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Posted 08/03/2022 by Victory Travel Cruise Lawyers

Travel Accident Lawyers Win Coach Passenger Injury Compensation

Travel Accident Lawyers Win Coach Passenger Injury Compensation

Travel accident lawyers were the last people 65-year-old Deidre thought she would ever need when she was planning her dream holiday – an extended coach tour through Europe. 

Sure, she would use a local travel agent to help her find a tour that was right for her and book the flights and stopovers. She also knew she would need an insurance broker to get her the best deal on travel insurance, given that she had undergone a knee replacement 12 months previously.  But travel accident lawyers? She did not know what travel accident lawyers did, let alone contemplate that she would need them in the future.

Unfortunately for Deirdre, however, her dream coach tour did not go to plan. 

On Day 9 of a 21-day tour, Deirdre was in Lyon, France.  Whilst on some evenings passengers had free time, that night Deirdre’s evening meal was included in the tour itinerary.  The tour company had pre-selected a traditional local restaurant or ‘Bouchon Lyonnais’ in the old quarter Vieux Lyon for the group to dine at.   They had also arranged a set menu and entertainment.

It was 8pm when the group left their hotel, and the sun had already set.  The coach transferred the group to the old quarter, and the tour manager led them down the cobbled lanes to the restaurant.   Once insider the historic restaurant, the tour manager took the group to the private dining room downstairs.

The light inside the restaurant was dim.  For ambience the lights were turned down low, with the tabletop candles flickering to provide light to the diners.  Lit tealights were also placed on the stairs to light the way down to the private dining room.

Deidre was immediately behind the tour manager as they walked downstairs.  She was wearing an ankle length flowing cotton skirt.   The stairs were a narrow spiral made of stone, with a handrail on one side.  Cautious not to fall on the stairs and injure her knee, she concentrated on finding the handrail and walking down the stairs steadily. 

Deirdre vaguely noticed tealights on the stairs but did not give them much attention.   Given where they were positioned, Deirdre assumed that they were battery powered candles rather than naked flames.

When Deirdre was a couple of steps down the staircase, her long skirt brushed past a tealight and immediately caught fire.  The skirt ignited quickly.  Deirdre was in a precarious situation: her skirt was alight but she could not easily remove it on the narrow steps.  Unable to go back to the top of the steps given the bunched up tour group behind her, she had to rush down the steps to remove the skirt.  In her panic she stumbled towards the end and fell down the last few steps onto the stone floor.

The tour manager helped Deirdre remove the skirt but she had already suffered terrible burns to her lower legs and hands.  She also dislocated her knee replacement from the fall.  After receiving emergency medical treatment in France, Deirdre was repatriated back to Australia by her travel insurer.

Deirdre needed extensive medical treatment back home in Perth, including skin grafts and revision surgery on her injured knee.  She lived with constant pain. The once active 65 year old became scared to leave her house and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Worried about the long-term effects of the injury on their mother, Deirdre’s children researched travel accident lawyers to see whether she was entitled to compensation.  

Given the severity of Deirdre’s injury, her children wanted travel accident lawyers with a proven track record of successful claims to advise Deirdre.   They found a firm of specialist travel accident lawyers in Sydney who gave her a no obligation free appointment with Deirdre over Zoom.

The travel accident lawyers advised Deirdre of her potential claims against the French restaurant and the tour company.  They recommended that they submit a claim to the Australian tour company in the first instance for breaches of the statutory warrantees in the Australian Consumer Law and for negligence.

In particular, Deirdre’s travel accident lawyers alleged that the tour manager was negligent in failing to warn Deirdre about the lit candles.  They also alleged that the tour company was negligent for not identifying the hazardous staircase and tealights when awarding the excursion contract to the restaurant.

Deirdre felt confident in her travel accident lawyers’ abilities.  She instructed them to make a claim.  The travel accident lawyers worked for Deirdre on a ‘no win no fee’ basis.

The tour company denied liability but agreed to have settlement discussions with Deirdre and her travel accident lawyers.  Deirdre’s travel accident lawyers obtained all the medical reports and other evidence that they needed to calculate what Deirdre’s claim was worth.  Deirdre’s claim then settled at an informal settlement conference without needing to go to court. 

Deirdre’s story is an illustration of how complex overseas accident claims are.  We hope you do not need to call travel accident lawyers after your next trip, but if you do, we recommend that you speak to a lawyer who is an expert in this area.

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