The liability for a holiday accident that causes injury may not be immediately obvious. There may be several options depending on what actually happened. In the case of road traffic accidents, there may be the option to sue the driver's insurance company. If during a package holiday an accident occurred there may be the option to sue the tour operator if the hotel's lack of adequate safety standards was instrumental in causing the accident. Unsafe handrails, faulty lifts, failure to warn of wet floors are all avoidable risks.
However, you should be aware that in some circumstances local standards apply, for example, if the hotel is constructed to a lower standard than generally found in England, for example, thin glass may have been fitted in glass doors as opposed to shatterproof glass; if the more robust safety measures are not the norm in the country you are visiting the hotel may not be deemed negligent. Also, the tour operator will not be deemed to have failed in their duty of care by booking customers in a hotel that applies the lesser safety standards unless the standards are so poor that a reasonable guest may decline to take a holiday in the hotel and the lower safety standard resulted in the accident.
It is imperative to gather as much evidence as possible following such an accident as it will fall to the injured party to demonstrate either that the hotel has safety standards below those normally applied in the country in which the hotel is located or no reasonable guest would choose to stay in the hotel once they were aware to the low safety standards. However, in some areas there are international standards that are applicable, for example, in the case of food poisoning the international hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) system is generally accepted by the vast majority of hotels and the local standards would be overridden by the international system.
Holidaymakers are advised to make some background checks if they are visiting a country that they suspect may not share the same safety standards that they are accustomed to. The tour operator should be aware of any varying levels of safety standards. Finally, if you are asked to sign a waiver absolving the tour operator of any responsibility in the event of an accident for a particular excursion it should be regarded with extreme caution. Our multi-lingual lawyers are leaders in the field in gaining compensation for injuries received on holiday through no fault of the injured party. We understand how distressing it is to suffer an accident abroad, particularly when you do not speak the language which can be a barrier for the individual when trying to obtain compensation for the accident.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.