Falling ill on holiday is, at best, an inconvenience. But, depending on how serious your illness is, it can ruin your trip and continue to affect you long after you return home. If the illness was caused by another party's negligence (for example, food from a hotel restaurant gives you salmonella food poisoning), you shouldn't have to suffer without receiving compensation. At Thompsons, we're here to help you do exactly that. Below, Thompsons' expert solicitors answer some of the most commonly asked questions by clients pursuing a holiday illness claim.
Your holiday is only protected by the Regulations if it can be defined as an all-inclusive package holiday. In simple terms, a package holiday:
- is sold at an inclusive price,
- consists of at least two of the following: transport, accommodation, and tourist services forming a significant part of the package (for example, car hire)
- lasts at least 24 hours or involves an overnight stay
Your confirmation invoice should make it clear whether or not you booked a package holiday. Our personal injury solicitors can advise you if you are unsure.
Contaminated food causes food poisoning. Food can become contaminated at any stage during storage, handling, cooking and serving. Common causes include:
- Touching food without washing hands, particularly if the operative is unwell
- Undercooked food – particularly meat
- Storing food at incorrect temperatures
- Eating food after its expiration date
- Spreading bacteria between foods, or cross-contamination
Always make your holiday rep and the hotel staff are aware of any concerns. Make sure your concerns are noted in writing.
Although food poisoning is often not serious and improves on its own without antibiotics or other treatment, it is extremely uncomfortable and distressing. The main symptoms include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Aching muscles
- Chills and/or a fever
- Loss of appetite
Symptoms vary depending upon which pathogen caused your illness. You will generally notice symptoms anywhere from a few hours to one or two days after eating contaminated food, although the signs can take up to several weeks to manifest. You should drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and rest until you feel better. If you have pre-existing health conditions, severe symptoms, signs of dehydration, or symptoms which do not improve after a few days, you seek medical advice. Children with suspected food poisoning should always be checked by a doctor.
It all depends on what we can prove, but your solicitor will be best placed to advise you once they have evaluated your claim. To ensure the best prospects of success, you should:
Compensation amounts vary on a case-by-case basis. It depends on many factors including:
- Legal developments in the area
- The severity of your symptoms
- How your illness affected your holiday
- Whether or not you had additional expenses, such as new flights or medical expenses
- How long your illness persists after you return home, and the treatment you required
Once our solicitors have fully reviewed your claim and your prospects of success, we can advise you as to what level of compensation you may expect, but each case very much depends on its own facts.
Why should I pursue my claim with Thompsons?
At Thompsons, we not only provide the best possible service from expert solicitors, but we challenge the law where it fails our clients. We actively campaign to make our legal system fairer and more accessible to everyone, and you can rest assured we will look after you and your claim with the same level of commitment and motivation. We have been involved in a number of significant cases resulting in legal change benefiting our clients, including ensuring asbestos pleural plaques remained actionable in Scotland despite legal threats and advancing employment rights for the benefit of all. Central to our ethos is ensuring we only ever act for an individual or injured party. We never represent companies or insurers, and our commitment to justice for our clients shapes everything we do.