Claims arising outside the UK, either for personal injury or clinical negligence.
If you suffer an accident whilst on holiday abroad, whether in a vehicle or by way of the collapse of a poolside chair, you may still be able to bring a legal claim in the UK Courts.
You may be assisted by the “Package Holidays” Regulations. This can avoid the difficulties associated with bringing a claim in a foreign country. These Regulations allow an injured victim to bring a claim against the Tour Operator in his or her own country.
Even where the holiday was purchased by parents, a company or club or won as a prize, each holiday maker still has direct rights to seek compensation.
A Tour Operator may have to warn the Consumer of any known dangers he or she is likely to face in the resort in question, eg even extreme weather conditions in certain seasons.
The holiday brochure will be important – both the description of the facilities and the “small print” of the Terms and Conditions of the Contract. Brochures usually state that local Health and Safety Standards apply and these may be lower than UK Standards. Then again the Balearic Islands Swimming Pools decree 53.1995 requires the complete absence of micro organisms from swimming pool water. Difficult to achieve at the best of times!
However, not every failure can be attributed to the Tour Operator. A robbery or assault at a Hotel by determined criminals may be unavoidable unless the beach front Hotel were turned into a compound!
Nevertheless, Thomson Holidays were brought to account when a flight delay of 23 hours through Air Traffic Control problems necessitated a freezing night for a holiday maker on a “Gold” Package.
If applicable try and obtain copies of the In Resort Complaint Forms as well as names of other holiday makers and photographs.
Whatever, the circumstances, from the most serious eg a fatal coach accident to a slip on a cruise ship, seek legal advice as soon as practicable because of the many pitfalls which may apply and the stringent foreign time limits in which to bring a claim.