- Only one lifeguard at the top of the slide tower operating the two water slides
- No lifeguard at the bottom of the slide to indicate it was safe before sending anyone else down. In the client’s view, the lifeguard did not seem too concerned with enforcing this safety measure
- The slide wasn’t designed or operated in a way to prevent unplanned or accidental interference
- The slide hadn’t been inspected, audited and monitored to ensure there was an effective system to provide adequate time between users
Our client was enjoying a 2-week package holiday with his wife and 3 daughters at the Suntopia Pegasos World Hotel in Side, Turkey, and at first, the holiday was enjoyable and relaxing. The children particularly enjoyed the waterpark at the hotel, and one day, our client and his eldest daughter had a go on the large wave shaped waterslide that went from the top floor of the slide tower.
The slide had a vertical portion at the end which caused users to slide up and then back down the way they came, before coming to a stop.
Our client went down the slide with his daughter, but just as he was standing on the slide ready to step off, he was hit from behind by two riders descending at high speed. He was flung into the air as a result, and fell backwards onto the slide with great impact. He was left dazed and bleeding from his head and ear.
He attempted to get up but the two riders who collided with him came back down from the vertical part of the slide at speed, colliding with him again and causing him to fall face forward onto the slide.
He was knocked out after the second collision, and the first thing he could remember afterwards was sitting on the edge of the slide, having presumably been helped up and seated there by the lifeguards and the other two riders.
At this point, he became aware of intense pain in the left side of his body. Our client was taken to a first aid tent, where the lifeguard who had been operating the slide admitted the accident had been his fault, and a representative of tour operator TUI was also present.
He was taken to hospital, where he underwent X-rays of his neck and lower back and a CT scan. Although he hadn’t broken any bones, he was found to have a hernia in his neck, and was kept overnight at hospital for observation. He was discharged the next day with a prescription for painkillers.
Although his holiday had essentially been ruined, he tried to make the rest of it enjoyable for his children. Nevertheless, he struggled with pain in his head, neck, shoulders and lower back, had difficulty sleeping and many movements were off limits as they would make his existing pain worse.
After returning to the UK, he saw a doctor and began a 10-week course of physiotherapy. The physiotherapist told him he had damaged a nerve from the left side of his neck down to his left arm, which explained why he struggled with certain movements on that side and finding a comfortable position to sleep.
He wasn’t in constant pain following the physiotherapy, but certain movements did trigger pain. Furthermore, he could no longer play football, do any heavy lifting or play with and run around after his baby daughter, as he had done with his older children.
How We Helped
The injured holidaymaker decided to make a holiday accident claim against tour operator TUI, as he believed the accident was caused by the lifeguard’s negligence. He contacted our Holiday Claims Solicitors, who have a strong track record of securing compensation for people who have been injured in accidents on holiday abroad.
After listening to the client telling us what happened during a free consultation, our Holiday Claims Solicitors agreed to take on his case and arranged for him to undergo a medical assessment by a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. This independent specialist compiled a medical report outlining his condition, prognosis and any potential care and treatment needs.
Our Solicitors then approached tour operator TUI, and in presenting the claim argued that the accident had been a traumatic experience for our client and his family, and affected many aspects of his daily and family life. We also highlighted a host of failings at the hotel waterpark that had led to the accident. These included:
Our client couldn’t recall the hotel staff or a TUI representative taking a record of the accident after it occurred, nor was he asked for an account of what had happened. However, he did receive a verbal apology from the lifeguard immediately after the accident and again several days later.
Furthermore, our client noted later in the holiday that the hotel had stepped up safety processes, with 3 lifeguards manning the top of the slide tower and one at the bottom controlling people getting off the slide.
Following negotiations with TUI, our Holiday Claims Solicitors secured a compensation settlement of £7,500 for our client. This reflected not only the pain and suffering that our client had experienced, but also the fact that his wife and children had been very distressed by what had happened.
The compensation settlement should also help our client cover the cost of any future physiotherapy he may need.
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