When it comes to holiday accident compensation the law can become very complicated and it is difficult to summarise the position in brief. However, generally speaking, there are two types of legal recourse available to the injured party.
- Claiming against a UK company if the accident occurred while in premises, engaging in activities or using products which were purchased in the UK.
- Claiming holiday accident compensation through foreign courts in the country in which the accident happened.
Why the distinction in holiday accident compensation?
The legal distinction is to do with both where the contract was formed and the nature of the right which arises from a contract.
A right under Contract Law is generally a right which acts against a person, not against property. Therefore, it is possible to sue someone if they break a contract to sell you their car, but the right is against the individual and so results in an award of damages from that person to you, it does not result in a court order against the contract-breaker to actually sell the car.
What this means in the realm of holiday accident compensation is that if a contract is formed in the UK for, say, a hotel suite in Barbados and that hotel suite is not provided in line with the terms of the contract then the right of the consumer is a personal right against the company. In this sense, English law allows the claim even though the physical subject matter of the contract is outside of the UK jurisdiction.
Claiming for losses
In principle, you will have a right to claim against a company in the UK for any losses which arise from a contract which is formed in the UK regardless of where the losses took place. ‘Losses’ in this sense can include personal injury, but also a wide range of other things such as out-of-pocket expenses and loss of enjoyment if your holiday is spoiled. However, it must be a specific thing which is purchased in the UK. It is not enough to say that you purchased your flights and hotels in the UK if your injury was actually caused by a local restaurant with no affiliation with the company your UK contract was with.
Holiday accident compensation if you do not have a UK contract
Of the two broad headings of ‘rights’ the second is by far the more complicated and difficult. It is not correct to think that you have no legal recourse if you are injured by, say, a local business or private individual while on holiday, but your claim would normally need to be processed in that country’s courts in line with the local legal system.
Holiday accident compensation in those circumstances can still be maintained, and a good UK firm like Accident Advice Helpline will often be able to instruct international lawyers on your behalf. Many people do claim online in this way every year for serious injuries, and in many cases they do not have to travel back to that country or, if they do, the cost of travel and accommodation is recoverable from the other side.
For no obligation advice on the possibility of claiming holiday accident compensation, get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline today.