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Your guide to hotel accidents

Hotel indoor pool

Finding the right hotel is one of the most important aspects of planning a holiday abroad. Wherever your holiday destination and the range of facilities offered, you expect a standard of cleanliness, safety and hygiene to be properly maintained throughout.

Yet many holiday injuries can often occur in and around the hotel, and frequently, just in the hotel room itself, such as:

  • Slips and falls in the bath or shower.
  • Scalds and burns from incorrect shower settings.

A long-awaited dream holiday can abruptly end in a preventable ‘slip or trip’ nightmare – and leave you with potentially life-changing injuries.

Your UK Package tour operator can be found liable for a breach in regulations, which led to your accident and it is always recommended to seek appropriate legal advice to ensure your case is heard.

Your Legal Friend has 30 years experience and specialist knowledge in all aspects of international personal injury law. We provide you with all the expert guidance you will need to help you help you succeed in making your claim for a hotel accident against a UK tour operator.

Stats & Facts

  • 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)
  • The number of accidents abroad has increased by around 10 per cent in the popular holiday destinations of Spain and Greece.          (British Foreign and Commonwealth Office).
  • 3,793 British tourists were involved in accidents abroad, which required hospital treatment for serious, life threatening injuries between April 2011 and April 2012.           (British Foreign and Commonwealth Office).

Hotel room – typical  accidents

Some of the most serious accidents can occur even before leaving your hotel room, which may leave long-term injuries or disabilities.

  • Slips and falls in the bath or shower.
  • Scalds and burns from incorrect temperature settings on shower units or heated towel rails.
  • Cuts and bruising caused by poorly positioned shelves and cabinets.

Room accidents can also be caused by the neglect or failure by the hotel to maintain, repair or replace items, such as:

  • Sofas or beds – where hidden structural damage causes a mattress to collapse.
  • Poorly installed bathroom fixtures and fittings.
  • Faulty electrics – affecting tableside lamps and shaving sockets.
  • Falls from balconies / windows

A fall through an open window or from an open hotel balcony is one of the most severe and often fatal of all hotel room injuries. It’s also one of the most commonly reported types of holiday accidents abroad.

12 balcony falls were reported at popular holiday destinations in Europe, including Spain and Turkey, in just a three month period. (Foreign Office and ABTA, June 2015).

Falls from balconies or through windows can be caused by:

  • An unsecured balcony or open window without a secure lock.
  • Young children easily squeezing through balconies with low ledges or wide gaps.

Typical accidents in and around a hotel

Wet surfaces

Preventable slips and trips are commonly caused by:

  • Marble or polished floor tiles in hotel receptions, landings and hallways.
  • Spillage or excess liquid left behind by cleaners, other hotel users or from a leak onto the floor surface.
  • A lengthy time delay before a spillage or leak is noticed by hotel staff and a hazard warning sign put into place before the liquid is removed.

Hotel maintenance

Slips and trips and serious injury can be caused by:

Failure by a hotel to regularly maintain areas of the grounds or put risk prevention measures into place.

Common hazards can include:

  • Broken tiles / walking surfaces
  • Exposed cables
  • Poorly-lit stairways
  • Loose support rails
  • Hotel lifts / elevators

It is not uncommon for a lift to arrive at a hotel floor and not be positioned exactly in line with the hotel floor when stopping. Slips and trips occur as holidaymakers stub their toes on the slight protruding floor edge as they enter or exit the lift.

Hotel owners are responsible for making sure that any lifts / elevators installed on the premises are well-maintained and in perfect working order.

Importantly, maintenance staff should quickly address any safety concerns that are reported  or rectify faults during routine checks.

I had an accident at my hotel - what do I do?

As with any accident or injury abroad, it is essential to:

  • Report exactly what has happened.
  • Record as much information about your accident / injury.

Firstly,  alert the hotel manager and ask for the hotel accident book to record your accident.

Secondly, speak to your holiday rep or contact their offices to also let them know.

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

Taking photos of the hotel / resort and area where your accident happened – and recording 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  booking records -  including terms and conditions.

Making notes - about any assistance provided by the hotel and tour operator, including written reports. 

Keeping a diary of your injuries – to ensure that nothing is forgotten or not correctly remembered when recalling events with a medical expert / solicitor.

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.

Making a claim – what you need to know

If you have an accident in your hotel room or on hotel property...

Your holiday organiser will usually be held responsible for your accident.

You will need to prove that they or their representative was negligent if your hotel or accommodation was:

  • Badly maintained or dangerous
  • You were not warned in advance about possible accident risks

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

Under the Package Travel Regulations 1992,  your UK Package tour operator:

Has a responsibility for ensuring that your holiday is provided to a reasonable standard.

Is liable to pay compensation if you or a member of your family suffered and accident because the  hotel resort where you were staying failed to take reasonable care.

Is responsible for making sure its suppliers perform their obligations properly.

If you are on a package holiday and have good reason to believe your UK Package tour operator is liable for a breach in regulations, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation. It is always recommended to seek appropriate legal advice to ensure your case will be heard.

Building your case and making a claim requires the in-depth knowledge of a specialist solicitor.

Your Legal Friend has 30 years experience and knowledge in all aspects of international personal injury law.

We specialise in helping all those who have suffered from a holiday accident, injury or illness while on holiday abroad through no fault of their own and wish to claim compensation against a UK tour operator.

We can help you to claim back any additional expenses you have suffered 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 any holiday activities, which your injury prevents you from participating in. 

Throughout your claim, Your Legal Friend will help you every step of the way.

  • 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

Talk to us today

For an informal, confidential chat with one of our specialist personal injury solicitors... Call us now on 0808 301 7535 (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.