Who can claim hotel accident compensation?
If you’ve had an accident at a hotel due to someone else’s negligence, even if they were only partly to blame, you may be able to make a compensation claim. You could be eligible to make a claim if you were a guest staying in the hotel on holiday or on business, or if you were a visitor to the hotel, for example attending a conference.
What can cause these accidents?
Examples of hotel accidents you may be able to claim for include:
- Slips and trips, for example due to wet flooring, uneven flooring or worn carpeting within the hotel premises
- Swimming pool accidents, such as slipping over at the poolside or drowning
- Falls from balconies
- Injuries as a result of defective hotel furniture or apparatus, such as a broken sun lounger collapsing unexpectedly with a guest on it
What is a typical example of a package hotel claim?
To help determine if you're eligible to take legal action, here's a typical example of a hotel accident claim:
A tourist has purchased a holiday consisting of flight tickets, transfers (between the airport and the hotel) and accommodation at the hotel.
While at the hotel, the tourist slips on a wet floor at the reception area, where the hotel staff had failed to put in place any, or any adequate, warnings so that guests and visitors were aware the floor was wet.
The tourist suffers an injury which requires medical attention. They suffer significant pain and have to take medication for the duration of their holiday.
In such a case we would pursue a claim against the tour operator that sold the holiday on the basis that they had failed to satisfy their duty to ensure the safety of their guests.
It's important to bear in mind that hotels are expected to comply with the health and safety standards that are in force in their country or region, and that there's no requirement for them to meet UK health and safety standards, even if the holiday was booked here.
In our example therefore, we'd need to show that, according to the health and safety standards of the country in which the accident occurred, wet floor signs should have been erected and, had they been, the accident could've been avoided.
What should I do if I’ve had an accident at my hotel?
If you decide to claim compensation for your injuries, there are a number of steps you should take that could help support your case. Many of these can be done at the scene of the accident. Firstly, if possible, you should take photographs of the accident location from various angles. Check if any repair work is being carried out where the incident took place and, if it is, take photos of this too. You may even want to take video footage.
If anyone else witnessed the accident, make a note of their names and addresses, and check if they’d be happy to help with your case. It’s also important that you tell your tour operator representative and the hotel staff about the accident, making sure you ask for a copy of the report made. Also, make a note of the time and date the incident took place.
In addition, you should request copies of your medical records for any treatment you receive. If you’re treated at a hospital or clinic, make sure you ask for a copy of your notes and discharge summary.
How do I make a claim?
If you’ve been injured within a hotel and you want to make a claim, call our specialist team at Slater and Gordon for advice. Firstly, we’ll look at whether you booked a package holiday. If you did, then you may be able to make a claim against the tour operator or travel agent that sold you the holiday under the Package Travel, Package Tours and Package Holidays Regulations 1992.
We’ll be able to advise you if you’ve booked a package by reviewing your holiday documentation. We’ll look for elements of the holiday that have been booked together as part of a pre-arranged combination and advertised as one, all-inclusive price. This can include elements such as:
- other tourist services
Be aware that strict time limits apply when making personal injury claims in all countries. Time limits vary depending on a number of circumstances.
If your claim is pursued against an English tour operator, you'll usually have three years from the date of the accident, but if your holiday was not a package, you may have less time - in some cases only months.
Don’t put it off; consult with one of our expert lawyers immediately. They'll provide you with advice and put your mind at rest.
What happens if I didn’t book a package holiday?
With online booking services being so widely available, more and more frequently, tourists find it cheaper or preferable to book the separate elements of their holiday with different providers. In some cases, the tourist will not necessarily realise that they’re buying separate elements because “deals” are sold that’ve been put together by travel agents but that don’t necessarily satisfy the legal definition of a “package”.
If your holiday isn’t a package, you may still be able to pursue a claim against the hotel and/or their insurers. We’ll need to have a look at your booking documents and speak to you about the booking process. We’ll then advise you in which jurisdiction and against whom you should pursue your claim.
Why choose Slater and Gordon?
When it comes to making hotel accident claims, Slater and Gordon Lawyers can help. If you’re unsure whether you’re able to make a claim, we can assess your situation and advise you as to how successful we think it’s likely to be.
Our team of highly trained personal injury solicitors have the expert knowledge and resources to assist with your claim. They’ll work in close contact with you every step of the way to help you claim the compensation you deserve.
Many solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers are members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), the Law Society Personal Injury Panel & the Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL).