We all look forward to our holidays; those precious days away from any stress and concern. We not only invest anticipation, but hard-earned savings, into our trips abroad. So, for that to be ruined by holiday sickness is an intolerable outcome. If you have been struck by an illness due to a fault by staff, which ruined part or all of your holiday then you could be entitled to compensation.
Here is what you need to know about claiming money back for holiday sickness.
Claiming for Holiday Sickness
Common claims for illnesses caused by food poisoning from meals supplied by the hotel, and poor hygiene standards, will depend on the source of the sickness and its severity, as well as the impact it had on your holiday. The success of your claim will also rely on being able to demonstrate the culpability of the establishment.
For example, if during your stay you ate at a range of restaurants then it may prove difficult to point to one as the cause of food poisoning, although it is possible. More often, claims succeed against hotel restaurants, where it is easier to show that food poisoning was caused by the hotel caterers.
When going away, it is always important to be wary of what you are eating, as it may be the case that food preparation is different in your foreign destination. You should also take notice of how, and for how long, the food is stored. These factors are important because any case for food-related illness will compare the standards you faced against the typical practices of the country or region you are in, rather than the standards which you are accustomed to at home.
That said, if the establishment or hotel was aware or concerned about a food poisoning outbreak, then a failure to warn you can also form the basis for a holiday sickness claim.
Similar concerns relate to sickness connected with poor hygiene. Premises should be kept as clean as is the expected standard for the holiday destination, although resorts and hotels claiming to be highly rated may be subject to greater levels of scrutiny.
The Law Surrounding Package Holidays
If you are on a package holiday, then your tour operator bears responsibility for any illness related to travel, accommodation and food which is included in that package. Under the Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tours Regulations 1992, vendors of tourist packages now face complete liability, and as a result large tourist companies have been forced to pay out significant sums for illnesses suffered by their customers while abroad. These regulations also mean that you do not need to make the claim in the country you were visiting. Instead, action can be brought from home, by a solicitor in the UK. This also means that you don’t need to waste the rest of your holiday gathering information or pursuing legal action in that country.
The amount of compensation which you could receive for holiday sickness will be reliant on the extent of your symptoms. It is typical to see awards above £700 where symptoms were exhibited for a few days, while long-term sickness contracted due to a holiday supplier’s fault, for example individuals who are infected with irritable bowel syndrome (ITB), have been awarded up to £40,000 in certain cases.
The sum awarded will factor in the pain and suffering you have experienced, as well as pecuniary losses including the price of the holiday and any medical costs arising from the illness. If the symptoms endured for an extended period, any loss of earnings can also be accounted for.
If your holiday has been affected by illness of any kind, then ensure that you seek the advice of a legal professional, or you could be missing out on cash you are owed. It is not acceptable that your holiday can be ruined by illness when the issue should have been avoided.
If you have been effected by holiday sickness and would like to find out more information about making a claim, the Wildings Solicitors team can help. Head to our Holiday Sickness Claims page for more information, or book your free initial consultation with a solicitor today.