Holiday Accident Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

By Stephen Moreau. Last Updated 12th May 2023. In this guide, we’ll provide information and advice on making holiday accident claims. If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident while on holiday, and the accident was caused by another party’s negligence, then you may be entitled to claim for compensation. Here, we’ll explain what steps are involved if you have the evidence to start a holiday accident claim.

Have you had an accident abroad whilst on holiday, when travelling for business, or to visit family? If so, you may wish to find out if you could make a holiday accident claim. Your holiday should be an enjoyable and fun experience. It should not end in being injured or becoming sick and being left with the stresses of dealing with different health services and organising emergency travel back to the UK. If this has happened to you, you may be able to make a personal injury claim for damages from the party responsible for your accident.

A Comprehensive Guide To Holiday Accident Claims

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Holiday accident compensation claim

We have created this guide to holiday accident claims to provide helpful information for those injured or who became sick whilst on holiday through the fault of a service provider such as an airline, hotel, package holiday company, car hire company or other.

Through this guide, we shall look at some of the circumstances in which British tourists and business travellers may be harmed whilst abroad as well as providing information on when and how you could claim compensation, how much you may be owed in our personal injury claims calculator and what time limits you may need to be aware of.

Making successful holiday accident claims revolves around proving the negligence of a service provider caused your injury.

Getting In Touch With Our Accident Claims Team

If you have had an accident abroad and want to check if you are eligible to claim compensation or be connected to a personal injury solicitor from our panel, please call us today. Talk to us today to check what your claim may be worth. Dial 020 3870 4868 or use our online form to request a call back. Alternatively, if you have questions about holiday claims, you can also send your queries using the Live Chat window now on your screen.

Services And Information

Everything You Need To Know About Holiday Accident Claims

A holiday accident can happen for many different reasons – some of which you may be able to receive compensation for. It’s important to note that service providers have a duty of care to you. As with any personal injury claim, this duty of care means that you may be able to claim if you can prove that an accident was caused by them breaching this duty of care.

People often worry that making a holiday accident claim may be more complicated than other types of claim. From the perspective of a claimant, the process should be similar. Having said this, you do need to be aware that depending on the party who caused your accident, your claim may be made in the country where the accident happened – thus being subject to that countries law relating to rights, time limits and settlements.

Later in this guide, we shall look at examples of UK law and international agreements which facilitate compensation claims or which confer rights on travellers and responsibilities on service providers.

What Is A Holiday Accident?

Holiday accident claims deal with many different circumstances, in fact, such claims may deal with many circumstances similar to accidents which happen in the UK. Put simply, a holiday accident is any accident abroad which was caused by the negligence of someone other than the claimant.

An example of a holiday accident could be someone being struck by objects falling from an overhead storage locker on a flight which was not secured by cabin crew, or for unexpected turbulence, or even a hire car accident abroad. Accidents may also happen at your hotel, whilst using leisure or spa facilities, when on an organised excursion booked as part of a package holiday or other accidents relating to your flight. We should also note that people are able to claim compensation if their flight is delayed.

Could I make holiday accident claims for injuries in a hotel accident?

Were you injured in a holiday accident in a hotel? Perhaps you fell from a balcony that was not secured properly, or you suffered an injury in the hotel restaurant due to a slip, trip or fall?

Depending on whether you were on a package holiday or not, you could claim against the hotel itself or the tour operator. However, you must be able to show that negligence occurred. This means someone owed you a duty of care, breached the duty of care owed to you and caused you harm as a result.

Call our team for more information about whether you’re eligible to make a holiday accident claim.

Could holiday accident claims be made for swimming pool accidents?

Have you suffered an injury in a swimming pool accident that wasn’t your fault? Were there broken tiles in the swimming pool, or were the steps broken, for example? If so, and you were injured as a result of someone failing to uphold the duty of care they owed you, you could be eligible to claim.

However, the process of claiming may be different depending on who was negligent. If you’re interested in learning more, why not contact us.

Conventions And International Agreements Governing Holiday Accident Claims

From a hire car accident abroad to a slip or fall accident on a cruise ship, there are many locations and circumstances in which people may be harmed and where they may need to claim compensation.

Depending on where and how you were injured, the cause of your accident and defendant, your solicitor may utilise some of the routes to holidaymaker rights and eligibility to claim compensation.

The Montreal Convention

The 1999 Montreal Convention is an international agreement which establishes that an airline has liability for injuries (including fatal injuries) which have happened to their passengers. It also establishes the airlines’ liability in terms of delay and loss of or damage to your luggage.

Package Holiday Regulations

This is an article of UK legislation which establishes the responsibility of those providing either package holidays or what are called ‘linked travel arrangements’. There are different levels of protection afforded to those who booked their holiday in these two different ways. Examples of such claims may include claims for road accidents abroad involving airport transfers pre-booked at the time of booking your holiday.

Cruise Ship Passenger Rights

There are specific rights conferred on those who travel either on cruise ships or ferries travelling to and from the UK (as well as on international cruises). You can find some examples of these above.

This is not a comprehensive list of ways in which people can make holiday accident claims.

British Traveler Accident Abroad Statistics

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) compiles information about overseas travel and tourism in the UK. The latest statistics, covering April to December 2020, shows that, in 2020, there were 23.8 million visits abroad by UK residents. 

60% of these visits were for holiday purposes. This means that there were 14.2 million holiday visits abroad in 2020. This is a 76% decline from the previous year. 

Of these visits, it’s unclear how many UK residents were injured while abroad and, as such, how many led to successful holiday claims. However, this still shows that millions of people from the UK travel abroad every year and so may look into making holiday accident claims if they’ve been injured on the trip. 

To learn more about claiming for a holiday accident, please contact us for free legal advice using the details above.

What Are The Most Common Accidents Or Injuries On Holiday?

There are types of holidays which may carry more inherent risks than others. For example, a ski or snowboarding holiday, adventure holiday or one involving a lot of sporting activities may carry more risk of injury than a week on the beach. However, even very relaxed holidays could still lead to you being involved in a holiday accident and visiting a doctors surgery or hospital abroad.

Examples of reasons for seeking accident abroad compensation include:

  1. Road accident abroad claims, such as those involving hire car accidents, motorcycle accidents and those involving airport transfer vehicles.
  2. Injuries caused by sporting activities. If you take part in an activity such as skiing, rock climbing or water sports which were booked as a part of your holiday package, you should be provided with adequate supervision, instruction and equipment to stay safe when participating.
  3. Illness caused by a lack of hygiene in your hotel, such as inadequate cleaning of facilities causing you to acquire an illness from a swimming pool or spa.
  4. Other accidents caused by a lack of safety or maintenance at a hotel swimming pool, such as slips trips and falls due to broken tiles.
  5. Food poisoning or allergic reaction caused by food served in a restaurant or your hotel.

When travelling abroad, remember to keep details of either your travel insurance policy or EHIC card (if travelling within the EU) in a safe and accessible place in case you are injured or become sick and have to seek medical care.

Holiday Accident Compensation – How Much You Could Receive

If you’ve suffered an injury in a holiday accident due to negligence, you could potentially be eligible to claim compensation. Successful holiday accidents claims could include both general and special damages. Additionally, there are different holiday accident compensation claiming rules depending on the country in which you are claiming, as well as insurance policies.

Firstly, general damages in holiday accident compensation addresses your pain and suffering. The figures in the table below are from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document provides guideline figures for general damages. Our table provides guidelines from the 16th edition, updated in April 2022. These figures should not be taken as a guarantee as every case is assessed differently.

Injury Severity Notes Amount
Brain Damage Moderately Severe This will lead to the person being seriously disabled, meaning they need constant professional care, and may suffer with cognitive and physical disabilities. £219,070 to £282,010
Brain Damage Moderate (iii) Injuries like this will lead to the person suffering memory and concentration issues, with their ability to work being reduced and a small epilepsy risk. £43,060 to £90,720
Back Injury Severe (i) Severe damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots that causes severe pain and incomplete paraplegia with an impaired bladder. £91,090 to £160,980
Back Injury Moderate (i) Constant pain and discomfort due to a crush/compression fracture of the lumbar vertebrae. It also causes a risk of osteoarthritis. £27,760 to £38,780
Neck Injury Severe (i) The most severe forms of neck injury that result in paraplegia that is incomplete or in permanent spastic quadriparesis. In the region of £148,330
Neck Injury Moderate (ii) Wrenching-type of soft tissue injures that are severe and result in cervical spondylosis and seriously limited movement. £13,740 to £24,990
Injuries Affecting Sight Total Loss of One Eye How much is awarded will depend on the person’s age, the cosmetic effect, and if there are any psychiatric consequences. £54,830 to £65,710
Leg Injury Severe (iv) Moderate Multiple or complicated fractures, or a severe crush injury to one leg. The extent of treatment undertaken will affect how much is awarded. £27,760 to £39,200
Skeletal Injury Multiple Fractures of Facial Bones These will result in some form of facial deformity. £14,900 to £23,950
Shoulder Injury Serious Damage to the lower part of the brachial plexus with a dislocated shoulder that causes neck and shoulder pain. £12,770 to £19,200

Accident On Holiday Claims – Could I Be Owed Special Damages?

When making a claim for compensation for an accident on holiday, your settlement may also include special damages. Any financial losses you have suffered due to your injury could be compensated with special damages.  With certain holiday claims, loss of enjoyment could be factored into a special damages payment. For instance, you could be reimbursed for a holiday where your activities were restricted by your injuries. Other losses that special damages could compensate you for include:

  • Medical costs.
  • A loss of earnings.
  • Travel expenses.
  • Care costs.
  • Home adaptations.

You will need to provide evidence of these losses to claim the back, such as receipts, bank statements or invoices.

Contact our advisors today to see whether you may be eligible for compensation if you have been injured in an accident on holiday. If they believe you could be, they could connect you with an experienced solicitor on our panel who could help you with your claim.

Hire Car And Road Accidents That Could Cause Holiday Accident Claims

If you have been injured on the roads abroad, you may need to make a road accident abroad claim.

Road accidents abroad could happen whilst you are being transported by an airport transfer (booked as part of your trip) or when using a hire car which is found to be faulty. Those driving and operating airport transfers or who are leasing vehicles to holidaymakers have a duty of care to ensure your safety and that the vehicle is safe to operate. If your transfer or vehicle was purchased as part of your package or linked-travel arrangements, you could make a road accident abroad claim.

Discuss your road accident abroad and find out if you’re are eligible to claim by contacting a UK Lawyer today.

Package Holiday Accident Claims

For several years the UK has had strong legislation in place to protect people travelling on a package holiday. These rules may help people to make holiday accident claims in the event of an accident. In 2018 these rules were updated with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. These regulations apply to holidays booked after July 1st 2018.

These regulations cover two types of travel arrangements. These are package holidays and linked travel arrangements. Package holidays have both financial and legal protection, whilst linked-travel arrangements are only financially protected. The financial protection for linked-travel arrangements will only protect travellers in the event of the company organising the sale becoming insolvent. It does not provide any protection in the event that a service provider (an airline for example) collapses or fails.

If you have been harmed due to a failure by your package holiday company or tour operator, contact one of our panel of personal injury lawyers to check your eligibility to claim compensation.

Slip And Fall Accidents Abroad

Slips and falls may happen as commonly whilst you are on holiday as when in the UK. hotels, holiday complexes, swimming pool areas, leisure facilities, ski trips and organised activities may all present different trip or fall hazards which could potentially cause injury if not correctly addressed by the service provider responsible. If the accident was the responsibility of your hotel, airport, airline, or the fault of a company providing an organised trip (booked as part of a package holiday) and if it occurred because of a failure on their part to ensure your safety, then this party may be liable to pay you compensation in the event of a slip, trip or fall causing your injury.

Slips and falls may result in simple sprains and strains or cuts and bruises, or they may result in you fracturing a wrist or ankle, or even sustaining a head injury. However you were injured, if another person was to blame you could have grounds to claim compensation through a law firm.

Claiming On Behalf Of A Family Member Injured Abroad

There may be circumstances in which the injured party is unable to claim on their own behalf. If this is the case, you may be able to act for them and assist them in their compensation claim with a UK Lawyer.

If the holiday accident claim involves an injury to a child or to a person who is determined to lack the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf, then you may act in their place. For example, those under the age of eighteen (18) are not able to bring legal claims in their own name. In such cases, an adult may be appointed as a ‘litigation friend’ and make the claim in their place. The compensation will be held for the claimant until they are 18. If no claim is made before the child turns eighteen they are then able to make the claim on their own behalf, abiding by the standard three-year time limit.

How Much Time Do I Have To Claim For An Accident Abroad?

As addressed above, there are circumstances in which the typical three-year personal injury claims time limit may not apply. Circumstances in which different time limits may apply could include some of the following situations.

Claims made in a different country

If your accident did not happen in the UK and the party responsible is solely based in this country, your claim may be made outside the UK. For example, if an accident took place in Spain and a Spanish party is liable, the claim may be brought in Spain. As such, Spanish time limits and compensation settlement guidelines would apply.

In-flight Injuries

If you are claiming compensation under the Montreal Convention for an in-flight injury you should be aware that there is a shorter two-year personal injury claims time limit which applies.

To check what time limit may apply to your claim, please talk to one of our panel of holiday accident lawyers today.

Claim For An Accident On Holiday – What Evidence Do I Need?

In order to make a valid claim for an accident on holiday, you will need to gather the necessary evidence. Some evidence you might gather to support your holiday accident claim includes:

  • Contact details of any witnesses to your accident
  • Your travel documents
  • Evidence of financial harm or loss, such as payslips if you suffered a loss of earnings
  • Photographs of the accident scene and your injuries
  • Medical evidence, such as a doctor’s notes
  • CCTV footage of yourself during the accident

Once you have gathered the relevant evidence, we recommend hiring a solicitor to help you with your claim. A solicitor will have the requisite knowledge and experience to help you through every step of the holiday accident claims process, including gathering evidence.

For a free eligibility check, get in touch with our advisors today.

Holiday Accident Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you’re aiming to start a holiday accident claim, we recommend getting help from a solicitor who has previous experience with handling this type of case. If you discuss your case with one of our advisors and they determine you have a valid claim, they could connect you with a solicitor on our panel. If they agree to take on your case, they may work with you on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement.

A benefit of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor is that you won’t have to pay any upfront or ongoing legal fees. Also, you don’t have to pay your solicitor for their work if your claim fails.

If you win your case, a success fee is paid to your solicitor. The fee is a legally capped percentage that’s subtracted from the holiday accident compensation awarded to you.

You can contact our advisors if you have any further questions about holiday injury claims. Our friendly team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help you.

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Essential Holiday Accident Claims Resources

In addition to the information discussed in this guide, you may also find the following resources helpful if injured specifically whilst on holiday or in other circumstances.

Compensation Tables for Personal Injury Claims
Find out more about general personal injury claims you could make with a solicitor in this guide.

FCO – Foreign Travel Advice
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides up-to-date travel and safety information for destinations around the world. Check the latest advice before you travel.

Travel Aware Campaign
Information from the government about how to stay safe when travelling abroad, such as advice relating to passports and travel insurance.

Unexpected Turbulence Aviation Passenger Accidents

Other Useful Guides

Thanks for reading our guide to holiday accident claims. Please contact us if you have further questions about holiday claims.