I suffered a severe electric shock while I was staying at a hotel in France; will I be entitled to claim compensation for an electric shock in a hotel due to faulty wiring?
Provided you sought medical attention for the electric shock you sustained while on holiday, you should be entitled to compensation for an electric shock in a hotel due to faulty wiring; although whether legal action can be taken in Ireland will depend on how you paid for your holiday.
Under the Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act (1995) holidaymakers are allowed to make personal injury claims in Ireland for an accident which occurred while abroad, provided the holiday was purchased as a package deal. A package holiday is defined as including any two of the following items:
1. Travel to the country
2. Accommodation that includes at least one overnight stay
3. An excursion (not including an airport collection and drop off)
A package holiday is booked for an inclusive price; usually through a tour operator or travel agent. When the holiday is booked, a contract is entered into and the party selling the trip must provide a holiday as stated in a brochure or other literature given to the customer prior to the booking being made. Should the tour operator or travel agent fail to provide the services advertised at booking it should be possible to make a claim against the tour operator or travel agent.
If you booked the hotel privately or if your holiday does not qualify as a package tour, the only way that a claim for a severe electric shock in a hotel can be made is against the hotel’s public liability insurance policy, and the claim would need to be made in the country where the injury was sustained. This means that claiming electric shock from faulty hotel wiring will be subject to the laws covering personal injury claims in France.
In the case of a package holiday, you can claim compensation for an electric shock in a hotel due to faulty wiring through the Injuries Board or the Irish courts provided you visited a doctor for treatment and reported the accident to both the hotel and the tour operator (ideally in writing).
It must be proven that the tour operator was negligent for providing you with a hotel which fell below an acceptable standard, and the hotel was negligent for providing a room with dangerous wiring. If you were able to take photographs of the electrical appliance, light switch or exposed wires which caused your accident, these can be used to support your claim for a severe electric shock in a hotel. Your medical records will serve as proof of injury, and your complaint to the tour operator and hotel will be used as proof of the accident in the hotel.
It is strongly recommended that you speak with a personal injury solicitor in Ireland as soon as possible to determine whether a claim for an electric shock from faulty hotel wiring can be made in Ireland and, if so, to receive legal advice about how to start your claim. If a claim needs to be made in France, you should still seek legal advice in Ireland, although it is probable that you will need to use a French solicitor to pursue your case.