Have you or your family suffered from food poisoning or other illness or injury on holiday? And was someone else (such as a package holiday company) to blame for this? If so, you are likely to be able to claim financial compensation. In the past, many cases of holiday sickness or illness (eg gastric illness, salmonella, skin infections etc) would go by, ruining countless holidays, without anyone really claiming what they were owed. But now, you’re more likely than ever to be able to sue your travel operator successfully. And with good legal advice from a skilled personal injury claims lawyer you’ll be able to recover what you deserve.
What are the legal requirements to claim compensation for holiday sickness or accident abroad?
You’ll be able to claim if:-
- You or your family or a group of holiday-makers at your resort suffered from food poisoning (eg salmonella, E. coli etc)
- You suffered physical injury that wasn’t your fault and that was due to someone else’s negligence/lack of care, where your injury would have been foreseeable in the circumstances
What compensation can you claim for?
And, in terms of what specifically you could claim back compensation for you, the following are some of the most popular:-
- Lost earnings due to holiday sickness or injury – ie you were, as a result, unable to attend your work during the period immediately after returning from holiday
- Any expenses you incurred as a direct result of the illness, such as medical expenses, re-arranged flight costs or other travel costs (eg taxi)
- Loss of enjoyment for the rest of your holiday as a result
Why can you claim against package holiday companies (eg First Choice, Thomas Cook, Thomson Holidays, Jet2 Holidays etc) for holiday illness?
You are legally entitled to make a claim because tour operators have a legal duty of care to you – they must ensure that the hotel you’re staying in complies with relevant international food/hygiene standards and must ensure that conditions are safe, with a reasonable standard of maintenance. So if your hotel, booked through a UK package holiday company (such as First Choice, Thomas Cook, Thomson Holidays, Jet2 etc), did not meet such standards and you suffered as a result, you have a right to claim.
Note that even if you hadn’t booked your holiday through a package holiday company you may still be able to claim, although such claims aren’t always as straightforward.
What countries are some of the most popular hotspots for food poisoning claims and what countries are covered? (eg Spain, Tunisia, Greece etc)
All countries could be potential locations in respect of which you may be able to make your holiday claim. The key thing for raising a holiday illness claim in the UK is that your claim is being made against a business/company ideally located in the UK. Some of the most common locations for making holiday illness claims include Spain (for Spanish Lawyers click here), Tunisia, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Morocco although, as noted, all countries are potentially open for claims.
What’s best practice for being able to claim for holiday illness?
In terms of best practice and best practical advice for being able to claim a good amount of compensation for holiday illness, you should consider doing the following:-
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, particularly if your holiday is serious, not just for obvious reasons, but also so that you have medical evidence to substantiate any claim you may make in future;
- Keep a sample of the food from which you think you got your food poisoning (if that’s possible) – it may well be too late;
- Take a note of anyone else in your hotel who suffered from a similar illness to you;
- Use your camera to take photos or video evidence of the state of the hotel, particularly any bad hygiene or safety practices;
- Start making a food diary as soon as possible to record the food and drink you had in the hours/days leading up to your illness; and
- Report your illness to your tour operator and hotel in writing and ensure you have a written copy of such a complaint.
What should I do next? Consult a holiday illness claims lawyer in the UK
Claiming for holiday illness can potentially be a complicated and time consuming process, particularly without the right legal skills and without the right strategic planning for your case. You should always seek legal advice. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our editor, Gavin Ward, using the contact form, or by email.