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Your guide to Italy holiday compensation

Grand Canal, Venice

About Italy

When you think of Italy, you think of dramatic architecture, slices of delicious pizza, beautiful vineyards, the canals of Venice and the rolling countryside of Tuscany. Italy has long been a favourite of tourists who want to sample the finest pasta and wine, speak to passionate and friendly locals, and enjoy some of the most famous buildings and monuments in the world. 

Italian holiday hotspots

Italy is a holiday destination that can offer something for every tourist, whether they’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday, picturesque scenery from the shore of a lake, plenty of culture and historical sites or bustling cities.

Italy’s capital and most famous city is Rome. This sprawling city has monuments and ancient wonders on every street corner, topped off with the astounding Colosseum, which draws millions of people every single year. Rome has a reputation for being romantic, making it great for couples, but it also makes for a great family holiday, with plenty of opportunities to learn.

Florence is another of Italy’s most famous cities, with a wealth of outstanding Renaissance art and architecture.  With easy access to the surrounding Tuscan countryside, it makes a wonderful base for tourists that want to see more of the region’s rolling hills and beautiful vineyards.

Venice is famously the city of canals. With incredible architecture, a labyrinth of secret passageways and winding streets, and an atmosphere that exudes romance and passion, it’s easy to see why so many couples flock to Venice every year.

The Amalfi Coast is stunningly beautiful, with picturesque towns, coastal mountains and lush forests to explore. It’s a breath-taking location that’s dotted with small beaches and traditional, colourful Italian villages that have attracted visitors for decades to sample the scenery and culture. Highlights of the Amalfi coast include the town of Sorrento, which offers views of Mount Vesuvius, and the ancient Roman ruin of famous Pompeii.

In the north of Italy tourists can visit the Italian Lakes for a romantic and picturesque break that is filled with lakeside villas and spectacular views. There are numerous lakes but among those mostly commonly visited by tourists are Lake Como, Lake Garda, Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore. Whichever part of the Italian Lakes Brits visit they’re guaranteed a relaxing trip.

Accidents and illnesses in Italy

Italy’s tourism industry is as strong as it’s ever been, with millions of holidaymakers wanting to sample the food, soak up the sun and enjoy everything this country has to offer.

Unfortunately, every year some tourists experience a sudden accident or an unforeseen illness that turns their holiday into a nightmare. Instead of experiencing the classical architecture of Rome or the sun-kissed beauty of the Amalfi Coast, they instead find themselves confined to their hotel room, or even recovering in a hospital bed.

Here are the most common illnesses and injuries tourists face when visiting Italy:

  • Travel bugs and sickness

Italy is renowned for its fantastic food, but that doesn’t mean some tourists don’t occasionally suffer from food poisoning or similar illnesses. Hotel buffets are notorious for causing these types of illness as the food is often re-heated and left out for long periods of time, making it a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

Pool areas can also breed bacteria, especially if they’re poorly maintained and unclean.

  • Slips, trips and falls

Slips, trips and falls can happen anywhere in the world – but they’re especially stressful when they happen in the midst of a holiday. A trailing wire within a hotel, a slippery wet floor in a museum or an unsafe balcony can result in serious injuries, and could see victims receive large sums of compensation depending on the severity of the accident.

  • Road accidents

Traffic in Italy’s main cities is notoriously chaotic. In Rome, the roads around many of the city’s biggest tourist attractions can be incredibly dangerous, with reports of some holidaymakers even being knocked down at designated crossings.

  • Excursions, accidents in airports, transfers, coach trips

Most people visiting Italy take advantage of the plentiful coach trips and excursions on offer – but uneven cobbled streets and steep steps on coaches can cause accidents and injuries.

Accidents can also 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 compensation

If you’ve been involved in an accident or fallen ill through no fault of your own while on holiday in Italy, Your Legal Friend can help you to make a claim for holiday compensation, as well as holding whoever is responsible to account.

The first step in the claims process is finding out exactly what happened.  We’ll ask you what happened leading up to your accident or illness, how it was caused, how you were treated afterwards and any other questions that are relevant. We’ll also gather supporting materials, including witness statements and incident reports from all the relevant authorities.

We’ll then investigate who was responsible for causing your pain and suffering, and we’ll review the strength of your case against them.

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.