Hotel Swimming Pool Accident on Vacation
While a tragic hotel swimming pool accident on vacation may be caused by the negligence of a third party, it may not always be possible to make the claim for compensation in the UK when the accident happens abroad. This does not mean that a claim for a hotel swimming pool accident on vacation cannot be made, just that your eligibility to claim may depend on the laws of the country in which the accident occurred. However, should the accident have occurred while on a vacation which was booked through a UK tour operator or travel agent, a claim for your swimming pool accident should be possible in the UK, and will therefore be subject to UK claims law.
Reasons for Making a Claim for Hotel Swimming Pool Accident on Vacation
- Cuts and gashes sustained in a swimming pool or the pool area
- Soft tissue injuries and broken bones from slips, trips and falls
- Whiplash injuries from slips and falls
- Concussion and head traumas
- Injuries caused by sun lounger collapses
- Diving board accidents
- Infections contracted due to poor cleanliness of a hotel swimming pool
Hotel Swimming Pool Accident on Vacation and Negligence
A hotel swimming pool accident on vacation must have been caused by third party negligence in order to be able to claim personal injury compensation. Negligence could be a failure to maintain the swimming pool such as repairing broken tiles which caused cuts and gashes, ensuring that the chemicals used in the swimming pool were appropriate and within acceptable limits. If infectious diseases such as cryptosporidium have been contracted, failure to use appropriate chemical treatments could be classed as negligence, as could excessive chemical use which caused skin and eye damage. Failures in any of these areas can be grounds for a hotel swimming pool accident on vacation claim.
A hotel has a responsibility to ensure that the area around a swimming pool is safe for guests, which includes the tiles, patio area and the gardens. Even the deck chairs and sun loungers must be kept in a good state of repair, and if a collapse causes an injury to be sustained, this may also be classed as negligence. A sun lounger collapse can lead to serious injuries being sustained such as cuts and gashes, concussion, whiplash injuries, soft tissue damage and broken bones. If you sustained an accident in the pool area of a hotel due to faulty equipment which had not been repaired or replaced, a hotel swimming pool accident claim may be possible. If you are not sure whether a swimming pool accident on vacation was caused by the negligence of a third party, or if you are entitled to claim compensation, you should seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor as soon as you return to the UK.
Making UK Compensation Claims for a Hotel Swimming Pool Accident on Vacation
In order for compensation to be claimed in the UK for a hotel swimming pool accident on vacation, there are a number of criteria which must first be met. The accident which caused you to sustain a personal injury must have been the result of the negligence of a third party, and the third party concerned must have owed you a duty of care. A hotel swimming pool must be maintained and be safe to use by hotel guests as the hotel owes its guests a duty of care to ensure that by using the swimming pool, guests are not placed at an excessive risk of sustaining an injury.
If the swimming pool had fallen into a state of disrepair, was not properly cleaned or maintained, or if the pool surrounds were excessively slippery, this could be sufficient grounds to make a swimming pool accident claim provided that the state of the pool directly causes you to sustain an injury. However a claim for a hotel swimming pool accident on vacation may only be possible in the UK if the vacation was arranged as a package deal From a UK-based tour operator.
Claims Against Tour Operators for Hotel Swimming Pool Accidents
Under the 1992 Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations, a travel agent or tour operator may be liable for any injuries sustained while you are on vacation, provided that the holiday was booked as a package deal. A package holiday is a vacation which usually includes accommodation and transport and is paid for at a single price. Even though each aspect of the vacation may be itemised – such as hotel costs, transfers, flights and excursions – if the vacation was paid for as one unit it will count as a package holiday.
A tour operator or travel agent can be held liable for any failings in health and safety standards of the hotel or accommodation which was arranged as part of the package deal. While standards in hotels abroad may differ from those in the UK, a tour operator must ensure that they are acceptable and that holidaymakers are not placed at an excessive risk of sustaining an injury. Compensation for a hotel swimming pool accident on vacation should be possible against a tour operator or travel agent if the health and safety standards at the hotel were not acceptable, and failings of the hotel or hotel staff resulted in an injury being sustained.
Making a Foreign Claim for a Hotel Swimming Pool Accident on Vacation
If a claim for hotel swimming pool accident compensation cannot be made against a UK tour operator, it may be possible under the claims laws in the country where the accident occurred. The laws governing compensation claims abroad can be very different to those in the UK and a personal injury solicitor with experience in dealing with hotel accident compensation should be consulted as soon as possible after returning to the UK. Language difficulties, foreign legal systems and establishing and proving negligence abroad can make a claim for a hotel swimming pool accident on vacation highly complicated and specialist legal advice should always be sought.
Although overseas claims law may be different in foreign countries, provided that the accident was caused by third party negligence and the third party in question owed you a duty of care, a claim for swimming pool accident compensation should be possible. However, whether it will be worth your while to make an overseas claim will depend on the severity of the injuries sustained. Only when the level of compensation you are eligible to claim is determined should a decision be made about claiming for a hotel swimming pool accident in the country where you took your vacation. The cost of taking legal action abroad may also mean it will not be worth your while making a claim for compensation.
Procedures Which Must be Followed After a Hotel Swimming Pool Accident on Vacation
As with a personal injury sustained in an accident in the UK, there are procedures which must be followed after a hotel swimming pool accident on vacation. The first priority must be to ensure that your injuries are treated promptly, and a visit to the local hospital must be arranged to ensure that injuries are assessed and medical treatment is provided. On return to the UK, a doctor should also be consulted to assess your injuries to ensure that adequate treatment has been provided abroad.
Before returning to the UK, a complaint must be made at the hotel and an accident report should be filed in the hotel’s ‘Accident Book’. If the vacation was booked via a travel agent or tour operator, a complaint must also be made with the travel agencies local representative. If a claim for a hotel swimming pool accident on vacation is to be made against a tour operator, it is vital that the tour company or travel agent is informed of the accident and injuries as soon as possible after the accident.
To support any hotel swimming pool accident on vacation claim, you should take a photograph of any hazard which caused you to be injured and you should also obtain the contact details of any eye witnesses who can substantiate your claim. You should also keep any documentation provided by the tour company or hotel, as well as any receipts for treatment and vacation costs.
Slips Trips and Falls Around a Hotel Swimming Pool
Cuts and gashes sustained in a hotel swimming pool accident can be grounds for making a claim for compensation, provided that the accident was caused by a sharp surface, broken tile or sharp object such as broken glass in the pool. Provided that the cuts and gashes were of sufficient severity to have sought treatment in a local hospital it should be possible to claim hotel swimming pool accident compensation. Whether it is worthwhile making a claim for compensation for cuts and gashes will depend on the severity of the injuries sustained and a personal injury solicitor would be able to advise you in this regard.
Hotel Swimming Pool Diving Board Accidents
Compensation for a swimming pool diving board accident may be possible if the diving board was not safe to use, if the pool was too shallow and an injury was sustained by hitting the bottom of the swimming pool, and may even be possible if you were swimming in the pool and were hit by a guest using the diving board. A hotel swimming pool accident on vacation involving diving boards can cause highly serious injuries to be sustained and it is often vital for the victims to be able to claim compensation for their injuries. Provided that negligence of the hotel staff has resulted in a diving board accident being sustained, it should be possible to claim compensation for a swimming pool accident on vacation. An injury caused by another third party will be more complicated, and a claim for the swimming pool accident may only be possible in the country where the accident occurred.
Deck Chair or Sun Lounger Collapse Around Hotel Swimming Pools
In the heat of the sun the plastics used to construct sun loungers can become brittle, and may crack and cause a sun lounger to collapse. If sun loungers collapse, hotel guests can easily fall on concrete and patio tiles which can cause serious head traumas, whiplash injuries and cuts and gashes to be sustained. A deck chair collapse can also cause similar injuries, and both can result in hotel swimming pool accident on vacation claims; provided it can be established that the injuries were sustained due to faulty or poorly maintained equipment.
Contributory Negligence and Hotel Swimming Pool Accident on Vacation Claims
A hotel must ensure that the swimming pool and surrounding area is safe to use; however holidaymakers must also ensure that they act sensibly when in and around the pool. Should an accident occur which was partially the fault of the victim; an award of compensation for a hotel swimming pool accident on vacation may be reduced to take the contributory negligence of the claimant into consideration.
A vacation is a time to relax and de-stress, and many holidaymakers choose to drink alcohol while on holiday. Being under the influence of alcohol may also be classed as contributory negligence; however provided that it was not the primary cause of an accident and injury being sustained, a claim for hotel swimming pool accident compensation should still be possible. However, the defence may seek to reduce any compensation award due to the contributory negligence of the claimant for being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident, provided that by being sober the seriousness of the injuries sustained would have been reduced.
A failure to seek medical attention promptly can also be classed as contributory negligence. If injuries have deteriorated as a result of a delay in seeking medical attention, an award of compensation for a hotel swimming pool accident may be reduced accordingly.
Hotel Swimming Pool Accident on Vacation – Summary
Claiming compensation for a hotel swimming pool accident on vacation may be possible; however it is usually more complex than making a claim for an injury sustained in the UK. A tour operator or travel agent may be liable for your injuries if health and safety standards in the hotel were poor and below an acceptable level. Due to the difficult nature of making overseas swimming pool accident claims, a UK personal injury solicitor should always be consulted on eligibility to claim compensation for a hotel swimming pool accident on vacation and should be used to pursue any compensation claim.
All articles are written or edited by Eoin Campbell.