Claiming Compensation for an Adventure Holiday

If you’re into outdoor pursuits, trekking, climbing, white-water rafting or skiing, you’re probably someone who likes danger! These are risky activities, but you appreciate the risk and acknowledge the danger.  You are often asked to sign away liability with the stroke of a pen, and therefore any chance of insurance or compensation in the event of an injury.

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Courts have often been loathe to award compensation to those who go on adventure holidays.  For example, one couple who took an adventure holiday in the Amazon with a cruise company and who later made a £3,000 claim for compensation for injuries sustained on the ship, were awarded only £150 by Lewes County Court after they were deemed to have accepted the risks of an adventure holiday.

However, there are certain risks you don’t accept. You still accept a holiday company to ensure instructors are trained and properly supervise holiday makers.  You have a right to expect suitable safety equipment.  If these are not provided to a reasonable standard, then the supplier has failed in his duty of care and any resulting injury may allow you to claim compensation.

For example, a ski company who takes inexperienced skiers on a dangerous slope could be liable for any injury sustained.  The victim can sue the company which employed the negligent ski instructor (and perhaps the instructor himself).

How do I claim compensation for accidents sustained on an adventure holiday?

The complicating factor is that often the adventure holiday takes place overseas.  This results in language barriers and having to deal with unfamiliar courts, hospitals and insurance systems.

However, if the adventure holiday was organised by a tour operator you will be able to claim damages from the tour operator, who has a duty to ensure any company he uses is competent.  The benefit of this is that the tour operator is more likely to have insurance to cover any claim for damages.  Furthermore, they are more likely to be based in the UK, so you will be able to make your claim to a local court, using familiar laws.

What kind of accidents can I claim financial compensation for?

There are many types of adventure holidays, for example:

  • Bungee jumping.
  • White water rafting.
  • Horse riding.
  • Parachuting and pararagliding.
  • Wakeboarding.
  • Surfing.
  • Skiing.
  • Climbing and abseiling.

You may have specialist insurance for these activities, but even if you do not (and even if the tour operator asks you to sign the waiver of liability) you may still have a right to claim damages in the event of an injury.

You should be able to claim compensation for the pain and injury suffered, as well as for any expenses you have incurred resulting from the injury.  Further, you may anticipate losses in the future, which need to be quantified by a medico-legal expert.

The process can be intimidating and complicated.  Contact us at Manners Pimblett and our holiday injury specialists will take care of the hard work for you.

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