No one knows when an accident may strike. It’s particularly stressful to have one happen on holiday, specially abroad. If a person gets involved in an accident abroad or suffers from any kind of injury, they may be entitled to pursue legal action. However, this applies solely in case the accident happened as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Common Holiday Accident/Illness Claims include:
- Tripping, slipping and falling on hotel or apartment premises.
- Injuries due to unsafe/hazardous accommodation, such as a holiday apartment, hotel, resort or complex.
- Injuries that take place during an excursion, a day trip or a similar organised activity.
- Being injured in a swimming pool, a sauna or similar amenity.
- Injuries that happen because of defective, faulty or unsafe equipment.
- Being injured in road traffic or a different type of transport accident.
- Suffering from food poisoning caused by poor hygiene in a restaurant.
- Becoming ill due to contaminated water.
- Falling during skiing or snowboarding.
What to do
Here’s what a person needs to do if an accident strikes them while travelling abroad:
- First off, one should report the accident to the resort or hotel manager as soon as possible. Then, they should relay the same message to the tour operator representative. The bottom line is that there needs to be a record of the accident.
- In case of injury, they should seek medical help locally as soon as possible. Afterwards, upon arrival home, they should visit their GP for a thorough medical assessment, too.
- It’s important to gather contact information of witnesses, such as their name, address and contact numbers.
- In addition to that, if it’s possible, they should take photographs or videos of the accident scene as well.
- Finally, right after arriving home, they should seek legal advice.
Rules That Apply to Package Holiday Accidents
According to the Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act, 1995, in Ireland, a person travelling on a package holiday has the right to pursue a claim for compensation against a tour operator, even if the accident took place abroad. According to this Act, there’s an added obligation for package holiday organisers. Therefore, if a third party (a resort or a hotel) is performing a service with negligence, the traveller has the right to pursue a claim for compensation.
A package holiday includes both the transport and the accommodation. However, pursuing an injury claim resulting from an accident that took place on holiday is not as straightforward as it may seem. Therefore, we recommend seeking professional legal advice.
The Injuries Board Assessment
A claim made on an accident that happened during a package holiday that an Irish travel agency provided needs to pass the Injuries Board assessment. Only after passing the assessment may the claim proceed to the court or a settlement.
However, this applies to accidents that happened whilst on a package holiday only. The Injury Board is not in charge of assessing other accidents. What the board will do instead is issue Authorisations. That happens because they have no authority over stopping the statute outside of Ireland. That’s why one must always make sure to hire a solicitor in Ireland immediately after the accident.
Settling the Case
Essentially, in case a person should proceed with a holiday accident claim, they might have the right to pursue a claim for the accident, along with the added expenses they had to incur. These claims are actually “damages”, and there are two different types:
General: These are the non-financial damages, like suffering, pain and emotional damage that were the result of an accident or illness whilst on holiday.
Special: These are damages that include out-of-pocket expenses that happened due to being involved in an accident during a holiday. For instance, this includes loss of earnings (in case you were out of work) and medical expenses, both abroad and in Ireland. Special damages might turn out to be a financial burden to a person who has been involved in an accident abroad.