A Holiday Accident Claim Case Study – Client Situation
Our client was on holiday with his wife and two sons at the Palm Wings Beach Resort in Altinkum, Turkey when he was injured in a swimming pool waterslide accident.
On the first full day of their holiday, our client and one of the children had a go on the waterslide and went down the slide into the water lying on their backs. However, he saw other people going down the slide in different positions, which had been authorised by the member of staff standing at the top of the waterslide.
Our client presumed that the slide had been tested and it was acceptable to go down in other positions. He chose to go down the slide lying on his stomach and got onto his knees while he waited to be given the all-clear to go down.
A member of staff manning the slide didn’t advise against the position and simply waved his hand to permit our client to go down. But instead of going along the surface upon reaching the pool, he went underwater and hit his head and face on the bottom of the swimming pool. While doing so, his body bent over him and his legs came over his head.
Immediately after the accident, he made his way over to the side of the pool, and as soon as his wife saw him, she noticed he was bleeding. When he got back to his room, he looked in the mirror and saw a deep cut to the top of his head and a chunk hanging out of the bridge of his nose.
His wife summoned a doctor and following an examination, he was sent to the local Turkish hospital, while his wife stayed at the hotel with the children to avoid causing them any more upset. His injuries were bandaged and stitched up, and he was diagnosed with concussion.
By this time, he was suffering pain in his back and neck, and was put on a drip and given fluids. He was eventually discharged from hospital and given tablets to ease the pain.
In the meantime, his wife tried to report the accident to a rep for tour operator First Choice, but couldn’t find one. While she did speak to the hotel staff and a doctor about what happened to her husband, a First Choice rep never came to see how our client was.
For the first two days after the accident, our client was in a great deal of pain so spent lots of time in his room and unable to enjoy activities such as swimming and jet skiing, which he had been looking forward to. As a result, his wife had to bring him food, and he was left feeling as if he was spoiling the holiday for his family.
The dressing on his forehead was highly visible and he developed two large black eyes, and this led to him becoming very self-conscious, and trying to conceal the injury with sunglasses and a baseball cap.
He had been asked to return to hospital at the start of the following week and did so accordingly, but instead of having his dressings changed, he was led into an office where his insurance details were taken. He also had to pay a £50 excess charge before being allowed to leave.
On returning to the hotel, he went to the medical centre and had his dressings changed. He suffered severe headaches for the rest of the holiday, and only started feeling better on the final day.
After returning to the UK, he went to his local A&E department and told medical staff what had happened. He was told to stop taking the tablets he had been given in Turkey, as two of them were antibiotics, not painkillers, and staff didn’t know what the others were. He was given Codeine Sulphate painkillers and allowed to go home, and had his stitches removed at the doctor’s surgery several days later.
He eventually returned to work, where he continued suffering pains in his neck and back, which lasted daily for several months, but continued to recur periodically. The pain affected his physical relationship with his wife and stopped him enjoying activities such as playing football, and he then had to try to regain his previous fitness levels after the pain had subsided.
How We Helped
The injured man contacted our Holiday Accident Solicitors for help with claiming compensation from First Choice. Associate Solicitor Claire Rabbetts took on his case and contacted First Choice on his behalf, arguing that the water in the pool wasn’t deep enough given the speed and force riders entered the water after exiting the slide.
Claire presented First Choice with details of a number of key failings, such as the lifeguard at the top of the slides doing nothing to prevent holidaymakers from using it in certain sitting and lying positions. If the lifeguard was aware that certain positions were dangerous, he should have prevented people using the slides in this way.
Claire also argued that the accident could have been avoided if signage had been present showing the correct usage and if these rules had been properly enforced. Since the splash pool clearly wasn’t deep enough when entering the pool in certain positions, there should have been some form of warning. First Choice should also have carried out a health and safety check on the slide and pool, which would have revealed that they weren’t fit for purpose.
First Choice was also told that the accident ruined the holiday for the rest of our client’s family, as they could no longer do activities they had planned to do together. First Choice rigorously denied liability (fault), but after much perseverance and with only a few weeks to go before the case went to Court, First Choice changed their mind and agreed to enter into settlement discussions.
First Choice eventually agreed to pay our client a total of £4,500 in compensation.
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