Our client, a man in his late 70s, had been enjoying a holiday in the Dominican Republic with his wife, daughter and son-in-law at the Royalton Hotel and Memories Splash Hotel in Bavaro, Punta Cana. However, one day he tripped and fell on a step, and sustained multiple facial fractures.
He was left with severe bruising down the right side of his face, from his eye straight down to the neck, as well as cuts and swelling. He was in a state of shock after the accident and was also experiencing pain.
He was tended to by a fellow guest who happened to be a paramedic until the hotel medic arrived at the scene. He was then taken to an on-site clinic before being transferred to hospital, where he stayed for 2 nights. Our client was then sent to another hospital to undergo an operation by a General Surgeon and Maxillofacial Surgeon.
The management at our client’s hotel had been made aware of the accident, as staff and the resident doctor helped at the scene and arranged transport for him to get to the onsite clinic and to hospital. Furthermore, a holiday rep was notified and an accident report was lodged by his son-in-law.
How We Helped
The injured man got in touch with our Holiday Claims Solicitors for a free consultation and legal advice about help claiming compensation, as he believed the tour operator was negligent. Specifically, he believed the step he tripped and fell on was poorly defined, and therefore posed a danger to guests at the hotel.
Holiday Claims Solicitor Darrel Jardine agreed to help him make a holiday accident claim and arranged for our client to undergo an independent medical assessment. The specialist carrying out the assessment compiled a medical report detailing his injuries and his future medical prognosis.
Our client underwent an operation on his face performed through his mouth, which meant he had no visible scarring. However, he still had one nostril that felt blocked, which affected his breathing, mainly at night.
In addition, he continued to experience numbness on the right side of his face. These issues compounded a number of pre-existing medical conditions, including hypertension and frequent ventricular ectopic beats.
Darrel also gathered other evidence to support the claim, including medical reports from the 2 medical centres in the Dominican Republic where our client was treated. Furthermore, our client provided photographs taken at the scene of the accident by a member of the hotel staff.
Our claim was also aided by the fact that our client’s son-in-law had reported the accident to the holiday rep.
Since our client was retired, he didn’t suffer any loss of income. However, there was a financial consequence, as while the hotel management had initially paid some of their expenses, such as taxi fares to hospital and medical costs, they stopped paying when our client refused to sign a document that included a disclaimer clause. Our client had a photograph of this document, which served as further useful evidence.
Another factor that need to be considered as we valued the claim was the impact of the accident on the rest of our client’s family. For example, his wife, daughter and son-in-law went through significant stress as they dealt with the fallout of what happened, as there were numerous telephone calls to make and receive, and meetings with holiday reps, hotel management and hospital staff. This meant that their holiday in the Dominican Republic was completely ruined.
Following negotiations with the holiday tour operator, our client was offered a total of £15,000 compensation, which he accepted.
A share of this settlement was used to reimburse his holiday insurers for their medical outlay, while the remainder went straight to our client.
The value of the settlement reflected the pain and suffering he had gone through, the travel expenses he had incurred in order to get medical treatment, both in the Dominican Republic and back in the UK, and the distress that all four of his family members had experienced as a result of the accident.
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