Illness & accidents on holiday


Package Holidays and your rights

If you have suffered injury as a result of illness or accident caused by your package holiday we can help you get the compensation you are entitled to. This is not just compensation for a ruined Holiday although we appreciate the holiday in itself may have cost thousands but also compensation for your personal injuries, medical expenses, extra accommodation costs or extra flights home.

Why instruct us?

We are quite simply one of the most experienced solicitors when it comes to championing the rights of holiday makers who suffer injury or illness whilst on a package holiday abroad. We have a wealth of experience in this area and are second to none.

To attract would-be claimants many of the large so called specialist firms front marketing meetings with presentations from experienced travel litigation solicitors and distribute promotional materials referring to their personal expertise all of which implies that they, personally, will be handling the claim day to day. Suitably impressed, the claimant instructs, only to be disappointed subsequently to discover, as dissatisfied clients, that their case is actually being handled day to day by less qualified “para legal’s” and that as a result their claim suffers by delay or just inexperience.

Unlike these firms your holiday claim will be dealt litigated by an experienced solicitor with over 20 years experience in litigating cases to trial.

What are your rights under a package holiday?

By law any consumer buying a package holiday has certain guaranteed rights against the tour operator and is entitled to claim compensation in the UK courts if those rights are breached. These legal rights are deemed to be incorporated into the contract and essentially make the tour operator liable if the package holiday agreed is not provided or is below legal standards. Many holiday arrangements are not packages covered by the regulations e.g. if you design your own holiday on the internet using a combination of different suppliers for transport and accommodation.

Provided it was a package holiday the tour operator is liable for breaches caused by any subcontractor, agent or supplier in the package (e.g. the hotel or excursion trip operator) and it is not a defence for the tour operator to say that the breach occurred in another country or was caused by a subcontractor etc.

Many things can go wrong on holiday but typically holiday makers tend to bring such claims when they have suffered illnesses or accidents caused by the package holiday e.g. food poisoning as a result of a break-down in food hygiene. If this happens at the beginning of a holiday; affects a wedding abroad; or a large group of holiday makers this can result in a disastrous holiday and the loss of enjoyment of a holiday that may have cost several thousand pounds.

 If this has happened to you then you could claim damages for:

  • Personal injury
  • The cost of the holiday
  • Loss of earnings
  • Cost of medical treatment
  • Additional accommodation or travelling expenses

 What legal standards apply to package holidays?

 These following legal rights are deemed to be incorporated into the contract:

  1. As a consumer, you are protected by the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.Under Regulation 15 of the 1992 Regulations, the tour operator is liable for the proper performance of the package holiday contract and for damage caused as a result of any improper performance thereof irrespective of whether the services were delivered by the tour operator or a subcontractor, agent or supplier.Under Regulations 4 (Descriptive matter relating to packages must not be misleading) (1) No organiser or retailer shall supply to a consumer any descriptive matter concerning a package, the price of a package or any other conditions applying to the contract which contains any misleading information. (2) If an organiser or retailer is in breach of paragraph (1) he shall be liable to compensate the consumer for any loss which the consumer suffers in consequence.Under Regulation 6 (Circumstances in which particulars in brochure are to be binding) the particulars in the brochure shall constitute implied warranties for the purposes of any contract to which the particulars relate.
  2. Under European Union law, Hotels and restaurants are required to comply with European and Domestic Legislation on Food Safety (including EC Regulation 852/2004). Accordingly, the Hotels are required to implement a full and properly compliant Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (“HACCP”) system in respect of food handling and hygiene practices.
  3. The booking conditions also provide express terms
  4. Section 13 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 and Section 14 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 also imply terms into the contract that services should be provided with reasonable skill and care and that goods are of satisfactory quality. This would cover catering services such as in a hotel restaurant and the food served therein.

What is a package holiday?

A package holiday includes at least two of the following:

  • transport
  • accommodation
  • tourist services, such as a tour representative or day trips

The holiday is sold at an inclusive price, meaning you pay for everything all together. It must also cover a period of more than 24 hours or include overnight accommodation.

Many holiday arrangements are not packages covered by the regulations e.g. if you design your own holiday on the internet using a combination of different suppliers for transport and accommodation. If you are booking your holiday through a website check if they are supplying you with a package holiday.

We will be able to advise you about whether your holiday was a ‘Package’ holiday, by looking at copies of your booking documents and invoices.

Even if your holiday was not a “package holiday”, it may still be possible to bring a claim against company that caused your illness or accident.