What to Do if an Accident or Illness Ruins Your Trip

Holidays and vacations can cost a lot of money. Furthermore, few of us get to take that much time off work, so nothing is worse than having our well-earned holiday ruined by an accident or illness. The thing about falling ill or suffering an accident when you away, is that it is just as likely to happen if you go on a five-star trip as it is on a budget backpacking tour. For instance, there have been recent cases of hundreds of passengers on a single expensive cruise liner falling ill, which turned their dream holiday into a nightmare.

suitcase - Flickr CC hollylay

Thankfully, you don’t have to suffer in silence. If you are injured due to an accident that wasn’t your fault, or you fall ill because of somebody else’s actions, such as contracting food poisoning, you can not only get back the money you paid out for your holiday, but also claim compensation for any pain, suffering and inconvenience.

Liability

In order to claim compensation for any accident or illness, you first have to establish who is liable, which is not always easy. If you have booked your trip through a tour operator, quite often you can hold this travel company liable. For instance, if you fall sick with food poisoning after eating in the hotel restaurant, you can hold your tour operator liable because you booked the accommodation through them. However, if you fall sick after eating at a restaurant outside of the hotel, you can’t.

Furthermore, if you have an accident on the hotel grounds due to a poorly maintained pavement or staircase then you may be able to claim against the travel company, but not if you are injured on a public pavement. You may also be able to make a claim if you have an accident when on an excursion arranged by the travel company or when on a flight or cruise booked through them.
If you haven’t booked through a travel company, or you are injured in a location where they are not liable, things become more complicated. You may be able to claim damages against the person responsible for whatever it was that caused your accident or illness, which may be the local authority that maintains the pavement or the restaurant owner where you ate.

Making a claim

The best way to make a claim for compensation and damages is to seek the help of a personal injury solicitor when you get home who specialises in cases abroad. Your solicitor can advise you as to whether you have a case and usually you can make a claim under a no win, no fee agreement, so it won’t cost you anything. However, it is best to gather as much information when away to help with any claim for damages.

Firstly, ensure you keep all receipts of any costs, including medical bills. Secondly, ask for a copy of your medical report from the doctor that treated you for your injury or illness when you were away. Finally, if you have had an accident, try to get the names and addresses of any witnesses who can verify your story.

It may also be the case that you’ve suffered a personal injury while receiving medical treatment, possibly as a result of negligence in a hospital. While these types of cases might seem difficult to pursue, it is worthwhile to contact an injury lawyer to find out if you could claim compensation.

Claims for personal injury and illness come in two parts. There are the damages for any financial losses incurred as a direct result of the injury or illness; these range from medical costs and travel expenses to get you to and from hospital, to loss of earnings when you get home. In addition, you can receive compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the injury, which will also take into consideration the cost of your holiday.

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