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Holiday Complaint

Hotel, Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Insurers - Who is the 'Defendant'?

Holiday Accident Claims Manager Simon Lomax

Author:
Dated: 11th February 2016

If you have been ill or injured abroad whilst on a package holiday, your tour operator is normally the defendant or the company you are bringing your holiday claim against.

Under the 1992 Package Travel Regulations, a tour operator is liable for the proper performance of the contract irrespective of whether the services which form part of that contract are performed by foreign hoteliers and their staff.

Summary of holiday complaints

If a foreign hotelier causes you to be ill or injured on a regulated package holiday through their ‘negligence’, your holiday complaint should be directed at companies like Thomson, First Choice, Jet2Holidays, Thomas Cook etc.

It does not matter if you have been subjected to food poisoning in Mexico, sick on holiday in the Dominican Republic or injured in Cape Verde. If you travelled on a regulated package holiday your tour operator is vicariously liable for the failings of their hotel supplier.

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Simpson Millar LLP’s Expert Travel Lawyers

You and your instructed travel lawyer are only one half of the equation – on your behalf, we will deal with numerous parties whilst progressing your holiday claim. We will obtain your medical notes and liaise with your GP, and other medical experts to obtain a medico-legal report to value your compensation claim. We also talk to witnesses, local standards experts and of course correspond with the Defendant tour operator’s in-house travel lawyers.

Whether your holiday was booked as a regulated package or not is one of the first things we investigate. This is important, as we are only able to litigate your case with your tour operator directly, if you have a cause of action in the UK. Holiday companies are often difficult to deal with, understaffed and often fail to respond satisfactory. Unfortunately, this can add to the duration of your holiday claim.

If the Defendant fails to respond to us or take proper steps to investigate your personal injury claim then the Court may be instructed to intervene and we have to wait for the issues to be resolved.

Difficult Defendants, Welfare Calls and Under Settlement

The trouble doesn’t stop there; sometimes Defendant’s in-house travel lawyers can overstep the mark taking advantage of their customers’ lack of legal expertise. If you have instructed us, our job is to deal with the day-to-day running of your holiday claim, the paperwork, civil procedure and the practice.

Travel complaint information

If your tour operator knows we are instructed, they have no business writing to you directly, either in an attempt to lure you into settling a claim for a fraction of its value, or to put you off bringing it in the first place by using threatening language which implies you are fraudulent.

We know all about the ‘local standards defence’ and will seek to overcome this hurdle by instructing an expert. The tour operator is correct in that the burden of proof lies with the claimant to establish an improper performance of the contract as judged by local safety standards. A claimant who goes to trial without first having obtained such evidence "does so at his peril!"

Thomas Cook’s Questionnaires

Don’t be fooled into completing leading questionnaires or settling your holiday claim for a holiday voucher. Questionnaires are not designed to make your claim for compensation easier but are designed by tour operators to find excuses to avoid their liability or to curtail the level of damages you are entitled to claim.

These questionnaires are often sent out shortly after a complaint is made when your illness or injuries are raw and when you are at your most vulnerable.

We know you have been genuinely ill or injured and we pursue your claim with vigour and collate the necessary evidence to prove your claim to ensure you are properly compensated.

We know you have been genuinely ill or injured and we pursue your claim with vigour and collate the necessary evidence to prove your claim to ensure you are properly compensated.

Simon Lomax, Simpson Millar Solicitors

Why Instruct Simpson Millar LLP

We are not a claims management company so you will be dealing with an experienced travel lawyer and not a firm intent on selling on your claim for a profit.

We know that this is new to you, but we have done this many times with great success and we have an enviable reputation in the industry. Many of our lawyers have worked for the major tour operators in a senior capacity so we understand the ‘tricks of the trade’, the reason for welfare calls, direct payments made in resort, and the Parental Discharge Forms etc.

We can explain the process and advise you of your options at every stage of the claim. It may seem tempting to just take what is offered by your tour operator but they do not have your best interests in mind, only their company’s profits.

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Contact us for free, no obligation holiday complaint advice

Our team of legal specialists are ready to speak to you about your holiday complaint. Call us free on 0808 145 1353 or complete our quick enquiry form now.