Can I still claim compensation if I didn’t have travel insurance?
Yes, you can still make a claim for an accident abroad if you did not have travel insurance.
When you book a package holiday through a UK tour operator, your trip is covered by The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992, meaning your holiday is protected by British legislation.
If you do not have an existing travel insurance policy that provides full cover of your legal expenses, we will require you to take out ‘after the event legal expense insurance’ (ATE) to ensure that we can offer you a no-win no-fee service.
Can I still claim if I booked a package holiday through a non-UK tour operator?
Normally we would advise that you need to have booked a package holiday through a UK tour operator to make a claim, but this does not always have to be the case.
The eligibility of a claim can vary from country to country, so the best thing to do if you’re in this situation is contact a member of our holiday claim legal team for expert advice.
Do I need to get any information whilst I’m still on holiday to back up my claim?
You don’t necessarily have to gather any information whilst you’re still on holiday but there are a number of steps you can take to give yourself the best possible chance of making a successful compensation claim. These include:
1. Reporting the incident whilst you are still at the resort. You can either report what has happened to your holiday rep or contact your tour operator’s head office directly via phone or email.
2. Keeping records of the medical treatment you received abroad (if any).
3. Keeping a record of any communication that you have, either with the tour operator or your holiday rep. Be wary of accepting any form of compensation offered to you there and then as this could affect your position when trying to make a claim back in the UK.
4. Taking photographs of anything you think could support your claim.
5. Making a note of the contact details of anyone else you meet anyone in your hotel who has suffered similar symptoms or injuries to you.
6. Keeping receipts for any out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of your injury such as missed excursions or medication purchased.
7. Saving any packets of medication prescribed to you by a doctor or pharmacist abroad.
Can I claim for other people in my family?
You can only claim for family members over the age of 18 they provide us with their own instructions, telling us directly that they’re happy for you to claim on their behalf. Anyone in your family who had an accident on holiday is entitled to make a claim; we normally advise that they do so for themselves rather than appointing another family member.
If a member of your family is over 18 but lacks the mental capacity to manage their own court cases you will have to become their ‘litigation friend’ in order to make a claim for them.
This means that you would be accepting the responsibilities of; doing everything possible to keep them informed about what is happening in the case, finding out their wishes, discussing matters with the solicitor and paying any costs ordered by the court. In the unlikely event that there was a court hearing, you would need to attend in place of your relative.
Can I claim on behalf of a child?
Yes. If the claim is on behalf of a child under the age of 18 an adult will need to be appointed as their ‘litigation friend’.
A litigation friend can be:
- A parent or guardian
- A family member or friend
- A solicitor
- A professional advocate
- Someone who has a lasting or enduring Power of Attorney
A litigation friend will act in the other child’s best interests, do everything possible to keep them informed about what is happening in the case, find out their wishes, discuss matters with the solicitor and pay any costs ordered by the court. If there is a court hearing, the litigation friend will have to attend.
Although adults only have three years to claim for an accident on an all-inclusive package holiday, the time limit for children is different. A child has three years to claim from the day they turn 18 (i.e. up until their 21st birthday), so if you are not happy to act as a litigant person it should still possible for the child to claim later on when they reach adulthood
I already had a pre-existing condition but the accident made it worse, can I still claim?
Yes. It doesn’t matter that you had a pre-existing condition; if the accident has made it worse you can claim for the additional pain and suffering that has occurred, including any other losses.
Can you take over a case from my current solicitors?
Yes. If for whatever reason you are dissatisfied with the service you are receiving from another law firm, we can normally take over your case for you. However this does depend on the exact circumstances around your case and the stage it is currently at in the claims process.
If you are thinking about putting your existing claim in your hands you can always call us on 01625 415 800 for impartial advice as to whether this would be the best option for you. Our advice is free, confidential and you are under no obligation.
Holiday Accident Claims FAQs
Can I claim compensation if I have an accident on holiday?
Yes, in most cases you are able to claim financial compensation for personal injuries sustained from accidents on holiday that weren’t your fault, regardless of the country in which they occurred. Common compensation claims for accidents on holiday include slips and trips around the swimming pool, being injured during organised excursions, injuries caused by poor maintenance of hotel facilities and falling from balconies.
If your holiday accident is found to be the fault of your hotel or tour operator then The Package Holiday Regulations 1992 allow you to make a claim for compensation.
The Regulations state that the injured party may claim compensation if there is evidence that the tour operator has shown a lack of reasonable care and skill in the supply of your holiday, including the standard of accommodation, hotel facilities and transport provided as part of your package holiday. It is important to note that the details of your claim will be considered in relation to the reasonable standards of skill and care expected in the country where the accident occurred – and not in comparison with UK standards.
Depending on the exact circumstances surrounding your accident you can claim against the holiday company under English law, or alternatively against the person responsible under the law of the country where the accident helped.
How much compensation can I claim if I have an accident abroad?
The amount of compensation you can claim for accidents whilst on holiday abroad is calculated in much the same way as other personal injury claims in the UK. That is to say the amount that you claim is settled for will be decided according to the figures set out in the Judicial College guidelines for the assessment of general damages.
The final amount of compensation that you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries, how long your symptoms lasted and how, if at all, the accident has affected/will continue to affect your daily life. As an approximate guide, you can expect to claim between £1,000 and £3,000 for an injury sustained whilst travelling by plane or on-board a ferry or cruise ship.
If you had an accident abroad where you were not on a package holiday, you may have to claim directly against a hotel, business or company and as such your claim amount will be affected by the law of that country rather than the law in England and Wales.
For more information on how much you could expect to claim for an accident abroad please contact one of our specialist Holiday Claim Legal Advisors.
How much compensation can I claim if I’ve had an accident on a plane or boat?
If you have an accident on a plane or a boat on your way to or from holiday, the amount of compensation that you will be able to claim will be calculated in the same way as for other types of personal injury claims.
Your no-win no-fee solicitor will refer to what are called the Judicial College guidelines for the assessment of general damages.
The damages you are entitled to from an accident on a plane will be calculated by reference to the Montreal Convention 1999 and the damages for an accident on a cruise ship will be calculated by reference to the Athens Convention 1974.
How do I know if I’m eligible to make a claim for an accident abroad?
If you’ve suffered from an accident that was the fault of either the hotel or tour operator on a package holiday, you could be entitled to compensation.
You are eligible to make a claim if there is evidence that your accident was caused by a lack of reasonable care and skill in the supply of your holiday. This can include: the standard of the accommodation, hotel facilities and any transport provided.
Much like in the UK, the types of accidents you can have abroad are limitless, but holiday related injuries are often caused by:
- Slips trips or falls around the pool or in the hotel
- Faulty equipment / facilities
- Incidents during an excursion organised by your tour operator
- Falling from a balcony
- Accidents on the road (where transportation was arranged by your tour operator)
- Accidents on a plane (e.g. where something has fallen from the overhead storage and injured you)
- Accidents on a cruise ship
Can I claim compensation for an accident on-board an aircraft, ferry or cruise ship?
Yes. There are two laws which provide protection for people who are injured following an accident whilst travelling on board an aircraft, ferry or cruise ship.
If you have been injured whilst travelling by sea, on a cruise ship or ferry for example, you may be able to make a claim for compensation under The Athens Convention 1974. If you are injured boarding, disembarking or whilst flying on-board an aircraft, you will be able to make a compensation claim under The Montréal Convention 1999.
If you have had an accident whilst travelling by sea or by air then contact one of our specialist no-win no-fee lawyers who will be able to advise you on your right to claim compensation for the injuries you have sustained.
The Claims Process
What happens after I instruct you to claim on my behalf?
Once we’ve received a copy of our signed Terms and Conditions we will contact you by email and telephone to ensure that we have all the information we need to present your claim to the Defendant (the other side).
We will prepare a formal ‘letter of claim’ and send it to you for your approval before sending it to the Defendant.
The other side then has 42 days in which to acknowledge the letter and another period of 6 months to investigate your claim.
They will then provide us with an answer as to whether or not they accept that are liable to pay you compensation. You will be kept informed throughout this process and when we receive their reply, we will guide you through the next steps depending on the response.
What do I have to do during the claims process?
Very little. We’ll let you know the information we’ll need from you at the start of the claim, so all you’ll have to do is attend the relevant medical assessments and rehabilitation sessions that we may set up for you if necessary.
If we need any more details from you as your claim develops, we’ll let you know by telephone or email. It is extremely rare for a claimant to have to appear in court for a holiday accident claim; if your case does go to Court we will represent you so you don’t have to attend.
Will my details be kept confidential at all times?
As a law firm we’re not allowed to disclose any of your details without your permission; it’s a duty of confidentiality and we’re legally bound by it.
You can rest assured that the only people who will have access to your details will be our solicitors and qualified support staff; we’ll never sell any of your personal details to a third party and we will always take the greatest care of any sensitive information you might pass on
Will I have to have a medical?
You will only have to have a medical examination if you are still suffering from ongoing symptoms when you come to us to make a claim.
Do you look into my entire medical history?
In most cases we don’t need to look at your entire medical history but in some circumstances, where a case is particularly serious or complex, we may need to look into it as part of the assessment.
If we do have to look at your entire medial history you can rest assured that this information will be treated sensitively and with complete confidentiality; it will not be used for anything other than helping us to assess the right amount of compensation for your injury.
Will I have to fill out lots of paperwork?
We will need you to fill out a certain amount of paperwork but we do always try to keep this to a minimum and present it to you in a user-friendly format. The paperwork you fill in will help us to be sure that we have all the information we need to recover the maximum compensation you’re entitled to.
If there is anything about these documents that you are unsure about, your solicitor will be on hand to give you all the advice you need for you to fill them out correctly.
Will I have to come to your offices?
It is extremely unusual for a client to have to come to our offices; the overwhelming majority of cases can be carried out by telephone, email and post.
If yours is a particularly serious case however, we may send a solicitor to visit you at your home or in hospital, to discuss things with you in more detail.
What happens if I change my mind about claiming?
You have the right to change your mind about claiming and can do so by contacting us and instructing us to stop working on your case. You have 14 days in which to do this.
However, if you do change your mind about claiming after those 14 days have passed, we will ask you to pay for the work that we have carried out on your behalf.
It’s important to be sure that you want to make a claim before you instruct us to start working on your case.
If at any point you have doubts or concerns about your claim you can contact your dedicated lawyer, who will be able to provide you with all the information and advice you need for peace of mind.
Are there any cancellation fees if I change my mind?
Whilst we won’t charge you a cancellation fee if you change your mind, you will be liable to pay for any work that we have done for you from when you first instructed us to start working on your claim. You have 14 days to change your mind from the day you instruct us to start working on your case; if you do cancel your claim within that period you won’t have to pay any fees.
We won’t start work without your permission, but any work that we do for you from that point will be payable if you change your mind about going through with your claim.
Remember that if your claim is unsuccessful, you don’t pay us a penny, so you have nothing to lose financially by continuing with your claim once the process has begun.
Who We Are
Who are Bott and Co?
Bott and Co is a multi-award-winning personal injury, holiday compensation claims, and flight delay compensation specialist law firm.
We have over 19 years’ experience and a 99% success rate in getting people like you the maximum compensation you deserve, recovering more than £28million in compensation each year. Our friendly, professional and efficient practices mean that 98% of our clients would recommend us to a friend.
Our director David Bott is a Past President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) who leads a staff of passionate Bott and Co legal professionals standing up for the rights of injured people in the UK.
Is Bott and Co a solicitor firm or a claims management company?
Bott and Co are a solicitor firm, not a claims management company. Because we are a law firm we have greater powers to secure the maximum compensation you deserve.
We’re regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), so you can be sure of a high-quality, reliable service at all times.
What’s the difference between a claims management company and a solicitor firm?
A claims management company is effectively a middle man; they can handle the administrative aspects of your claim but if legal action needs to be taken, they do not have the power to take your claim further on their own. If your case requires a court hearing they will have to instruct a solicitor on your behalf.
The difference is that when you come to Bott and Co with your claim, you will only have to deal with one company. When you first get in touch with us you will speak to a member of our friendly Client First Response Team (available 90 hours a week), who will provide you with all the information you need before passing you on to the best legal expert to handle your particular case.
As a law firm with over 14 years’ experience and a 99% success rate, we have the power to take your claim to court without ever having to pass your case on to another firm. We work on a fixed no-win no-fee basis, which means we’ll never charge you more than 25% of the compensation you are awarded, and in the unlikely event that we don’t win, we won’t charge you a penny.
How does Bott and Co get paid?
We win 99% of all of the claims we take on so if we have accepted yours, the odds are very much in your favour. So how much will our services cost you?
When you instruct us to work on your behalf we ask you to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement – a document designed for your peace of mind – stating that when we do win your claim, we will only ever take a fee of 25% of the compensation you are awarded. This is a fixed fee; it won’t increase no matter how much work we have to do for you.
If you are not already insured with before the event insurance or ATE (After the Event Legal Expense Insurance), you will need to purchase this so that you don’t have to pay any legal costs to the other side. Purchasing ATE also means that you are insured in the unlikely event we do not win your claim, so if that happens, you won’t have to pay us a penny.
How can I contact Bott and Co?
We’re open 7 days a week, from 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sundays. A member of our award winning staff will always be available to take your call during those hours. You can also contact us through our website at any time with the options to complete a claim form or request a call back.