Over the course of today and tomorrow, we’ll look at some situations in which it may not be that obvious that compensation could be claimed.
Injury on holiday
If you are injured whilst on a package holiday that was booked through a UK company, then you are eligible to claim compensation using the UK’s legal system, as opposed to trying to fight legal battles in the country in which your accident occurred. You can even claim if you are hurt while travelling to your destination. The term ‘package holiday’ is open to scrutiny, but generally if you book two or more elements of the holiday (flights/accommodation/activities) at the same time then you will probably qualify.
Injured by accommodation in disrepair
If you are not a homeowner, then wherever you live is the responsibility of a landlord, whether that is a person, a company or a council. They are legally obliged to provide you with a safe living environment. If they don’t, and you are injured due to a defect with the property itself or a device, fixture or fitting within, you could make a compensation claim.
Injury on public transport
The driver of any public service vehicle i.e. a bus, taxi or train has a duty of care towards their passengers. If you become injured thanks to a machinery defect or the negligence of a driver or even another passenger (in rare cases) then you should be able to make a compensation claim from the operator of the service.
Remember, however, that you can only claim if you are not at fault. So, for example, if you are travelling on a bus on which you are obliged to wear a seatbelt, and you’re hurt in a crash because you weren’t strapped into your seat, any potential award could be reduced.
Injured due to defective product
Even when a product’s warranty has long since expired, the manufacturer has a responsibility for their product. A product may eventually break down or stop working effectively as it ages, but it should never become dangerous. No matter how large or how small the product in question may be – a boat or a hairdryer, a television or an electric toothbrush – if it injures you then you can make a claim from the manufacturer. This rule does not apply if the fault was introduced by a third party tampering with the product, or if the fault is due to someone damaging it so that it could not reasonably be expected to work as it did before.
Injured by an untraced driver
In the event of a normal car crash, if a person is injured they make a claim from the insurance company of the driver whose negligence caused the accident. But if a driver is uninsured or, even worse, if they drive off and cannot be traced, it is still possible for a victim to make a claim.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau is a government body that was set up to compensate people who are injured in this way but are otherwise unable to make the claim they may need to.