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Holiday Ruined By Illness or Injury?

Holiday Ruined By Illness or Injury?

Up to a quarter of British holidaymakers report having suffered from food poisoning whilst overseas and every year, thousands of us will suffer some sort of illness or injury while holidaying abroad. In addition to the misery of a hard-earned holiday ruined, travellers can also find themselves shouldering unexpected medical expenses. In the most serious cases a holiday accident or sickness can even result in long term health problems.

Tour operators do have a duty to ensure that the hotels that provide them with services are compliant with international food safety standards and general hygiene procedures. If you have suffered illness through the negligence of a hotel and their failure to observe those standards, you may be entitled to claim compensation. It's worth remembering though that not all cases of illness will be as a result of acts or omissions by your hotel or resort – sometimes we just get sick due to a change in diet or through too much sun.

A medical diagnosis is really important for claiming compensation for holiday illness and holidaymakers who believe that they have suffered from food poisoning should always seek medical help straight away as the consequences can be very serious if left untreated.

It's best to get and keep any documentation and to collect receipts for any out of pocket expenses or over the counter medication. You should also report your illness to the hotel staff or to your travel representative at the earliest opportunity.

If you are unlucky enough to suffer personal injury while on holiday you will need to prove that another person or organisation was responsible for your injury in order to make a successful claim. Once again, you should report your accident/injury to the staff or your travel representative as promptly as possible, make a note of your accident in the hotel accident book, take names and addresses of witnesses to the accident and if possible take photographs of the area where the accident happened.

In all cases, if you are intending to claim expenses such as prescription costs and travelling expenses, do remember to keep receipts as evidence.

With the growing popularity of online booking services, increasing numbers of tourists prefer to book the different elements of their holiday from separate providers. In some cases, tourists may not even realise that they are buying separate elements because many travel agents sell pre-packaged “deals”. If you are an independent traveller you may still be able to pursue a claim against a hotel and/or their insurers but working out where and against whom you should claim can be a complex matter.

Time limits apply to all holiday illness compensation claims, and those time limits vary from country to country. We would therefore advise you to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

For advice and information about claiming sickness or personal injury compensation at home or abroad please contact Shaun Burke on 01325 466461 or email

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