Holiday providers, restaurants, and hotels owe you a duty of care to your health and safety. That means if you become sick on holiday from the norovirus bug, food poisoning, or Legionnaires’ disease, as a result of negligence, you could make a holiday sickness claim and sue for compensation. In this holiday sickness claims guide we’ll explain how the claims process works, who you could claim compensation from, and how much compensation could be awarded.
If you want to start a claim for an illness suffered on holiday, we are ready to help. To start the claims process, your case will be reviewed for free on a no-obligation basis where you’ll receive free advice on your options. Where our claims advisors think there is a case to be answered, they could pass the details on to one of our No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors to get the ball rolling.
If you’re ready to begin a holiday sickness claim right now, you can call us on 0800 6524 881. If you’d like to find out more about the holiday sickness claims process before getting in touch, please continue reading.
Are You Eligible To Make A Holiday Sickness Claim?
If you’d like one of our personal injury solicitors to make a holiday sickness claim for you, they’ll need to check a few criteria before agreeing to represent you. Amongst other things, they’ll check whether:
- You were owed a duty of care by the defendant; and
- They breached their duty because they were negligent in some way; and
- You suffered a holiday illness (or were injured on holiday) as a direct result of the negligence.
Importantly, holiday sickness claims won’t necessarily be made against the business that caused you to become ill if you’ve booked a package holiday. That’s because your tour operator will owe you a duty of care and be responsible for the services they sell you. Therefore, if you suffer food poisoning in a hotel on holiday abroad, the claim might be made against your package holiday provider rather than the hotel.
What Is A Package Holiday?
How do you know if you’ve purchased a package holiday or not? Well, they’re not always labelled as such so it’s important to look at the relevant legislation. According to the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018, you will have purchased a package holiday if you have purchased at least two main parts of your holiday from the same company. They do not need to have been purchased at the same time. The services this covers include:
- Accommodation (villas, hotels, apartments etc).
- Transport (flights, train journeys or coach trips – but not airport transfers).
- Hire cars.
- Excursion or similar tourist services if they are a significant part of your trip.
If you have purchased any two of these services together and are made ill whilst on holiday, you could claim holiday illness compensation against your holiday provider directly.
What To Do If You Become Ill On Holiday
If you do become ill on holiday, there are several things you could do that might make any subsequent holiday sickness claim easier. They include:
- Report the problem. It’s important to contact your holiday rep or support team to let them know that you’ve been made ill. You are entitled to a copy of the report form which could be used as evidence if you do proceed to a holiday illness claim.
- Seek medical treatment. Any illness on holiday should be treated by a medical professional as soon as possible to help you get better swiftly. Medical records could then be used as evidence to prove the extent of your injuries.
- Photographs and videos. If it is clear that hygiene standards are not good enough, capture footage on your mobile phone or camera.
The next step in the holiday sickness claims process might be to contact our holiday claims advisors so that your case can be reviewed for free.
Common Causes Of Holiday Sickness Claims
Here are some common causes of holiday sickness claims for compensation:
- Poor food preparation. If your food is stored, prepared, or cooked incorrectly, you could be at risk of food poisoning on holiday.
- Inadequate cleaning procedures. Where a restaurant, café, hotel, bar or pub doesn’t clean its premises properly, there can be an increased risk of infections spreading.
- Lack of controls at buffets. If food poisoning on holiday has broken out at a venue, food at buffets may need to be handed out by staff to reduce the potential for bugs to be spread.
Types Of Holiday Illness
We have listed a few of the more common illnesses that could lead to holiday sickness claim below:
- Sickness bugs like norovirus.
- Bacterial infections.
- Legionnaires’ disease.
- Food poisoning including e-coli, salmonella, and gastroenteritis.
If you would like free legal advice on holiday sickness claims, please call today and discuss your case with a specialist.
How Much Compensation For Holiday Illness?
Generally, if you make a holiday sickness claim the compensation you receive won’t be a pre-determined amount. Instead, the amount of compensation for holiday illness you could claim will be based upon these two damages:
- General damages. This element of the claim looks at the pain, suffering and loss of amenity. It could include loss of enjoyment of your holiday.
- Special damages. In this part of your claim, you could look to recover losses such as the cost of rearranging your flights home because of your illness. You could also claim for loss of earnings, care costs and medical expenses too.
You will need to prove the extent of your suffering. Therefore, your solicitor may need to book a medical assessment (usually locally) so that an independent medical specialist can discuss how you have suffered.
Holiday Illness Compensation Amounts Guide
We have provided some compensation amounts for holiday illness in this section to show what you might be awarded for your suffering.
- Holiday illness from food poisoning with some disabling pain, £860 to £3,710 compensation.
- As above but with significant discomfort, £3,710 to £8,950 compensation.
- Short-lived illness from food poisoning, £8,950 to £18,020 compensation.
- As above but severe illness, £36,060 to £49,270 compensation.
Due to the fact that each holiday sickness claim is unique, these figures should be used simply as guidance amounts at this stage. If your claim is successful, your compensation could be higher or lower than the figures listed. Your solicitor will give you a more detailed breakdown of the potential value of your holiday sickness claim once it has been fully assessed.
Holiday Sickness Claims Time Limits
In any type of holiday accident claim, there will be a limitation period. In the UK, for package holiday claims, this is a 3-year period from the date you were made ill on holiday. If you make a claim directly against a hotel or restaurant abroad (instead of your package holiday provider), the time limit will be based on local legislation.
Our advice is that it’s best to begin your holiday sickness claim at your earliest convenience. That’s because your solicitor will have several tasks to fulfil before they file the claim. These tasks can take some time so the sooner you begin, the better.
Where your child has been sick on holiday, you could make a claim on their behalf. That is something we can help with so long as you claim before their 18th birthday (the 3-year limit does not apply). If you don’t, a claim is still possible but they will need to deal with it themselves before their 21st birthday.
Please call our holiday claims advisors if you’re unsure how long you have to make a claim.
Using A Personal Injury Solicitor For Holiday Sickness Claims
If you decide to make a holiday sickness claim against your holiday provider, they (or their insurers) are not going to pay compensation unless you can prove to them that their negligence caused you to be made ill.
We believe you are more likely to win your claim and be compensated fairly if you use a personal injury solicitor. If you work with us, we could appoint a No Win No Fee solicitor who will:
- Gather the evidence required to try and prove what happened.
- Arrange for you to have a local medical assessment.
- File the claim with your holiday provider.
- Handle all objections and queries on your behalf.
- Provide you with regular updates.
- Try to ensure you are compensated fully.
Where possible, your solicitor will try to achieve an amicable settlement with your holiday provider. In our experience, a very low percentage require the intervention of a court.
If you would like to work with us to seek damages, call our free advice line on 0800 6524 881 today. One of our solicitors could begin working on your holiday sickness claim straight away.