Travel expert condemns demands for payment from injured holidaymakers

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Travel expert condemns demands for payment from injured holidaymakers

16th July 2012

A travel expert who is currently representing a woman who was injured in a recent coach crash in Egypt involving a number of British tourists is expecting more victims to make claims for damages.

Karen Garcia, a travel litigation specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said her client was injured due in part to the negligence of her tour operator. “To add insult to injury, she was then threatened with being denied access to the ship for the rest of her trip, unless she underwent and paid for the medical treatment recommended, which is absolutely outrageous.”

Karen was speaking after the latest in a spate of coach crashes that have affected British holidaymakers abroad this year. The claimant in this latest case, who is in her 50s, had been holidaying with her husband on a Thomson cruise through Egypt and the Holy Land, Cyprus, Turkey and Israel. On Thursday 31 May, the couple were taking part in a shore excursion by coach in Cairo. The passengers were all travelling in a convoy of 16 vehicles, when the coach in which she and her husband were travelling crashed into the back of the one in front.

“The exact cause of the incident remains unclear and we are still trying to find witnesses so that we can ascertain exactly what happened,” said Karen, a litigation executive at the firm. “But by all accounts we believe the coach driver was driving too fast and had no time to brake sufficiently to avoid colliding with the coach in front. A number of passengers were injured, amongst them my client.

“She and the other injured passengers were required to report the matter to the operator’s representative before seeking medical treatment,” added Karen. “Unbelievably, she was then threatened with being refused access to her ship if she did not pay for the recommended treatment herself.

“After she had somex-rays taken she was given an injection and fitted with a neck-brace. But after returning to the UK she had to take time off work to receive treatment and has been advised that the neck-brace she was fitted with might in fact have made her injuries worse.”

Karen said that this particular incident happened as part of a holiday package which included flights, cruise travel and a number of shore excursions. “Tour operators are obliged under regulations to ensure the safety of passengers, and this includes when on any excursions included in a package,” she said. “They are bound by a contractual, common law and statutory duty of care, and it is simply unacceptable for tourists to be exposed to danger on account of the negligent, careless driving of a tour operator’s employee. This failing is only compounded when they are then threatened with not being allowed back onto a cruise ship unless they pay for their treatment themselves.

“Holidaymakers should know their rights before travelling, and make sure that if they are involved in an incident whilst abroad that they seek specialist advice as soon as they can.”

Fentons Solicitors, which has repeatedly underlined the need for safety improvements to protect coach passengers, regularly recovers substantial compensation for clients who have been injured in coach accidents whilst travelling abroad. If you have been involved in a coach crash in a foreign country, or if you witnessed the one described above, please contact Karen Garcia on 0844 854 3184 or email

How can Fentons help?

If you have been injured while on holiday or travelling in a foreign country, Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to holiday accidents and illness.

If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.