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Your guide to Turkey holiday compensation


About Turkey

Known as the ‘Gateway to the East’, because of its position straddling both Europe and Asia, Turkey’s unique location makes it a dazzling melting pot of cultures and history that bewitches millions of tourists every year. Whether you’re seeking a five-star luxury retreat or a budget self-catering trip for all the family, Turkey’s  climate, hospitality, food and stunning scenery make it a prime holiday destination.

Turkish holiday hotspots

Where else would you start your trip but Istanbul? Formerly known as Constantinople, it’s a fantastic location for a city break, with everything from designer shopping to island-hopping boat trips. Nowhere is more indicative of Turkey’s eclectic mesh of cultures than Istanbul.

Bodrum is the holidaymaker’s paradise – with a sophisticated nightlife scene, an array of whitewashed houses and a fantastic medieval castle overlooking it all, it’s easy to see why many families hit this resort town to relax and rejuvenate.

Marmaris is Turkey’s party capital. The strip is home to countless bars, restaurants and clubs, and holidaymakers can head to the beach for adrenaline-filled water sports, including banana boating and paragliding. For those seeking something a little more cultural, there’s a castle and a museum in the local vicinity.

The Dalaman region is home to Olu Deniz, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and a lagoon that’s famous across the world. Set sail on a traditional Turkish boat, enjoy Turkish coffee in the local market and sample the local cuisine in one of the many restaurants nearby.

Accidents and illnesses in Turkey

Turkey has something for everyone, whether you’re heading for a family holiday or a relaxing couple’s break.  But unfortunately, every year tourists experience accidents and illness in Turkey that ruin their trip and can leave them out of pocket. In some serious circumstances, they can suffer long-term effects, including disabilities or chronic illnesses.

Here are some of the most common illnesses and injuries that affect tourists to Turkey:

  • Food poisoning and travel bugs

Food poisoning is by far the most common illness for personal injury claims. Unhygienic food handling practices, an abundance of flies or other insects, and leaving buffet food out for too long in warm temperatures can all cause food poisoning, which can ruin an entire family’s holiday and leave them feeling like their money has been wasted.

Some tourists also contract travel bugs from drinking local water or using contaminated swimming pools.

  • Road accidents

If you’re staying in the busy city of Istanbul, or simply visiting the metropolitan centre for a day or two, you could be at risk of being involved in a road accident. The roads in the bigger towns and cities are chaotic, and can present an enormous risk for those more accustomed to the orderly roads of the UK.

  • Trips and slips

Trips and slips are also a common cause of injury in Turkey. All it takes is an unmarked patch of wet flooring, a poorly maintained poolside area, a trailing wire or an unsafe balcony, and a serious accident could occur. Some holidaymakers experiencing these kinds of accidents have suffered broken bones and severe muscle strains as a result.

  • Excursions, accidents in airports, transfers, coach trips

Most people visiting Turkey take advantage of the plentiful coach trips and 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.

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.