Accidents abroad whilst on holiday are often as a result of negligence involving their hotel and by extension the tour operator; for example, falling on steps and stairs, falls from balconies, accidents in or around the swimming pool or restaurants and injuries as a result of defective apparatus or hotel furniture are common causes of holiday accidents. It will not come as a surprise there are many factors that define this and it is very important to get accurate legal advice in this respect to ensure that your compensation claim gets off to the right start and nothing impedes or delays your case. Careful scrutiny of all documents relating to your holiday booking will reveal precisely who is responsible and in which jurisdiction you can begin your claim for compensation. There are many variations in procedures, time limits, health and safety standards and other regulatory controls between European countries therefore it is essential to be correctly advised from the very beginning of your claim.
Should you have the misfortune to have an accident when on holiday abroad, ideally you should contact a legal advisor immediately who can advise you as to how to set about collecting good supporting evidence for your eventual claim. All too often the shock and disruption of the accident, regardless of the seriousness of it, means it is when you return home that an injured person is asked questions regarding matters surrounding the accident such as "where there any warning signs on the wet floor?", "did the hotel immediately act to repair the defective steps/lift/apparatus in an attempt to rebuff the suggestion your accident was caused by their negligence?" It is of course understandable that such things may not be top of your list to note but they can be crucial evidence in the pursuit of your claim; but it may make all the difference if you or someone close to you can do the following:
Make a comprehensive photographic record of the accident site; with images from a variety of angles.
- Look out for any instant repair work carried out at the accident site and take photographs of that as well.
- Report the accident to the hotel staff and your tour operator and obtain copies of all the reports that are made by them.
- Ask any witnesses for their names and addresses if they agree to support your case.
- Make sure you have copies of any medical records or accident reports relating to your treatment and discharge.
A little research on the country and the resort to find out what the building standards are. Some countries have entirely different building standards and if there are minimal safety requirements in the construction industry in the country you visit, if for example in the country where your holiday toughened glass for French doors is not a requirement and you fall through such a glass door you will not be able to rely on the fact that French doors should have stronger glass than windows as is the case in a number of European countries as a safety precaution because it will not be enshrined in the building regulations
Nobody wants to go on holiday with the idea that things will go wrong but it would be a very good idea to have a note of the contact details of the Consulate, lawyer, insurers, bank and a person who can act on your behalf, just in case the worst happens.
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.