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Your guide to Lapland holiday compensation

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About Lapland

Home to just 3% of Finland’s population, Lapland has become a tourist destination in its own right, with families flocking from all over the world to enjoy an authentic Christmas experience.

Lapland holiday hotspots

Saariselka is a great base for a holiday in Lapland. There’s plenty to enjoy here, from embarking on a husky safari on a dog-sled, to going ice fishing with an authentic tour guide.

Apart from being home to Father Christmas himself, Lapland’s most famous winter highlight is undoubtedly the snow castle, Lumilinna. The castle was first constructed in 1996 as a Unicef project, but it’s blossomed into a tourist destination in its own right. The design of the ice hotel, bar, restaurant and chapel changes every year, so tourists visiting for their fifth or sixth time will still find something new to enjoy.

Of course, visiting northern Scandinavia in winter offers the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. Many people visit Lapland specifically to see this natural light show, and there are a varietyof tours and guided excursions to help tourists make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Accidents and illnesses in Lapland

Lapland is a unique and interesting holiday destinations both for families on a pre-Christmas surprise for their little ones, or for while couples and groups of friends wanting to experience the country’s natural beauty.

Unfortunately for some holiday makers, an illness or accident could blight their trip and leave them facing enormous bills when they return home to the UK.

Here are some of the main accidents, illnesses and injuries that tourists might face when they visit Lapland:

  • Food poisoning and travel bugs

Food poisoning and other stomach bugs are among the most common types of illness experienced by tourists abroad – even in Lapland. Hotel buffets can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can cause sickness and diarrhoea, while unclean swimming pools can also cause illnesses. Tourists can be left confined to their hotel room or hospital bed while they recover, instead of enjoying everything that Lapland has to offer.

  • Trips, slips and falls

All it takes is a small trip in a hotel lobby or a fall in a local museum to do some serious damage. These incidents can be minor, resulting in nothing more than a bruised ego – but they can also cause broken bones, fractures, serious muscles strains and other impact injuries. Tourists may have to end their holiday early to return home for treatment and they may even end up out of work due to a lengthy recovery time.

  • Snowmobile and winter sports accidents

Snowmobiles are a popular way of getting around in Lapland, and there’s plenty of scope for winter sports for those who like a real adrenaline rush. But incorrect instructions from a supervisor, a piece of faulty equipment or an erroneous safety briefing can all lead to catastrophic injuries.

  • Accidents in airports and transfers

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.