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Your guide to Mexico holiday compensation


About Mexico

From steamy jungles and sun-kissed beaches to endless deserts and volcanoes capped with snow, Mexico is about as diverse as a country can be – and certain destinations have become real hotspots for tourists in recent years. From relaxing in the sun in Cancun to exploring the incredible ruins at Chichen Itza, there really is something for everyone in Mexico.

Mexican holiday hotspots

Playa del Carmen is one of the most popular hotspots in Mexico, with most tourist-friendly options and a nightlife culture that is more aligned with European or American travellers. The area features some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and visitors can relax in an array of stunning hotels that overlook the coast.

Cancun has a reputation as a party resort, but there’s plenty here for families, couples and those seeking a bit of peace and quiet. The golden beaches and beautiful climate make it a great choice for those who seek a relaxing sun-soaked holiday, and there’s plenty of entertainment to keep little ones entertained in many of the enormous resorts that dominate the coast.

Mexico City is a colossal urban sprawl, and is one of the few cities in Mexico where the old and new worlds collide effortlessly. The old-style architecture doesn’t seem at odds with the multitude of contemporary restaurants, bars and clubs – and if dining and drinking isn’t your scene, the city also plays host to some of the world’s most amazing museums.

Accidents and Illnesses in Mexico

Mexico has become a popular destination for tourists venturing outside Europe for a relaxing holiday – but what happens when your holiday is turned upside-down by a sudden accident or a debilitating illness?

Unfortunately, this happens to tourists every year while they’re on holiday in Mexico. Whether it’s food poisoning from a contaminated hotel buffet or a road accident on one of Mexico City’s notoriously busy roads, some tourists end up cutting their holiday short or recovering in a foreign hospital instead of soaking up the sun.

Here are some of the most common illnesses and injuries that affect tourists visiting Mexico:

  • Travel bugs, food poisoning and other illnesses

Food poisoning is the most common cause of illness for all tourists heading abroad. In Mexico recently there have been reports of salmonella, E.coli, cryptosporidium and Giardia Lamblia, all illnesses which can cause severe stomach upsets, diarrhoea and nausea.  There have even been reports of holidaymakers vomiting blood due to these infections.

Illnesses contracted from unhygienic swimming pools are also common.

  • Road accidents

The main cities in Mexico are incredibly chaotic. Both motorists and pedestrians can be severely at risk when they venture into the busier areas, purely because of the hectic traffic conditions. Road accidents are common and can be catastrophic for holidaymakers.

  • Excursions, accidents in airports, transfers, coach trips

Many travel operators in Mexico offer coach trips and excursions to some of the more remote attractions – but unfortunately, with poor health and safety standards throughout the country, accidents can occur on these trips.

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 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.