Can you claim if you had an accident on a package holiday?

Holiday pool area

More Scots are flocking abroad for their holidays again with package holidays remaining a popular holiday choice amongst travellers.

Although few people like to contemplate the possibility of an accident abroad, the unfortunate reality is that every year many Scottish holidaymakers are involved in accidents abroad with the Foreign Office revealing that 10 Brits per day have an accident abroad.

Accident on holiday abroad

Accidents can happen on the road, in hotels and swimming pools. An outbreak of food poisoning can turn a holiday into an ordeal.

However, you may be entitled to compensation for your ordeal and any injuries sustained as the result of negligence of others.

If your holiday was a package deal, you may be able to bring a compensation claim against the holiday company in the Scottish courts.

For example, if you were injured while taking part in an excursion or activity off the hotel premises, it may be possible to bring a claim against the holiday company in this country provided that the excursion or activity was pre-booked with the holiday.

What do you need to do to make a claim against a holiday company?

You will need to demonstrate that the accident was caused by the fault of the holiday company or of someone acting on their behalf such as a member of hotel staff or a coach driver.

Although the claim can be brought to Scottish courts, when it comes to deciding whether someone was at fault, the standards prevailing in the country where the accident occurred will apply.

Local standards can be lower, sometimes much lower, than in the UK and that may make it difficult to recover compensation.

Some practical points: it can be harder to obtain evidence about an accident which happens abroad, so it is helpful if you are able to record evidence at the scene.

• Take photograph or video evidence of the accident and your injuries
• Make sure you report the accident as soon as possible to your travel rep, and ask him or her for a copy of the accident report 
• Take contact details of any witnesses to the accident, as this will be difficult once you are back home
• Make sure you obtain medical treatment promptly, and ask for a copy of the medical records, even if it’s in a foreign language.

Case in point: Compensation from holiday provider in Scotland for accident abroad

We had a client who sustained a head injury whilst on holiday in Lanzarote. She was heading to the buffet in the hotel restaurant when she slipped on cooking oil that had spilled on the marble floor.

She was able to raise a compensation claim against the holiday provider in Scotland and receive a successful outcome, and avoid dealing with legal systems abroad entirely.

Will Brexit impact on my rights to compensation in the UK from a package holiday?

Unlike some types of accidents abroad, Brexit will not automatically affect your right to claim damages in the UK for this type of accident.

While the protections contained in the “Package Tour and Linked Arrangement Regulations 2018” originate from an EU Directive, they are now enshrined in UK law and it would need an Act of Parliament to remove them.

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