While the majority of Irish holidaymakers enjoy their relaxing time abroad, accidents while on holiday are unfortunately not an uncommon occurrence. Typical incidents which can result in personal injury while abroad are varied and can include:
- Slips or falls at swimming pools
- Road traffic accidents
- Food poisoning caused by unsanitory conditions
- Falling while on an excursion or during an outdoor activity
- Injury caused by defective equipment/unhygienic conditions in the accommodation
Since the introduction of the Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act 1995, Irish holidaymakers who have been injured on a foreign holiday that was organised by an Irish package holiday provider or travel agent are entitled to compensation once they return to Ireland. Tour organisers have a duty of care towards their customers to ensure that the accommodation and activities arranged are both safe and hygienic.
It is important to note that it is the organiser of the package holiday that is liable to the consumer under the act, as opposed to the hotel or local service providers.
Steps to take following an injury while abroad
In the event that you have been injured while on a package holiday abroad, the following list provides an outline of the steps that you should take if you believe that the organisers have been negligent in their care to you and has resulted in a personal injury. Obtaining this information immediately following an injury will be useful should you decide that you want to launch a personal injury claim once back in Ireland and to maximise your chances of receiving appropriate compensation. These steps include:
- Notify the hotel or resort of your accident right away, as well as the tour company that organised the trip.
- Report to the incident to the local police station if you are unable to obtain proper cooperation from the management of your accommodation.
- Collect the information of as many witnesses to the event as possible, including names, addresses, and contact information (phone, email etc.). You may also check to see if there is any CCTV in the area which may have recorded the incident.
- If your injury was caused by any defect in the equipment/furnishings of your accommodation, take photographs from different angles to properly document its faulty state and to show how it caused you injury.
- Keep any and all medical receipts for any treatment you may have paid for while abroad. In addition, request that any medical professional who may have attended to you, where possible, to provide you with a detailed report of how they have treated you and your injury.
- Keep a full record of any additional costs accrued by you or your family as a result of your injury, such as delays to travel, rescheduled flights, or additional nights in your accomodation.
Contacting a solicitor
Once you are back home in Ireland, you should speak with a solicitor who specialises in personal injury claims that is willing to examine the information you have gathered and investigate the merits of your claim against the tour organiser.
As with any personal injury claim, the first step will be submitting the details to the Injuries Board for assessment. Ensuring that the applicable information has been obtained and that the process of submission is in the correct format will help your potential claim for compensation to proceed promptly while avoiding unnecessary delays.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*