Excitement is building as sun-starved Brits eagerly await the holiday announcement later this week. Which countries, if any, we will be allowed to travel to for holidays will finally be revealed.
As we race off to one of the ‘green list’ countries, the last thing on our mind is anything going wrong.
Janet Lee, personal injury lawyer specialising in holiday accidents, advises: “Foreign holidays booked as a package holiday offer far more protection should anything go wrong. Financial protection is provided by two schemes – ATOL protection for package holidays with flights or ABTA protection for those without flights or with a cruise.
“Further protection is provided under the Package Tour Regulations for anyone who sadly has their holiday ruined by an accident that wasn’t their fault.
“Although we’re all desperate for a holiday, we need to be aware that health and safety abroad is rarely the same standard as in the UK. ”
Janet recently settled a claim for a Scarborough lady who was injured on a TUI holiday in Tenerife in 2016. The client is happy for us to share details of the accident as a warning to others but has asked that we do not use her name.
Mrs A, her husband and two young children were staying at the 3-star Suneo Tamaimo Tropical Hotel, in Puerto di Santiago.
They’d carefully chosen a hotel with facilities for families, including a pool and had booked to travel from Doncaster Airport in the children’s October half-term.
For the first day of the holiday, the family decided to sit around the hotel pool and after breakfast headed down to choose a nice spot.
Mrs A went over to the pool with the children, while her husband stayed on his sun lounger.
The children jumped into the pool, but the water was very cold, so Mrs A went over a bridge to another pool where she was told the water was warmer.
As she climbed backwards down the aluminium ladder into the pool, the flat tread snapped under her foot, causing her to drop around 10”. She felt a sharp stab in the sole of her left foot. As she struggled out of the pool, she was alarmed to see a large gash at the side of her foot with blood pouring from it.
Her husband helped her to a chair and the lifeguard arrived with a first aid box and put a pad and iodine on the wound. The hotel manager then sent for a doctor as the wound needed stitches.
Mrs A commented: “The accident completely spoilt the holiday for me and my family. My foot was in pot and I couldn’t go anywhere. Although we did do a boat trip because were told that we wouldn’t get a refund. But for the rest of the holiday I had to sit by the pool.
“I was desperate to come home, if it hadn’t been for the children, I would have booked the first flight back. I just counted the days.”
As soon as the family arrived home, Mrs A arranged to see her GP as her foot was swollen and painful. When the wound showed no signs of improvement, despite a course of anti-biotics, her GP referred her to hospital. There she had x-rays to check for bone damage and a scan to check for foreign bodies in the wound. An MRI revealed loose bone fragments and fluid build-up; surgery was needed to clean out the wound properly. The surgeon found that the cartilage was detached from the ankle bone and there was a lot of scar tissue around the joint.
Mrs A continued to suffer the effects of the injuries for many months afterwards. She had persistent pain, and a swollen ankle which made it impossible to drive. Even every day tasks proved difficult.
She said: “I am conscious that I hobble when I’m walking and I’m still in pain. I’ve lost a lot of time off work and even now, I struggle to do anything that involves standing or lifting. This whole thing has put me off going on holiday again.”
The claim was settled out of court and the client was awarded compensation of £90,000.
(According to the TUI website, the hotel had a full refurbish in 2019)
If you need advice following an accident on holiday, call and speak to our friendly team on 01302 320621 or email firstname.lastname@example.org