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Your guide to Sri Lanka holiday compensation

Sri Lanka

About Sri Lanka

Tourists visit Sri Lanka not only for its wonderful climate, superb scenery and luxury spas but also for its cultural heritage including majestic holy temples and UNESCO-protected sites that dazzle even the most travel-worn holidaymakers. From the tea plantations up in the hills to the awe-inspiring sunsets, Sri Lanka is a slice of paradise.

Sri Lankan holiday hotspots

Many visitors to Sri Lanka head straight for the capital, Colombo. Situated on the west coast of the island, this sprawling city is home to plenty of upmarket hotels, restaurants and bars – and there’s a clutch of museums and markets for those who want to experience the real Sri Lanka.

Head inland to the very centre of the island and you’ll find Kandy – the cultural capital, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you’ll find a dramatic Buddhist temple, which is said to be home to one of Buddha’s teeth!

Sri Lanka’s second UNESCO World Heritage Site lies in Polonnaruwa, home to many ancient ruins and well worth a visit for tourists looking to explore Sri Lanka’s heritage. The island’s third UNESCO-protected site is Sigirya where tourists can climb hundreds of feet up to the ancient rock fortress which offers spectacular views for miles around.

Accidents and illnesses in Sri Lanka

Whether you head to Sri Lanka to learn about its intriguing history, or simply to soak up the sun in a beautiful resort, you’re sure to find many reasons to fall in love with this island.

Unfortunately though, some tourists fall ill or have an accident during their time on the island. This can bring an abrupt end to their holiday, forcing them to recover in a foreign hospital or even fly home to seek treatment.

Here are some of the most common illnesses and injuries tourists might face when visiting Sri Lanka.

  • Travel bugs: salmonella, food poisoning, typhoid, etc

Tourists can contract a variety of illnesses and bacterial infections including salmonella, E.coli, dysentery, campylobacter, giardiasis and cryptosporidium. These are all serious conditions that can be picked up as a result of eating undercooked or contaminated food. Food that’s been re-heated or left to stand (such as on hotel buffets) can also be dangerous for tourists to eat.

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

  • Trips, slips and falls

All it takes is a trailing wire in a hotel, a slippery floor inside a museum or an unsafe balcony, and a serious accident could occur. Most holidaymakers experiencing trips or slips come away with only their ego slightly bruised, but in more serious cases, these accidents can cause broken bones and severe muscle strains.

  • Road accidents

Sri Lanka’s inner-city roads can be chaotic, and for the uninitiated, it can seem like an accident is just around the corner.

  • Excursions, accidents in airports, transfers, coach trips

Many people visiting Sri Lanka take advantage of 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.

  • Excursions, accidents in airports, transfers, coach trips

Many tourists visiting Portugal 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 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.