Some of you might be surprised at how often British citizens get in trouble while traveling, staying up in hotels and eating out: yearly, hundreds of thousands of people make insurance claims to compensate medical treatment abroad. Did you know that you have every right to make a legal claim for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment, vanished earnings if you consider it to be the fault of your holiday provider or service partners? Indeed, it works! On top of that, according to the SolicitorsGuru legal guide as you can read at their website about no win no fee agreement basis – you may not need to pay any service costs to the solicitor to represent you in court – personal injuries are often treated as no win, no fee agreements within which the solicitor receives the financial reward only in case of success.
Have a look at the most common incidents that typically occur on holidays:
Falling ill in the middle of your holiday
As long as you have a registered European Health Insurance card, you are supposed to receive medical help free of charge within European borders. However, payment issues may arise in Spain, Portugal and Greece. Meanwhile, you will be required to provide receipts after obtaining treatment in a private medical institution outside European Union in order to be eligible for your travel insurance. In addition, your claim may be rejected if you failed to get the approval from the insurer’s helpline to be served for over £500 in advance.
If your illness is caused by the inadequate hygiene conditions in the hotel booked via a travel agency, you can file a legal claim, whose compensation will vary from thousands to hundreds of thousands pounds.
Accommodation has not lived up to expectations
Imagine you arrive in a hotel room and expect to enjoy the sea view, but get a view on the back yard instead. Do not let them deprive you of the joy – make a complaint to the hotel staff. If that does not help, you should direct a written complaint to the travel agency, but no later than 28 days after the date of the service provision. According to Bob Atkinson, one of the most prominent solicitors in Staffordshire specializing in personal injury claims, it is worth protecting your consumer rights in court, especially when you can strengthen your claim with other guests’ statements, photo evidence and correspondence copies.
Flight delay or cancellation
Under the EU Denied Boarding Regulations scheme, as well applicable to the UK, you are eligible for a compensation in case of flight delays or cancellations. Provided you had to buy another flight ticket or arrange a hotel because of the flight problems, the airline company is to provide a refund (mind to keep all the related receipts). Reach out to the Civil Aviation Authority if the airline does not agree to resolve the issue accordingly.
The last measure is to bring the case to court. You will get extra protection if you paid with a credit card: simply ask the provider for a Section 75 claim form. If your costs range between £100 and £30,000, the issuer is to cover the cost of services you didn’t receive (ref. Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974).
Your suitcase is missing
In case of losing some valuables from your luggage or the entire suitcase, the travel insurer is to compensate the loss.
If the case involves crime, you have to timely report it to the police and provide the report details to the insurer. Otherwise, it will be hard to confirm the act of theft.
If, to your mind, the travel insurer acts inappropriately, you should first submit an in-house complaint and then present the case to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
When you book a package holiday with a tour operator or a travel agency in the UK, the tour operator takes responsibility for all the holiday package parts – transportation, accommodation, food, etc. (ref. the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992). When making a compensation claim, you are to prove the negligence of service standards expressed by the tour provider.
If the holiday is booked online and does not actually match the criteria of a package holiday, you can still try making a personal injury claim. Of course, professional advice from qualified solicitors will be more than needed here. Do not forget about no win no fee agreements, those can be very helpful in such a situation.
Mind the time limits for holiday compensation claim submission – they can vary from country to country. It is always better to take legal action as soon as possible.