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Your guide to India holiday compensation

The Taj Mahal

About India

As an exotic tourist destination, India is growing in popularity every year. Luxurious hotels, bustling cities, awe-inspiring architecture, sprawling nature reserves and, of course, the great food attract millions of people to this wonderful country each year.

Indian holiday hotspots

Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is one of India’s most-visited destinations. The crowded, chaotic streets are packed with bustling bazaars and a carnival-like atmosphere – but step into one of the many beautiful mosques, or explore the local lakes and parks, and you’ll experience tranquillity.

Indian culture mixes with Portuguese influence in Goa, where sun-kissed beaches meet wildlife sanctuaries and beautiful temples.  Ideal for those who want to add a little more to their holiday than simply soaking up the sun.

Accidents and illnesses in India

India’s tourism industry is growing rapidly each year with tourists from all over the world flocking to experience its diverse charms. But unfortunately, not all holidaymakers visiting India will emerge from their trip with happy memories.

Every year, tourists sufferinjuries or fall ill while they’re on holiday in India. Whether it’s food poisoning from contaminated meals or a trip in a hotel lobby, a holiday makers can be confined to their rooms while they recover, or have to fly home to seek treatment. Some are left out of pocket and facing lengthy recovery times.

Accidents and illnesses come in many forms – these are the most common injuries and illnesses to hit tourists visiting India.

  • Infections, travel bugs, sickness

India is home to the famous ‘Delhi belly’ – a sickness suffered by tourists unaccustomed to bacteria present in local food and water, or passed on by unwashed hands.  It can be debilitating for those who suffer badly with it.

Pool areas in hotels can also be badly contaminated, especially if they’re not cleaned and maintained regularly. Illnesses picked up around hotel pools in India can result in sufferers having to lie low in their hotel rooms until they’ve recovered.

  • Slips and trips

India’s hotels are palatial– but many of them have marble or tiled lobbies and corridors that are a common cause of slips and trips. The elderly and the very young can easily lose their balance on these slippery floors – especially if there is no signage warning of spillages or broken tiles.

  • Road accidents

India’s main cities are among the most densely populated on earth and can be incredibly dangerous. There is a real lack of road safety in India, and tourists who are unaccustomed to these conditions can be at risk even when doing something as simple as crossing the road at a designated point.

  • Excursions, accidents in airports, transfers, coach trips

Most people visiting India take will want to experience the excursions on offer – but with relatively poor health and safety standards, tourists can end up involved in accidents through no fault of their own.

Accidents can happen even before your holiday starts.  You may have been injured boarding or disembarking a plane, had an item fall on you from an overhead locker, or been injured retrieving your luggage from the carousel or during your transfer to your hotel.  As these are all covered by your package holiday, you could have a valid compensation claim.

What you can claim for

Compensation for accidents and illnesses abroad can only be claimed for package holidays, most of which are covered by the Package Travel Regulations 1992. Under Regulation 2(1), 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.

This Regulation states that a package must include the pre-arranged combination of at least two of the following components:

  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Other tourist services that are additional to transport or accommodation, and which account for a significant proportion of the package.  This can include pre-booked excursions.

If you are harmed while using any facilities promoted or controlled by your tour operator as part of your package, you could have grounds to make a claim for compensation.

Your package holiday organiser can be held responsible if you suffered an injury caused by an accident or illness that happened anywhere on hotel property. They can also be held responsible if an accident takes place or your illness is caused either:

  • On a pre-booked excursion bought in the UK, or
  • During a holiday service provided as part of your package bought in the UK.

However, your package holiday organiser is unlikely to be held responsible if:

  • Your accident or illness happened during an excursion booked at the hotel or resort, which was not included in your pre-booked package bought in the UK.
  • An accident happened away from your hotel – unless it was during an excursion you bought in the UK as part of your package.
  • You tripped on a badly maintained pavement in the local town centre.
  • The accident was your fault, i.e. you broke the safety rules
  • Your illness was caused by eating at a local restaurant that was not included as part of your package holiday.

Time limit

The Package Travel Regulations 1992 allow you 3 years to make a claim from the date when the illness or accident occurred.  However if your illness or accident happened on a cruise, this would be governed by the Athens Convention which are a different set of regulations that  only allow 2 years in which to make a claim.

Claiming your compensation

If you’ve had a holiday ruined by an accident that wasn’t your fault, or an illness you’ve picked up as a result of someone else’s negligence, Your Legal Friend could help. We’ll support you in making a compensation claim for the pain and stress caused to you while you were abroad, as well as covering additional travel costs and any future medical treatments that might be required throughout your recovery.

First of all, we need to understand what happened to you and why you believe the accident or illness was not your fault. We’ll take statements from you and any witnesses, obtain incident reports, and search for medical reports to get a better idea of what happened, how you were affected, what treatment you were given, and whether you are still suffering from your injury or illness.

Then we’ll launch a thorough investigation, with the aim of identifying who was at fault for your injury or illness. Once we’ve discovered whose negligence caused this, can then assess how likely your claim is to succeed and how much compensation we can secure for you.

If you then agree to go ahead, we’ll send your claim to whoever is responsible for your injuries or illness. They can either accept the claim and seek to negotiate a settlement with you – this is often the preferred choice of many larger firms looking to protect their reputation – or they can reject the claim in which case we take the case to Court. In this instance, we’ll manage the process of preparing your claim to go to Court and support you every step of the way.

Receiving compensation

If your claim is successful, you’ll be awarded compensation. How much you’ll be awarded depends on various criteria:

  • The severity of the injury or illness. A broken bone or amputation is likely to be classed as far more serious than a muscle strain or stomach bug.
  • How your life has been affected. Some unfortunate holidaymakers experience life-changing injuries or illnesses while abroad – the compensation awarded will reflect this.
  • Whether you’ve been left out of pocket. Medical bills and additional travel expenses can wreak havoc on a family’s finances. This part of the compensation sees that you’re adequately compensated for your losses.
  • Whether you’ll need extra support in the future. If your injury or illness will lead to loss of income, or if you’ll need ongoing treatment and care to deal with the injury, this will be taken into account.

Here’s how Your Legal Friend can help you:

  • No win, no fee - guaranteed
  • 95% success rate in personal injury claims
  • Over £200,000,000 successfully won in the last ten years alone
  • Help and support you with your claim against the travel company or carrier
  • 30 years’ experience in personal injury compensation

Talk to us today

For an informal, confidential chat with one of our expert personal injury solicitors about making a claim, call us now on 0808 274 6166 (call free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.