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Your guide to Spain holiday compensation

Spain holiday compensation

About Spain

Spain has been the number one holiday destination for Brits heading abroad since air travel made foreign holidays accessible. The climate is obviously a huge draw, but the relaxed, laid-back culture, the wonderful food, the incredible architecture and the stunning natural scenery have also made Spain one of the world’s great enduring holiday hotspots.

Spanish holiday hotspots

Barcelona is renowned as Spain’s second city, but it dwarfs the capital, Madrid, in terms of tourism. This city has it all: it’s situated right on the coast, so tourists can enjoy a beach holiday without venturing too far from the city. It has majestic monuments, including the staggering Sagrada Familia, which still remains unfinished, decades after construction began. It’s home to one of the world’s most successful football teams, and above all, it’s incredibly welcoming to tourists from across the globe.

There are other magical cities that make Spain special. Madrid, the capital, and the old capital of Toledo are a huge draw for tourists, while cities like Valencia and Bilbao also have enormous appeal among holidaymakers looking for sun, sea and sand.

While the cities of Spain certainly hold an appeal for tourists, many Brits choose to head Costa Blanca or Costa del Sol in search of some relaxation and sandy beaches. Costa Blanca is one of the most visited places in Europe thanks to its lively towns, stunning white coast and the ability to work on a tan. The traditional villages that lined the coast have become resorts giving tourists access to everything that they need but tucked away along the coast visitors can still find hidden old-towns among the bustling nightlife. 

Costa del Sol has long attracted tourists to its shores and despite the urbanisation of the area you can still find picturesque and traditional Spanish towns along with sandy beaches, bars and all the other tourist activities you would expect.

Down in the south, you’ll find the majestic Andalucian cities of Sevilla and Granada.  With their spectacular Moorish citadels and cathedrals, like the Alhambra, the Alacazar and the Mezquita, they are a cultural delight for tourists.

Accidents and illnesses in Spain

Thanks to its extensive beach resorts, millions of Brits head to Spain every year for a family holiday, a getaway with friends, or a romantic break.

Unfortunately accidents and illnesses caused by negligence can strike at any time, ruining holidays every year and leaving some tourists recovering in foreign hospitals, while others have to cut their Spanish getaway short to return home.

Here are some of the most common types of accident and illness holidaymakers can experience in Spain:

  • Food poisoning, salmonella, travel bugs

Hotel buffets, undercooked food and contaminated food products can all cause food poisoning in Spain, keeping holidaymakers confined to their hotel rooms for large parts of their holiday.

Swimming pools are also a hive of harmful bacteria, especially if they’re not regularly cleaned.

  • Slips and trips

A slip or a trip can be harmless, with the only injury sustained to the victim’s ego. Unfortunately, some trips can be much more serious, causing fractures, bone breakages and more severe muscle injuries that can take many months to heal.

  • Excursions, coach trips, accidents in airports, transfers

Many tourists visiting Spain like to go on coach trips and other excursions to see some of the country’s other attractions. Unfortunately, some of these trips can be run by travel operators with a limited grasp of health and safety regulations. If you experience an accident or fall ill as a result, you could pursue a claim.

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 been affected by an injury or illness through no fault of your own while on holiday in Spain, Your Legal Friend can help you to make a compensation claim and support you throughout the claims process.

The first step 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.