The annual summer vacation is, unfortunately, not a holiday from the risk of accidents occurring and potential personal injury claims.
Whether on a general holiday, package holiday or on a cruise ship, it’s vital to know where the liability lies when an accident claim has to be made for an unexpected incident, such as with a Tour Operator.
Many holidaymakers are aware of the most common holiday problems caused by sunburn, insect bites, food and water, hygiene and disease.
Travelling abroad can also pose the biggest threat of falling victim to life-threatening accidents and injuries, especially on foreign roads where driving is on the right and road signs may be unfamiliar. Motor vehicle traffic crashes can account for more than 40 per cent of accidents, followed by nearly 10 per cent from falls, 3 per cent in aircraft crashes and 1 per cent from burns and electrical shocks.
Incidents involving balconies, including falls, have also become a growing problem with more than dozen incidents reported in 2012 ( including at least three deaths) up from 2011.
Holidays hotels in some overseas resort regions have received much bad press over the years for health and safety standards contrary to expectation and where simple negligence leads to needless injury and illness. Some of the most common types of holiday injuries occur just in hotel rooms, such as slips and falls in the bath or shower, cuts and bruising from poorly placed or installed shelves and cabinets.
Water sports, such as jet skiing or scuba diving are well known for potential serious injury or even fatality to occur. The death rate among all divers, worldwide, is thought to be 15–20 deaths per 100,000 divers per year. Common causes of injuries include poorly maintained or dangerous equipment, inadequate training, lack of supervision, insufficient or absence of warning / hazard signs. Drowning is also a leading cause of injury in countries where water recreation is a major activity, such as in the Bahamas and Fiji.
According to the World Health Organisation, people aged between 5–44 years account for almost half of leading causes of death, worldwide. Holiday tourists are 10 times more likely to die as the result of an injury, which causes nearly a quarter of deaths compared to the 2 per cent who die from an infectious disease.
All holiday makers and travellers abroad should properly research the area they intend to stay, facilities, related excursions and activities and ensure they are properly covered by all necessary medical protection and statutory insurance.