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You've had an accident on a package holiday

This advice applies to England

If you have an accident that wasn't your fault on a package holiday your package holiday organiser might be held responsible. This means you may be able to make a personal injury claim in the UK even if the accident happened abroad. This page explains what to do if you have an accident on a package holiday.

Top tips

Don't forget

If you booked a package holiday you will be protected by special regulations. If you organised your holiday yourself, booking flights, accommodation and services separately then you are an independent traveller. As an independent traveller if you booked your holiday in the UKyou are protected by general consumer law.

This page explains how to deal with accidents on a package holiday.

Adventure travel or volunteering

If you're planning a trip abroad that involves adventure activities or volunteering work, you should make sure you know the risks.

This adventure activities checklist includes questions you should ask your travel provider, as well as other travel safety aspects to consider before committing to a trip.

Where did your accident happen?

For your package organiser to be held responsible your accident needs to have happened:

  • at your hotel complex
  • or on an excursion or during a holiday service that was provided as part of your package.

For example if you tripped on a badly maintained walkway at your hotel your organiser may be held responsible. Your organiser probably won't be held responsible for an accident you had away from your hotel unless it was during an excursion you bought in the UK as part of your package. For example if you tripped on a badly maintained pavement in the local town centre on a your organiser probably won't be held responsible.

Why did the accident happen?

If your accident was your fault you won't be able to claim any compensation. For example if you broke safety rules while using the hotel pool and had an accident.

To be awarded compensation you'll need to prove that your organiser - or their representatives at the resort for example the local hotel staff - were negligent. This means if your hotel or accommodation was badly maintained or dangerous or you weren't warned about possible accident risks your organiser will be held responsible.

For example your hotel didn't maintain the plumbing in your hotel bathroom properly and this led to a flood which caused you to fall and break your wrist. In these circumstances your organiser will usually be held responsible for your accident.

Report the accident

You should report your accident as soon as possible to:

  • your package organiser's representative in the resort
  • or if there is no rep to the organiser's head office in the UK
  • the hotel management

Make sure your accident is recorded in any available accident book and ask for a copy of the entry.

If you have travel insurance you should contact the insurance company as soon as possible they will be able to advice you on the medical and legal situation. Some insurance policies specify very strict time limits for notifying them of accidents so it's worth checking the terms and conditions of your insurance before you go on holiday.

Keep a record

It's important to get medical assistance as soon as you realise you've been injured. If you don't get medical help as possible it might affect any claim for compensation you make when you return home. Ask for a copy of your medical report and keep receipts of any medical charges. If you can you should:

  • get names and addresses of other guests who may have witnessed your accident or the situation that caused it and would be prepared to make a statement
  • take photographs of what caused the accident and your injury
  • writing down or sketching the scene
  • get a copy of the doctors report.

When you get home

If your accident was caused by the organiser or local holiday staff you may be able to claim compensation for:

  • loss of enjoyment – for example your accident left you bed bound for most of the holiday
  • out of pocket expenses – for example the cost of your medical treatment and transport costs
  • If your accident is serious you may be able to claim for things like loss of earnings

It's important to get legal advice from a trustworthy source because holiday personal injury claims can be very complicated. You should be able to pay for your case on a no-win-no-fee-basis. This means you shouldn't have to pay any money upfront or take out an insurance policy to protect against your court case being lost.

Next steps

To find a solicitor who can give you legal advice on making a personal injury claim, contact the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL):

Telephone: 0115 958 0585

Other useful information

Holiday trade associations who may be able to help


Telephone: 020 3117 0599


Telephone: 020 8744 9280

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