of your holiday. Our solicitors will always seek maximum compensation, within the bounds of what is fair and realistic based on your personal situation. 

How long does a holiday claim take?

It is difficult to give an exact time frame for a claim. The complexity of a case determines the amount of time it takes for an outcome. In some cases, ample evidence of the claim is provided at the outset, the company in question chooses not to challenge the claim and offer a fair settlement. However, in some cases, tour operators may challenge the claim, which requires our team to spend longer gathering evidence and negotiating your claim. Recently, more holiday sickness claims have gone to court, although genuine claimants needn’t be put off by this.

Can I make a claim if my travel companion is ill?

While you may be able to claim on your travel insurance if your travel companion is ill and this results in the end of your trip, it may not be possible to make a claim against a holiday company for someone else’s illness. While you can make a case that your companion’s illness, if caused by the negligence of your holiday provider or hotel, caused your holiday to be ruined, it could be potentially a complicated case to prove.

One thing that can happen is that your travel companion gives you permission to make a claim on their behalf as their ‘litigation friend’. This happens when a person may be unable to handle the claim themselves. We walk clients through the paperwork necessary for this process.

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Can we make a group holiday claim?

Yes. When negligence affects more than one person or family, it is possible to make a group claim. In cases of food poisoning for example, a group claim could lend more evidence and weight to a claim, as it is unlikely that one person would be affected by food poisoning in a hotel and no one else would be. We can help you set up a group claim if one of your party gets in touch to explain your situation.

What are the Package Travel Regulations?

You may be prevented from making a claim for an accident, which occurred on a holiday abroad if the package you book does not fall within the meaning of the Package Travel Regulations 1992. 

Under Regulation 2(1) of the Package Travel Regulations 1992, hotel owners and tour operators have a ‘duty of care’ towards the health and safety of you, your family and anyone else in your party.

Regulation 2(1) of the Package Travel Regulations 1992 states that a package provides for the pre-arranged combination of at least two of the following components:

  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Other tourist services not additional to transport or accommodation, and accounts for a significant proportion of the package

The definition also includes a wide range of travel arrangements, including:

  • Traditional package holidays -  as described in brochures.
  • Tailor-made holidays - where you have selected separate components.
  • Packages which are not holidays - such as business/conference travel, educational weekends and school trips.

When accommodation and the flights are separate on a package

Package holidays could also include holidays where the accommodation and the flights are provided by two different suppliers but organised or put together by a separate third party agent.  

A holiday will not necessarily be a package if:

  • It is made quite clear to you that there are two separate contracts.
  • One contract is with the airline
  • The second contract is with the accommodation provider. 

Holidays which may not be packages can be described as:

  • Tailor-made holiday
  • Dynamic packaging
  • Flight plus hotel deal
Read less

What are the statistics on package holidays?

  • 20 per cent of people and 25 per cent of those with a young family planned an “all-inclusive”  holiday in 2015. (ABTA Travel Trends Report, 2015 - Association of British Travel Agents)
  • The number of British holidaymakers travelling abroad has risen by 5 per cent over the last twelve months. (Office Of National Statistics 2014)
  • British holidaymakers travelling abroad have made an estimated 50 million visits in 2014. (Association of British Travel Agents - ABTA, 2014)

Is my holiday tour organiser liable for my accident?

It’s important to know a key difference in liability – depending on exactly where you have an accident or suffer an injury, such as a slip, trip or fall while on holiday abroad.

Your  holiday organiser can also be held responsible when an accident takes place either:

  • On a pre-booked excursion bought in the UK
  • During a holiday service provided as part of your package bought in the UK.
  • If you are harmed whilst using any facilities promoted or controlled by your tour operator as part of your package, you could have grounds to enter a claim for compensation.

Your package holiday organiser is unlikely to be held responsible:

  • If your accident occurred during a sight-seeing trip or event booked at the hotel or resort, which was not included in your pre-booked package bought in the UK.
  • If an accident occurred away from your hotel – unless it was during an additional sight-seeing “component” you bought in the UK as part of your package.

Your holiday organise is also not liable:

  • If you tripped on a badly maintained pavement in the local town centre.
  • If an accident was your fault, i.e. you broke the safety rules.
Read less

How am I protected by booking a package holiday?

A key legal benefit of a booking package holiday, which covers a period of more than 24 hours or includes overnight accommodation – is your entitlement to extensive legal protection on all parts included in your holiday, such as a pre-booked excursion.

The Regulations may allow you to bring a claim against your tour operator in this country as opposed to pursuing a claim in the country where the accident occurred.

What should I do if I have an accident on a package holiday?

As with any accident or injury abroad, it is essential that you report what has happened.

Firstly, speak to your holiday rep/ tour organiser or contact their offices to also let them know.

You must also make a note of the key details by:

  • Taking photos – and record the date and time the photographs were taken
  • Taking details of any witnesses - keep a note of names, addresses and email addresses so you can contact them should you need their help.
  • Keeping all of your booking documents -  such as tickets and receipts.
  • Keeping receipts for any costs incurred -  as a result of the accident i.e. medical fees, taxis, prescriptions. 
  • Arranging a medical examination - with your GP/ local surgery when you return home.
  • Seeking legal advice - on return from your holiday.

How long do I have to make a claim?

It’s always a good idea to start pursuing your claim as soon as possible. Firstly, the events will still be fresh in your mind and medical records easier to access, and secondly, there is a three-year time limit placed on holiday claims. This may be shorter depending upon the type of claim you are making and the country in which it occurred, but three years is the standard you should look to.

The three-year limit is taken from the ‘date of knowledge’, which is when you first learned your illness or injury was not your fault, but the fault of your holiday provider, airline or other holiday service operator. If you try to bring a holiday compensation claim after this three year period, it will be considered ‘statute barred’ or ‘out of time’ as per the Limitation Act of 1980, section 11. If you are within this time limit, we will advise you as best we can, based upon the information you’re able to share with us.

After a free initial phone consultation with an experienced member of our claims team, a travel law solicitor will assess your case. They will look at the consequences of your illness or injury, the expense of treatment both here and abroad, and any potential long-term impact on your health. With your permission, they may also request copies of your medical records to further investigate your claim. If they feel that you are eligible to claim holiday compensation, we will inform you and ask if you’d like to move forward with your claim.

Read less

Can I make a claim on a no win, no fee basis?

We always seek the greatest level of compensation for our clients, and if your case is unsuccessful, we don’t charge you any fees. This is our guarantee for all standard claims for holiday compensation.

With our no win, no fee guarantee, you pay nothing, unless you win your package holiday claim. If you win, you will only pay your insurance premium and the success fee. This will never be more than 25% of the amount you win.

How are compensation amounts calculated?

Claiming damages for a package holiday usually comes under four categories, which in most cases is awarded in a total amount:

  • Loss of value  - the difference between the value of the holiday you paid for and the one you actually received.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses - any reasonable expenses you incurred as a result of the breach of contract.
  • Loss of enjoyment - compensation for the disappointment and distress caused by things going wrong.
  • Personal injury - compensation for any personal injury incurred abroad, which requires specialist legal advice.

Why should I contact Your Legal Friend about my package holiday claim?

  • Specialist team of accidents abroad solicitors
  • A wealth of knowledge and expertise
  • Advice, support and guidance throughout your claim
  • No upfront fees or payments
  • Over 30 years of experience in personal injury compensation

We can help you to claim back any additional expenses you have incurred as a result of your accident, such as:

  • Any medical expenses you had to meet whilst on holiday
  • Time taken off work on your return from holiday
  • Missing out on taking part in any holiday activities because of your injury

Claiming for ‘loss of enjoyment’ is really making a claim for a breach in contract. For all holiday claims, the holiday contract needs to have been breached in order to be successful. Your holiday provider, hotel or cruise ship providers are all required to fulfil the terms of your holiday contract. For example, if your holiday is ruined due to a bad case of food poisoning and this can be provably traced back to poor hygiene practices at your hotel; this could potentially be grounds for a case. In this example, your enjoyment would have been lost due to illness, and the holiday provider would have breached contract by failing to provide a clean and hygienic holiday environment.

Yes. Claiming on your travel insurance and making a claim for a holiday illness or accident can be two different things. It’s important to get travel insurance, as this is what you can use to recoup financial losses due to having to pay for medical care while abroad, or if your belongings are damaged or stolen.

However, making a claim against your holiday provider or hotel is making a claim against their insurance, to recoup the cost of your ruined holiday and sometimes expenses you have had to pay.

To use an analogy, if your car is damaged and it is your own fault or there is no third party at fault, you would claim on your own insurance to have your car fixed. However, if your car was damaged in a collision that was someone else’s fault, you would claim on their insurance to cover the costs of car repair.

Read less

Absolutely not. You can choose to accept vouchers from your holiday provider as compensation for a ruined holiday. When making a complaint to your tour operator, this is often what is offered instead of settlement or refund. However, you are not obliged to take this from the tour operator, as you may not wish to use their services again after your holiday experience. If you feel an offer of vouchers is insufficient for your complaint, contacting solicitors such as ourselves can help you to advance your complaint and start the process of claiming your deserved compensation.

Compensation for holiday claims is based on your actual loss, resulting from your holiday provider’s breach of contract. It is difficult to provide exact settlement figures without context. Your loss is subjective, based on your circumstances. An accident that results in a broken bone may result in lost income when you return home, making your claim potentially much greater than if you were to suffer an illness while abroad that caused you to lose a few days of your holiday. Our solicitors will always seek maximum compensation, within the bounds of what is fair and realistic based on your personal situation. 

It is difficult to give an exact time frame for a claim. The complexity of a case determines the amount of time it takes for an outcome. In some cases, ample evidence of the claim is provided at the outset, the company in question chooses not to challenge the claim and offer a fair settlement. However, in some cases, tour operators may challenge the claim, which requires our team to spend longer gathering evidence and negotiating your claim. Recently, more holiday sickness claims have gone to court, although genuine claimants needn’t be put off by this.

While you may be able to claim on your travel insurance if your travel companion is ill and this results in the end of your trip, it may not be possible to make a claim against a holiday company for someone else’s illness. While you can make a case that your companion’s illness, if caused by the negligence of your holiday provider or hotel, caused your holiday to be ruined, it could be potentially a complicated case to prove.

One thing that can happen is that your travel companion gives you permission to make a claim on their behalf as their ‘litigation friend’. This happens when a person may be unable to handle the claim themselves. We walk clients through the paperwork necessary for this process.

Read less

Yes. When negligence affects more than one person or family, it is possible to make a group claim. In cases of food poisoning for example, a group claim could lend more evidence and weight to a claim, as it is unlikely that one person would be affected by food poisoning in a hotel and no one else would be. We can help you set up a group claim if one of your party gets in touch to explain your situation.

You may be prevented from making a claim for an accident, which occurred on a holiday abroad if the package you book does not fall within the meaning of the Package Travel Regulations 1992. 

Under Regulation 2(1) of the Package Travel Regulations 1992, hotel owners and tour operators have a ‘duty of care’ towards the health and safety of you, your family and anyone else in your party.

Regulation 2(1) of the Package Travel Regulations 1992 states that a package provides for the pre-arranged combination of at least two of the following components:

  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Other tourist services not additional to transport or accommodation, and accounts for a significant proportion of the package

The definition also includes a wide range of travel arrangements, including:

  • Traditional package holidays -  as described in brochures.
  • Tailor-made holidays - where you have selected separate components.
  • Packages which are not holidays - such as business/conference travel, educational weekends and school trips.

When accommodation and the flights are separate on a package

Package holidays could also include holidays where the accommodation and the flights are provided by two different suppliers but organised or put together by a separate third party agent.  

A holiday will not necessarily be a package if:

  • It is made quite clear to you that there are two separate contracts.
  • One contract is with the airline
  • The second contract is with the accommodation provider. 

Holidays which may not be packages can be described as:

  • Tailor-made holiday
  • Dynamic packaging
  • Flight plus hotel deal
Read less
  • 20 per cent of people and 25 per cent of those with a young family planned an “all-inclusive”  holiday in 2015. (ABTA Travel Trends Report, 2015 - Association of British Travel Agents)
  • The number of British holidaymakers travelling abroad has risen by 5 per cent over the last twelve months. (Office Of National Statistics 2014)
  • British holidaymakers travelling abroad have made an estimated 50 million visits in 2014. (Association of British Travel Agents - ABTA, 2014)

It’s important to know a key difference in liability – depending on exactly where you have an accident or suffer an injury, such as a slip, trip or fall while on holiday abroad.

Your  holiday organiser can also be held responsible when an accident takes place either:

  • On a pre-booked excursion bought in the UK
  • During a holiday service provided as part of your package bought in the UK.
  • If you are harmed whilst using any facilities promoted or controlled by your tour operator as part of your package, you could have grounds to enter a claim for compensation.

Your package holiday organiser is unlikely to be held responsible:

  • If your accident occurred during a sight-seeing trip or event booked at the hotel or resort, which was not included in your pre-booked package bought in the UK.
  • If an accident occurred away from your hotel – unless it was during an additional sight-seeing “component” you bought in the UK as part of your package.

Your holiday organise is also not liable:

  • If you tripped on a badly maintained pavement in the local town centre.
  • If an accident was your fault, i.e. you broke the safety rules.
Read less

A key legal benefit of a booking package holiday, which covers a period of more than 24 hours or includes overnight accommodation – is your entitlement to extensive legal protection on all parts included in your holiday, such as a pre-booked excursion.

The Regulations may allow you to bring a claim against your tour operator in this country as opposed to pursuing a claim in the country where the accident occurred.

As with any accident or injury abroad, it is essential that you report what has happened.

Firstly, speak to your holiday rep/ tour organiser or contact their offices to also let them know.

You must also make a note of the key details by:

  • Taking photos – and record the date and time the photographs were taken
  • Taking details of any witnesses - keep a note of names, addresses and email addresses so you can contact them should you need their help.
  • Keeping all of your booking documents -  such as tickets and receipts.
  • Keeping receipts for any costs incurred -  as a result of the accident i.e. medical fees, taxis, prescriptions. 
  • Arranging a medical examination - with your GP/ local surgery when you return home.
  • Seeking legal advice - on return from your holiday.

It’s always a good idea to start pursuing your claim as soon as possible. Firstly, the events will still be fresh in your mind and medical records easier to access, and secondly, there is a three-year time limit placed on holiday claims. This may be shorter depending upon the type of claim you are making and the country in which it occurred, but three years is the standard you should look to.

The three-year limit is taken from the ‘date of knowledge’, which is when you first learned your illness or injury was not your fault, but the fault of your holiday provider, airline or other holiday service operator. If you try to bring a holiday compensation claim after this three year period, it will be considered ‘statute barred’ or ‘out of time’ as per the Limitation Act of 1980, section 11. If you are within this time limit, we will advise you as best we can, based upon the information you’re able to share with us.

After a free initial phone consultation with an experienced member of our claims team, a travel law solicitor will assess your case. They will look at the consequences of your illness or injury, the expense of treatment both here and abroad, and any potential long-term impact on your health. With your permission, they may also request copies of your medical records to further investigate your claim. If they feel that you are eligible to claim holiday compensation, we will inform you and ask if you’d like to move forward with your claim.

Read less

We always seek the greatest level of compensation for our clients, and if your case is unsuccessful, we don’t charge you any fees. This is our guarantee for all standard claims for holiday compensation.

With our no win, no fee guarantee, you pay nothing, unless you win your package holiday claim. If you win, you will only pay your insurance premium and the success fee. This will never be more than 25% of the amount you win.

Claiming damages for a package holiday usually comes under four categories, which in most cases is awarded in a total amount:

  • Loss of value  - the difference between the value of the holiday you paid for and the one you actually received.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses - any reasonable expenses you incurred as a result of the breach of contract.
  • Loss of enjoyment - compensation for the disappointment and distress caused by things going wrong.
  • Personal injury - compensation for any personal injury incurred abroad, which requires specialist legal advice.
  • Specialist team of accidents abroad solicitors
  • A wealth of knowledge and expertise
  • Advice, support and guidance throughout your claim
  • No upfront fees or payments
  • Over 30 years of experience in personal injury compensation

We can help you to claim back any additional expenses you have incurred as a result of your accident, such as:

  • Any medical expenses you had to meet whilst on holiday
  • Time taken off work on your return from holiday
  • Missing out on taking part in any holiday activities because of your injury

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