If you’ve suffered an illness on holiday, as well as ruining your trip, the illness could’ve left you seriously out of pocket. If the illness was brought on because of someone else’s negligence, it may be possible to seek damages for the suffering they caused. For example, a holiday illness claim might be possible for food poisoning caused by poor hygiene standards in a hotel.
If you are interested in claiming compensation for a holiday illness we can help. One of our specialist advisors can review your case with you and try to determine whether you are entitled to compensation. If your claim looks strong enough and a personal injury lawyer from our panel offers to support it, you’ll receive No Win, No Fee legal representation. That means you won’t pay any legal fees unless compensation is awarded.
You can contact us on 0800 652 1345 today if you’d like to talk to us or continue reading to learn more about holiday illness compensation claims.
Can I claim compensation for a holiday illness?
If you ask a personal injury solicitor from our panel to help you claim compensation for a holiday illness, they’ll want to find out first whether:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty of care; and
- That duty of care was breached through an act of negligence; and
- You were made ill on your holiday as a consequence of that negligence.
You’ll be owed a legal duty of care by your holiday provider or the hotel, restaurant or business where you were made ill. As such, you needn’t worry too much about this particular criterion.
However, you can help to prove who was responsible for your illness on holiday and how it affected you by collecting proof. This is something we’ll review in more detail later on in this article.
Types of holiday illnesses you could claim compensation for
Food poisoning is one of the biggest causes of holiday illnesses but there are other reasons why you might become ill. Some of the main causes of holiday illnesses that a solicitor can help with include:
- Salmonella – a bacteria found in poultry. Salmonella can be spread where food is not cooked properly or food handling areas are not kept clean.
- E-Coli – this is usually found in the body but doesn’t cause any problems. However, illness can be caused by certain strains. Holiday illness claims could be linked to undercooked meat, water contamination and unpasteurised cheese or milk.
- Gastroenteritis – very similar to salmonella with symptoms including diarrhoea and vomiting that can cause dehydration.
- Cryptosporidium – a parasitic illness that affects your digestive system and causes diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Norovirus – this condition, also called the winter vomiting bug, is very contagious and so can spread quickly through enclosed areas such as cruise ships. It can be spread through physical contact, contaminated foods and water.
- Pesticide poisoning – pesticides can cause illness if the food you eat on holiday has not been washed properly. You could also be exposed to pesticides where a nearby room in a hotel or complex has been fumigated. Illnesses linked to pesticides can cause short-term headaches, breathing problems and vomiting or longer-term health problems.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning – this can occur if gas appliances in your hotel, for example, are poorly maintained. Nausea, headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness and other symptoms can be cleared by access to fresh air but, left untreated, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal.
- Legionnaire’s disease – where contaminated water droplets are inhaled through air conditioning, swimming pools, spa baths and water supplies. The symptoms are similar to pneumonia.
Symptoms of food poisoning on holiday
Food poisoning symptoms (from the NHS website) include:
- Nausea (feeling sick).
- Vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Stomach cramps.
- Aches and chills.
- Fever – where your body temperature is 38C or above.
Usually, these symptoms will begin a few days after eating contaminated food. However, they can start within hours or take a few weeks to present.
Any form of holiday illness, even if it’s not listed here, could mean you’re entitled to claim compensation for your suffering. To find out whether you might be entitled to holiday illness compensation, please get in touch.
Can I claim if I got sick on a package holiday?
Our solicitors generally help with holiday illness claims linked to package holidays. That’s because your holiday provider in the UK has a legal duty of care towards your well-being whilst you’re on holiday abroad.
The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, which apply in the UK, provide a definition for a package holiday. According to the regulations, a package holiday is a ‘pre-arranged combination’ of two or more of the different parts of your holiday including your hotel, your travel arrangements or other tourist activities such as excursions and day trips. Even if you booked two parts of your holiday at different times but paid the same operator, your trip could be classed as a package holiday.
If you become sick on holiday through no fault of your own while on a package holiday, you could make a holiday illness claim with one of our solicitors. Please get in touch with a member of our team to find out more.
Can I claim if I became ill while on a cruise?
If you’re ill on a cruise ship in international waters through no fault of your own, the Athens Convention 1974 is the regulation that can permit you to claim compensation. You can still claim with a solicitor on our panel when you’re back in the UK.
A claim may be possible for illnesses on a cruise ship such as:
- Norovirus caused by poor hygiene in a restaurant.
- A lack of regular cleaning on the cruise ship.
- Poor hand hygiene facilities on board the ship i.e. empty hand sanitisers.
If you’ve suffered sickness while on a cruise and believe the ship’s operator was to blame, please speak to a member of our team about your options.
How much compensation for holiday illness claims?
Each claim for holiday illness compensation is assessed on its merits meaning every claim is unique. There’s no set compensation amount for holiday illness claims but you could receive compensation to cover:
- The physical symptoms of your holiday illness and the suffering they caused.
- Loss of enjoyment of your holiday.
- Medical treatment or repatriation costs.
- Care costs to cover the time someone else in your group spent looking after you.
- Any additional travel expenses (rearranged flight costs etc).
- Psychological injuries.
- Loss of earnings.
To ascertain the full extent of your suffering, an independent medical assessment may be needed for a holiday illness claim. This will generally happen locally with a specialist who’ll review your medical records, discuss any ongoing symptoms and find out how you’ve been affected by the illness.
If you have suffered an illness while on holiday and believe your provider should compensate you, please call 0800 652 1345 to discuss how we could help you.
Providing proof for holiday illness compensation claims
Your holiday company is likely to fight your claim from the outset so that they don’t need to pay you compensation. As such, it’s likely the only way they may agree to compensate you is if they see enough proof to show how you have suffered and why they were liable. So, your solicitor will aim to present a strong case by finding proof to support your holiday illness claim. This might include:
- Medical evidence. Your solicitor will ask the doctor who diagnosed your holiday illness to provide a copy of your medical notes. This will help to confirm the condition you suffered from. Notes might be collected from a UK doctor’s surgery or a medical practice abroad.
- Witness statements. You should supply your solicitor with the contact details of any other guests who were ill at the same time as you. Your solicitor could then collect statements about the hygiene practices in the hotel, bar or restaurant where you were made ill.
- Photographic proof. It’s a good idea to take photographs of any unhygienic practices, unclean areas where food is served or poorly maintained equipment such as drinks machines.
- A diary. To help clarify how long you suffered from your holiday illness, it’s a good idea to write a diary of what you ate and the days you were sick.
- Report forms or complaint responses. You should always inform your travel operator about any illness contracted on holiday. They may be able to help and they will need to record details of your illness meaning there will be a written record of events if you go on to claim.
Any proof you’ve collected already could help to speed up the holiday illness claims process. If anything else is required, your solicitor will try to secure it if your claim is accepted.
How long do I have to make a holiday illness claim?
Even though you might have suffered a holiday illness abroad, if it was whilst on a package holiday, UK laws will apply to the claims process. As such, the time limit for holiday illness claims is usually 3 years from the date you were ill. If it was your child that was ill on holiday, their 3-year time limit doesn’t start until their 18th birthday leaving you free to seek damages on their behalf at any time before then.
If you’re claiming for an illness on a cruise ship, the limitation is 2 years rather than 3.
In our experience, it’s best to seek legal advice as soon as you get back to the UK to allow plenty of time for your claim to be started. If you claim early, your solicitor should have more than enough time to collect proof and medical reports relating to your illness on holiday.
To check how long you’ve got left to begin a holiday illness claim, call our team today.
No Win, No Fee claims
Claiming compensation from a package holiday provider can be difficult. They’ll either use an in-house legal team or their insurers to defend their case. We believe you’ve got a better chance of being compensated if you take action with a personal injury solicitor on your side.
We know that the cost of legal representation can be prohibitive so our panel of solicitors provide a No Win, No Fee service for all holiday illness claims they take on. That means you only have to pay them if compensation is awarded.
Your No Win, No Fee contract will need to be signed before your solicitor can work on your claim. Once the paperwork has been received, your solicitor will:
- Contact the holiday provider and explain that you are claiming compensation.
- Try to collect as much proof as is needed to support the holiday illness claim.
- Argue your case and try to fight against any objections raised.
- Keep you up to date with any progress in your case.
- Aim to ensure that you are fairly compensated.
If the claim is lost, you won’t have to pay your solicitor for their work. If you are compensated, though, you’ll have a success fee deducted from your settlement. This success fee is legally capped at 25 per cent of any damages when making a No Win, No Fee claim. The exact percentage you’ll pay will be clearly indicated in your contract before you sign it.
To see if one of our No Win, No Fee solicitors could help you to claim holiday illness compensation, please call today.
Start a holiday illness compensation claim today
We’re ready to help if you’d like to claim for a holiday ruined by sickness. Simply call our team on 0800 652 1345 today and your claim will be reviewed by one of our specialist advisors. There’s no obligation to lodge a claim but you can ask us any questions you may have about the claims process.
If your claim goes ahead, your solicitor will act on a No Win, No Fee basis so you will only need to pay legal fees to cover their work if compensation is awarded.
Please use live chat to connect with us if you have any further questions on holiday illness claims, or claim your free consultation here.