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Skier Secures Six-Figure Settlement After Bulgarian Holiday Accident

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist travel solicitors acted on behalf of a novice skier who was seriously injured in an accident on the slopes.

Our client, Mr G, went to Bulgaria on holiday with a group of friends on his first skiing holiday. Unfortunately, on the first day of his trip to the Bansko Resort, Mr G fell while skiing and suffered a serious injury to his right knee.

Fall on the slopes

As part of his holiday, Mr G received a group skiing lesson and was then allowed to ski unsupervised without any assessment of his ability.  Unknowingly Mr G had faulty skis which contributed to his accident. After some resistance from resort staff, a local doctor was called and diagnosed Mr G with a ruptured cruciate ligament and a dislocated shoulder.

The accident ruined the holiday for the group of friends who had to constantly help Mr G around their hotel. Mr G experienced weakness in his knee and shoulder and was prone to falling at any moment. He also had to spend the rest of his holiday on painkillers.

Serious injuries

After Mr G returned to the UK, he had to undergo numerous physiotherapy sessions and his injuries have also impacted on his career prospects. Mr G was forced to take a step back from work in order to concentrate on his physiotherapy.

Several years after the accident, Mr G still suffers from occasional pain in his right shoulder and knee. He’s had to have three operations on his right knee and two on his shoulder, along with physiotherapy sessions to improve the muscles in his joints. He now struggles to keep fit as he can no longer play football which was one of his favourite hobbies prior to the incident. Mr G has also been warned that he will need further operations including knee replacement surgery.

Mr G, working with specialist travel solicitor Joseph Dawson, made a claim against Hotelplan Ltd and despite initially ignoring responsibility for the accident, they admitted blame for Mr G’s injuries days before court proceedings were set to start.

We were able to secure Mr G a six-figure compensation settlement that will leave him safe in the knowledge that his future rehabilitation and medical needs will be taken care of.

Ski safety

Mr G’s solicitor, Joseph Dawson, highlighted the importance of thorough ski instruction. He said: “Mr G was only a novice skier at the time and needed expertise and guidance from instructors to ensure that the equipment he was using was safe and his level of skiing was appropriate.

“Every year we see a number of people returning from winter sports holidays having suffered a serious injury because of similar issues. For everyone looking to enjoy winter sports on their holidays, I would urge that they ensure that sufficient time is given to safety provisions and I would also prompt tour operators to put safety at the top of their priorities.”

Talking about his case, Mr G said: “I was really looking forward to going away with my friends for my first skiing holiday but instead I spent the majority of the time in my hotel room. After four years I’m still suffering from continuous pain in my knee.

“When we booked the trip I thought we would be in safe hands but as soon as I fell I could tell that something was wrong and the skis didn’t come off as they were supposed to. I hope that tour operators will now take more care so others don’t suffer like I have.”

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