Guide to holiday claims if necessary
Taking a holiday can provide exciting experiences, a relaxing break or just time to catch up with friends and family. Holiday memories will often stay with you forever, though it is important that they are remembered for all the right reasons! Having an accident or suffering from an illness at any time can be distressing, though whilst on holiday this can be particularly problematic.
Knowing if you are entitled to holiday compensation, and the steps to take to pursue a holiday claim, therefore, are essential. Anyone thinking of jetting off should familiarise themselves with these processes, so that in the event of an accident or illness, you are able to manage the situation effectively.
The majority of holidaymakers will take out travel insurance prior to departure, and although this may cover the cost of initial treatment if you have an accident or fall ill, it may be of little further aid. A serious accident or illness will often mean that further treatment is necessary upon your return to the UK, which may continue over a long period. Being out of work as a result of an accident or illness will also often result in loss of earnings. Claiming compensation then can be of huge help, contributing towards medical costs and easing the financial burden of lost income.
If you are injured in an incident which wasn’t your fault, it may well be worth seeking compensation. Even common illnesses such as food poisoning often occur because of poor hygiene standards and practices in restaurants and hotels. Other common incidents include road accidents, skiing or sports injuries, slips and trips and accidents resulting from hotel or cruise ship conditions.
It is important to contact a legal firm as soon as possible after the incident has occurred. A professional team should initially offer free advice, and will be able to tell you whether you are entitled to compensation. Following an initial consultation you can decide whether to pursue your claim. Most firms work on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, which means that if the claim is unsuccessful you will not be liable for any costs. Although there are some exceptions this is applicable to most cases, including those involving accident or injury whilst on holiday.
To make a successful claim you will need to be able to prove that you sustained an injury or illness as a result of something another person (or persons) did or didn’t do. There are a number of questions you can ask yourself, in order to determine the validity of a claim: did a person or company have legal responsibility for your welfare? Did they then fail to meet these responsibilities, and finally, were you injured as a result?
Evidence is very important in order to make a successful claim, and a legal firm should be able to advise and assist you on gathering this. Evidence may include medical, training and employment records, witness statements, photographs or videos, receipts and police statements. Try to gather as much documentation following the incident as possible, and always remember to make copies.
The amount of compensation received will depend on the severity of your illness or injury as well as the financial impact you have suffered. The process will begin by your chosen legal firm investigating the case fully and putting this to the other party or parties at fault. Not all cases go to court, and often payments are settled outside of court.
Holidays should be memorable for all the right reasons, though, if anything does go wrong it is important to know where to turn.