Trying new activities is an important part of holidays, but more people are returning home injured or not at all because of faulty equipment, lack of expert instruction or accidents which were not their fault.
If you are injured in a holiday accident while on a package holiday which was not your fault, you are covered by the Package Travel Regulations 1992 and can most likely make a claim for compensation against the tour operator which offered the activity (eg horse riding or skiing holiday accident).
It is far better, however, to avoid accidents which may leave you with life changing injuries, so follow these tips to stay safe while enjoying sports on holiday.
- Make sure you have the correct equipment for any activity you sign up to on holiday eg protective headgear, harnesses, etc. and that these fit you properly.
- Before you sign up to an activity ask about how well qualified the staff offering the activity are – and how much training and supervision you will receive before and during the activity. If you are a novice this is especially important, but even sporting experts can be injured in sports accidents on holiday if they are not instructed about local conditions (eg wind conditions for sailing or hang-gliding activities) – or are not instructed properly about using vehicles like quad bikes.
- Make sure you have the correct insurance to cover sports activities on holiday (including balloon trips and horse riding in the desert) – and that the company offering the sporting activity on holiday has sufficient public liability insurance. Ask for a copy of their insurance policy – if they are unable to produce a copy or will not let you see the policy documents, book your activity elsewhere. Don’t be fobbed off with reassurances like ‘We have never had an accident yet’ or ‘No one else has ever asked to see our insurance’.
- Whether you are trying scuba diving or hang-gliding, ask questions about the conditions you might face before you begin – eg currents in the water, wind conditions, snow conditions – or anything that concerns you. Asking what happens if something goes wrong is not being a killjoy – and if your question does not result in a serious response, book your activity elsewhere. All companies offering activities on holiday should take health and safety seriously and be happy to discuss this with any prospective customer.
- Don’t push yourself into doing something as a result of peer pressure – if you really do not want to do a bungee jump, wait until the next holiday or try another activity you feel happy with until you have built up the confidence to try more risky activities. And never try any activity – not even swimming – after consuming alcohol or taking drugs, including prescribed or over-the-counter medication.
If you have been injured in an activity abroad through no fault of your own, you have three years in which to make a claim for compensation, so contact a reputable firm of holiday claims solicitors as soon as possible for advice about this.
If you have suffered from a holiday injury speak to expert solicitors who can assist you in making a claim for compensation. It is always vital that you have the correct insurance also, to make sure you don’t incur the cost of medical payments.