Falling ill whilst you are abroad can be stressful and will more than likely spoil the trip for you. Unfortunately, nobody has control over when and how they are going to become ill.
People get sick on holiday and that’s a fact. But when an illness is directly linked to poor standards such as poor food hygiene, you should have the confidence to seek compensation where it’s appropriate.
Common Illnesses on Holiday
- Food poisoning – Food poisoning is one of the most common illnesses that affect people on holiday. People get food poisoning from eating a contaminated source of food or drink. The bacteria, parasites and viruses that commonly cause food poisoning include Norovirus, Salmonella, Listeria and E. Coli.
- Diarrhoea – Diarrhoea is also one of the most common health issues to plague travellers abroad. This is usually caused by unusual food and unsafe drinking water.
What Should I Do If I Become Sick Abroad?
- If you happen to fall ill abroad, it’s important that you report the illness to a holiday rep and/or staff at the hotel so that it can be logged on their system. Some travel companies also have the facility to report illnesses online.
- If you visit a local chemist abroad and are prescribed any medication, remember to keep the receipts of any medication that you have been purchased or any treatment you have paid for. Keep all medical documentation in relation to your illness safe, especially if you have visited a clinic or hospital and have been seen by an on-site Doctor.
- Be alert and take photos of anything that may relate to your illness, such as poor hygiene in the hotel.
- If other guests have fallen ill at your hotel too, note down their details as they could provide valuable witness statements in support of your claim.
- Even if you become sick when you arrive home, visit your GP and get a record of the visit.
- A holiday sickness claim can be extremely difficult to prove, so therefore it is very important that the person bringing the claim forward gathers as much information and evidence as possible, in order to prove that they became ill whilst on holiday.
Fraudulent Holiday Sickness Claims
Sadly, some people see an opportunity to make money by claiming false allegations and holiday sickness claims. In fact, there have been many high-profile cases where people have been sent to prison for fake holiday sickness claims. If you intentionally mislead, withhold or offer false information, it’s a criminal offence.
This should not discourage you from making a holiday sickness claim, however. If your claim is genuine and you really did lose out on your holiday due to illness, it’s important that you take the relevant steps to claiming for this.
Examples of The Compensation You Could Claim For:
- Personal expenses – i.e. medical costs and travel insurance excess.
- Holiday experience – the period of the holiday that was ruined due to the sickness.
- Loss of earnings – you can claim compensation for money you could have earned but weren’t able to because of your illness.
- Care – due to the illness, you may need extra help and care, which can be compensated.
- Future loss – this includes earnings, future costs and pensions that will be lost due to sickness.
- Pain and suffering – this will depend on the severity of your sickness, of which you will be awarded accordingly.
What to Do If You Have A Genuine Claim
Food poisoning is one of the biggest issues for people falling ill abroad, which is often caused by poor hygiene practice in hotels. If you or someone in your party falls ill with food poisoning, it’s imperative that it is treated straight away, before it leads to further implications and long-term problems. It’s important that you let your tour operator and the hotel management know immediately so that they can ensure the correct medical attention is given.
Notifying the hotel and tour operator immediately will also allow them to investigate the matter straight away and put any necessary hygiene measures into place so that no one else has to fall ill and suffer.
What Are My Next Steps?
If you feel that you are eligible for compensation for your holiday illness, it’s important that you take the steps to contact a Holiday Illness Claims expert who will be able to help you build a case, providing you have relevant evidence and information.