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Balconies Abroad – What are the Risks?

By Principal Lawyer, Personal Injury - Travel Litigation

When you are on a package holiday your tour operator should make sure you stay safe, especially in your accommodation.

One of the problem areas in holiday accommodation are balconies. They have been responsible for multiple deaths and injuries over the past year and incidents are sadly on the increase.

Many accidents are reported by young travellers when drink is involved. This isn’t always the case but last year in Magaluf three young holiday makers died after falling from balconies.

Despite the fact that some Holiday Accident Claims are linked to alcohol or drug use, there are occasions where hotel balconies are simply not fit for their purpose. There have been holiday accident cases where balcony railings were too low, the gaps between bars were too wide or the structure was defective and the floor had given way.

Health and safety standards abroad usually differ to those in place in the UK and, in some instances, hotels do not even comply with their own country’s regulations. The design and height of balconies may vary from country to country. Very few hotels are legally obliged to install fortified or safety glass in their windows and doors.

It is therefore important to be extra cautious whilst holidaying abroad, especially if travelling with children.

We have successfully recovered personal injury compensation for many clients injured whilst using balconies abroad. Accidents involving balconies can involve serious injury with life changing consequences, including brain and spinal injuries, or in some cases fatal accidents.

We are keen to ensure tour operators prioritise balcony safety to ensure holidaymakers are safe from risk.

If you have a balcony at the property you have been allocated, you should make sure that you:

  • inspect your balcony upon arrival
  • always err on the side of caution 
  • drink responsibly 
  • attain comprehensive insurance

And don't:

  • sit or lean over the balcony rail
  • stand on balcony furniture
  • use your balcony as a diving board
  • climb from one balcony to another
  • pass items between balconies
  • leave your children on the balcony unsupervised

If you suffer a balcony accident whilst travelling on a holiday booked through a tour operator, it is likely that you are protected by The Package Travel Regulations 1992.

Your package holiday serves as a contract and means the tour operator is responsible for ensuring the suitability of all facilities and services provided.

The impact of The Package Travel Regulations 1992 is that holidaymakers are entitled to a comprehensive level of consumer protection on all things that feature as part of that holiday, including accommodation which would include defective or dangerous balconies.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK are experts in securing compensation in holiday accident claims. If you would like a free consultation after an injury whilst on holiday you can call us on freephone 0800 916 9046 or from abroad on +44 20 7657 155 or contact us online and we will call you.

Joanne Berry is a Senior Personal Injury Lawyer specialising in Travel Litigation at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers are one of the largest personal injury law firms in the UK, with more than 1,450 staff in 18 offices across London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield, Merseyside, Derby and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.

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