I’ve just been injured on holiday, what should I do?
The most important thing to do when you have been injured is to make sure you get your injuries checked over and obtain any necessary medical treatment, whether than be from a First Aider or a local hospital. Whilst it is important to gather information about the accident to assist with any potential claim, your primary concern should always be your welfare.
Once you have sought medical attention it is important to notify your holiday rep and/or the hotel of the incident. They will usually require you to complete an Accident Report Form. Make sure that you provide as much information as possible about the accident in this form as it will be the main record of the accident. If the holiday rep/hotel insist on filling the form in, make sure you read it thoroughly to check the report is accurate before you sign anything – never feel obliged to sign something you don’t agree with, ask for amendments there and then. You should also ask for a copy of the report.
Should I gather any evidence or keep any records?
It is always helpful if you can obtain photographs of the accident location, any subsequent repairs carried out by the package provider/hotel as well as photographs of your injuries.
If there were any witnesses to the accident, try to get their names and addresses so that we can obtain a statement from them. If there is any dispute on liability, witnesses can be the difference between a claim failing or succeeding.
Keep copies of your booking documentation as well as any correspondence you have with either the hotel, package provider or holiday insurance company regarding your accident.
How do I go about making a claim?
Upon your return from holiday, contact us to discuss the matter. We offer free initial appointments so you can always obtain preliminary advice without committing to making a claim.
During our initial consultation we'll gather as much information about your claim as possible in order to work out who is responsible for the accident and the extent of your injuries and losses. We’ll also look at your holiday documents to ascertain whether your holiday would be deemed a package holiday and, if so, who the claim should be submitted against.
How long will my claim take?
There are two main factors that affect the duration of your claim:
1. Whether or not the third party concedes liability
2. The extent of your injuries and how long it will take for you to recover
In a package holiday matter, the third-party gets an initial period of 6 months in which to investigate the matter and return to us with their stance on liability. If liability is admitted swiftly and your injuries are limited to a relatively minor symptoms within a minimal impact on your daily activities, then your claim could be settled within 9-12 months.
Alternatively, if you have suffered more complex injuries and treatment is required it is likely your claim will take longer to conclude as more medical evidence will have to be obtained before we can accurately value your claim and commence settlement negotiations.
How much compensation will I receive?
It is almost impossible to predict exactly how much compensation you will receive for your claim right from the outset. People often think that certain injuries will automatically attract a specific amount of compensation but when you make a claim your pain and suffering, treatment, recovery time and any financial losses are all taken into account. For that reason, we can only provide an accurate valuation of your claim once your medical evidence is finalised, treatment is completed and all your financial losses have been documented and calculated.
Our Compensation Calculator will give you a projected value for a wide variety of injuries and can help you to assess whether or not you wish to pursue a claim. Unfortunately, no compensation calculator can provide you with an accurate valuation of your compensation award simply because solicitors need to know all the detailed aspects of your individual case to be able to accurately assess the compensation due to you.
Do I have to attend a medical examination?
If you've been injured in any way, we strongly recommend that you seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Many people choose to self-medicate particularly if their injuries appear minor in nature, however your injuries could be more serious than they first appear and therefore it is always best to get them checked by a medical professional.
During the course of the claim you will also need to attend an examination with an independent medical expert. This is something we will arrange for you. The medical examination will enable the independent medical expert to create a detailed report which will help us to determine the extent of your injuries and the impact they have had on you. The medical report is crucial to your case as it enables us to accurately value your compensation claim.
What financial losses can I recover?
In addition to your injury compensation, known as general damages, you can also recover any out of pocket expenses caused directly by the accident. These items are collectively referred to as special damages.
The most common financial losses that arise from accidents claims are:
· Treatment Costs (both at your holiday destination and any subsequent treatment in the UK)
· Prescription or Over the Counter Medication Charges
· Damage to Personal Property
· Travel Expenses
· Loss of Enjoyment of Holiday
· Loss of Earnings
Any financial losses claimed have to be supported by documentary evidence such as receipts or invoices. We will help you collate a list of your financial losses and assist you in gathering any evidence needed to support these losses to ensure that you are not out of pocket as a result of your accident.
Is there any risk to me?
If you instruct us, we will act on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning that even if your claim isn’t successful, you won’t have to pay us a penny. Unlike many firms, we don’t take a percentage from your final compensation payment either as our costs are recovered from the at-fault party, so you can be sure that you’ll always recover 100% of your injury compensation.
Nelson Myatt Solicitors