Life In The Sun

It's great isn't it? The Lions beat the Wallabies, Andy Murray wins Wimbledon and we are all looking forward to the school holidays and jetting off to the sun for a well deserved summer break.

Just imagine it - sun, sea, sand, pools, drinks, exciting activities, excursions. What could be better?

Now I'm sorry to do this but I'm a lawyer, and lawyers are sometimes accused of being a little cautious. Some of us even carry umbrellas in a heat wave … just in case. So, looking on the cautious side, what happens if you are injured in an accident whilst on holiday?

This is not as rare as you may think. You could be hurt in a road crash, a trip or slip in the street, cut yourself in a hotel pool, get food poisoning from your hotel restaurant, be injured on a cruise liner or a boat trip or a host of other situations. Most injuries will not be serious and you will not want to take things any further. But what if you suffer a more serious injury? What can you do about it?

Fortunately you may be able to make a claim for compensation if the accident was someone else's fault. If you are injured whilst on holiday in the UK and if the accident was someone else's fault then you would be able to make a claim for compensation in the normal way. But things are more complicated if you are injured abroad? 

As a general rule, if you booked a package holiday you may be able to bring a claim in the UK against the tour operator. The tour operator will usually be responsible for all the services provided to a holidaymaker as part of the package including hotel accommodation, air travel, cruises, coach or car transfers. The tour operator cannot escape liability by simply blaming the hotel or a driver - they are responsible. Holiday excursions are a little trickier as often the holiday company outsource or sub contract them so be careful to check who is responsible before you book them.

Even if you are injured abroad and you were not travelling on a package holiday you may still be able to claim for what happened.

So if you are unfortunate enough to be injured whilst on holiday don't despair.

But one very important thing you can do to help yourself is to carefully check your holiday insurance cover. One survey revealed that lots of us risk being left with no insurance cover for medical care when we go on holiday. And medical care abroad can be horrendously expensive! Many of the activities we take part in on our holidays are classed by insurance companies as "dangerous” and unless we buy extra insurance cover for taking part in them our medical care cover could be void!

Things like banana boat rides, go-karting, para gliding, wind surfing, quad bike riding, jet skiing etc - all the fun stuff we get up to on our holidays - will be classed as dangerous and must be insured as an extra, over and above the normal medical care cover we take out. Some insurance companies will even class paint balling and moped hire as dangerous! Take it from me, if the insurance company can find a way to avoid paying you, they will!

We all know how expensive medical and repatriation costs can be and we all need to make sure that we have insurance in place if we are unfortunate to be injured. So the moral of this little article is to check your insurance policy very carefully and take out additional cover if required. Don't take risks! It's not worth it.

So enjoy your holidays….you deserve them.