BLOG POST WRITTEN BY GIAMBRONE & PARTNERS
Any accident resulting in injury can have extremely wide consequences; an accident abroad can present even more difficulties. Many people travel abroad on holiday and find that it ends abruptly due to an accident. If your accident was as a result of negligence you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries and also for your ruined holiday.
Once you have received medical assistance, the first step towards the pursuit of compensation for your injuries is to clearly establish the causes of your accident and where the responsibility for the accident lies.
Liability depends on how the holiday was booked; if you booked your flights and hotel yourself and an accident occurs in the hotel, then it’s more than likely the responsibility lies with the hotel for any negligence and will be dealt with under the jurisdiction where the accident took place. Giambrone & Partners has extensive experience in challenging jurisdiction in order to ensure that our clients’ matters are dealt with in the most advantageous jurisdiction.
If you booked through a tour operator, the organisation through which you booked your holiday is liable, you can make a claim under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. Liability arises from the contractual relationship in place. Travelers should always review the package holiday contract and be sure whether the British tour company is merely acting as an agent for the hotel or actually is a package holiday operator as this affects liability if an accident occurs. Also, make sure that your tour is backed up by Association of British Travel Agents (“ABTA”) guarantee.
Giambrone & Partners’ travel and international serious injury lawyers point out that negligence can often arise due to the following examples:
- lack of thorough maintenance
- lack of proper health and safety measures protocols in place
- unsafe equipment, etc.
If you are faced with such unfortunate circumstances it remains essential there is evidence to explain the allegations of negligence. Some practical tips and examples of evidence that could be helpful may include:
- Photographs of all aspects of the incident location
- Photographs of your clothing and footwear, as well as retaining such articles, particularly in the case of falls where it is suggested that you were partly responsible for the fall by wearing unsuitable shoes.
- Obtaining witnesses’ details who were present and who can provide testimony as to what they saw and believe happened.
- A full note (referred to as a contemporaneous record) of your account of what happened regarding the incident.
- Copy of police report and contact details of those attending the incident including medical staff, the police and any other emergency service personnel
- Also details of the hotel/restaurant/bar/nightclub staff involved and their insurance and legal team
- Copy of Apertura/hotel operating licence
- Hotel incident logs and form/s etc.
- Customer report for/rep report form.
- Audit reports and health and safety forms
Be sure to contact your insurers as soon as possible and ensure that their accident investigation team attends, where applicable. Where appropriate inform the British consulate or embassy.
Deborah Sayers commented “building regulations vary considerably across Europe and in order for a claim to succeed breach of contract and negligence must be established and that the risk factor that caused your accident was below the standards commonly found in the country in which you had the accident.” Deborah further stated “in order to prove that the building regulations were breached it will be necessary to provide a Local Standard expert report. An engineer or an architect must be sufficiently experienced and capable of commenting on local standards, rules and regulations, to determine any irregularities or breaches that could be causative. The report will set out the local safety standards that are followed for the region in which the accident occurred.”
There are exceptions: first, where the safety standards are clearly so low that no reasonable guest would choose to stay in the hotel and secondly where the circumstances of the accident “speak for themselves” (res ipsa loquitur).
Giambrone & Partners’ travel and international serious injury lawyers have a well earned reputation for securing significant compensation for its clients and achieving successful outcomes in claims where clients suffered accidents abroad.
Deborah has over 20 years experience in general civil litigation with a particular focus on the hospitality and travel sector. She is ranked in Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as having specialist insight in international personal injury.
Deborah is a highly skilled litigator dealing with a range of maritime issues, including passenger shipping claims, personal injury. She advises on a broad range of disputes relating to insurance policies, agency and principal matters, indemnity policy coverage, and cross-border jurisdictional international claims.
She represents claimants and also tour operators, cruise liners, charities, insurers and travel companies/agents and hoteliers in a variety of fast track, multi-track and catastrophic injury claims. Generally involving the Package Travel Regulations, Athens and Montreal Conventions and also including complex cross-border, private international/jurisdictional issues.
If you would like more information on how Giambrone & Partners can help you following an accident abroad please contact Deborah’s clerk, Sam Groom SG@giambronelaw.com.