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£10,000 Compensation for Accident at Portugal Holiday Hotel

Author: Simon Lomax | Date: 12th July 2019

Our client was enjoying a holiday at the Vila Gale Marina Hotel in Vilamoura, Portugal when she fractured her wrist in a fall at the hotel reception.

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She was walking along a marble floor in the reception area, but the surface was still wet after being recently cleaned, and she slipped and fell. As a result, she had to undergo X-rays at the local hospital in Faro, which found that her wrist had been badly broken and that pins would have to be inserted.

A general anaesthetic was administered and she underwent the operation that was required. However, her fingers were so swollen that her wedding ring couldn't be removed and had to be cut off instead.

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How We Helped

After returning to the UK, she got in touch with our team of Holiday Claims Solicitors to claim compensation from tour operator Thomas Cook.

The tour operator's legal representatives denied responsibility at first, and said our client would have to prove that Portuguese health and safety standards hadn't been met. We responded by arguing that yellow warning signs should have been displayed after the hotel reception area was cleaned.

Furthermore, we pointed out that light from the windows created a reflection that was hidden from our client's view, therefore making the floor even more dangerous.

Thomas Cook refused to acknowledge that not displaying warning signs in the reception area represented a breach of Portuguese health and safety standards. However, Our Holiday Claims Solicitors stressed that the issue of safety standards wasn't solely based on whether local rules or technical building codes had been followed.

We insisted that questions of local custom and practice also needed to be considered, as did the general principles of local law that outline what standards can reasonably be expected in a holiday hotel. Since Thomas Cook denied liability, the case went to Court.

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The Outcome

The tour operator eventually agreed to settle, awarding our client £10,000 plus legal fees. Thomas Cook could have paid out considerably less in legal fees if they'd chosen to deal with our client's claim straight away, but thankfully, the delay didn't lead to our client losing out.