Hotel Accident Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a hotel accident, we can help.
Whether your injuries happened in the UK or abroad, in a hotel or during your journey, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a holiday injury or illness compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about how and where your accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will then identify who is legally responsible. Based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses they will also work out how much money you can claim.
We can help you make a holiday injury or illness claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
The majority of hotels in the UK and overseas, work hard to provide a safe and comfortable environment for their guests.
UK hotels must abide by a raft of legislation governing the environment they provide to both guest and hotel staff. Hotels must also observe legislation governing food preparation and general health and safety.
Hotels abroad will adhere to the regulations of the country in which they are based. However, if you book a hotel abroad through a UK tour operator or agent, the hotel's safety should be verified by the tour operator.
If you have an accident as the result of the negligence of hotel staff, a tour operator or a contractor operating on hotel premises, you may be able to claim hotel accident compensation.
If you have been injured as a result of hotel negligence, you could a claim on the basis of 'occupier's liability'.
Occupiers have a 'duty of care' to take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of their guests and employees.
The hotel operator should regularly assess their premises for hazards. They should identify all possible hazards and determine if action needs to be taken to reduce or remove the risks they pose.
Common causes of hotel accidents
- Swimming pools
- Slips, trips and falls from slippery or wet floors, trip hazards, staircases, reduced lighting levels,
- Food poisoning
- Burns - kettles, faulty or unfamiliar shower thermostats, trouser presses, buffets etc
Accidents at work
Kitchen, restaurant and bar environments mean that hotel staff are often at even greater risk than the guests. If you have been injured working in a hotel, you would be able to pursue a claim against your employer.
A claim should still be possible even if you were working as a temp, via an agency or on a zero-hours contract.
Read more about making a work injury claim.
What should I do if injured in a hotel?
If you are injured as a guest in a hotel you should:
- Seek appropriate medical attention.
- Ask the medical professional for written evidence of your visit and any treatment.
- Inform the hotel asap of the accident. Many hotels offer 24/7 cover so let them know immediately no matter what the time is.
- If the accident occurs abroad and you booked through a UK agent, inform the holiday rep or call the agent's office.
- Ask the hotel for their public liability insurer's details - ask for a photocopy of their policy certificate.
- Collect as much evidence as possible - take photographs from all angles, take a food sample.
- Ask any witnesses (guests and staff) for their contact details.
- write a detailed account of what happened
Who would you claim against?
A hotel injury claim will, in most cases, be made against the hotel owner. If you are visiting the hotel as a guest, whether on holiday, on business, or for any other reason, the hotel has a duty to ensure that you are not injured.
The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 lays out a legal framework to ensure you are protected while visiting someone else's property. The act allows for visitors to claim compensation against owners and occupiers.
In the UK hotels are obliged to have public liability insurance. A claim would most likely be pursued against the insurer. Any compensation awarded would be paid by the insurer.
If you are injured as an employee of the hotel, a claim would be made against the hotel's employer's liability insurance.
Do I have an injury claim?
You should be able to make an injury claim if you were injured:
- within the last 3 years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Do I have a claim? - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.
What if the other party denies liability?
If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your hotel accident injury. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a serious arm injury can be £45,000
For a less severe ankle injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £8,000.
However, if you have a serious arm injury and a less severe ankle injury, you would typically receive £45,000 + a reduced percentage of £8,000.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.
What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Can I get an interim payment?
Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee, no risk
With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if your claim is not successful.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making an injury claim, even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a catch?
The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.
How we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.