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What to Do if You’re Suffering a Holiday Sickness

Date: 17th December 2019

Coming down with a holiday sickness can be frustrating, upsetting and stressful. So it’s hard to know exactly what to do next, particularly if you’re thinking of claiming compensation for your illness.


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In this article, we round up a few essential things to consider if you’re unlucky enough to get ill on holiday.

Should You Take Medication?

There are several risks when it comes to taking medication overseas. Firstly, you may not understand exactly what you’re buying over the counter in a non-English speaking country, as well as instructions such as how much you should take. Secondly, you may end up buying something that isn’t licensed for use in the UK, so there could be adverse side-effects.

We’d recommend that you visit a GP in your resort before taking any medication and find out whether it’s absolutely necessary. If the doctor does decide to prescribe medication, make sure you get a proper diagnosis of your condition first, as it can be difficult to claim compensation for a bacterial pathogen caught on holiday if it’s been wiped out by antibiotics before diagnosis.

Should You Sign Paperwork if You See a Doctor?

If you’re seeing the doctor at your resort, you may be asked to sign forms that prevent you from claiming holiday sickness compensation in the future. As a result, your claim would be unenforceable. So be wary of any paperwork you may be asked to sign after receiving medical treatment, so you know exactly what it is that you’re putting your name to.

If you have been examined by a doctor, you will most likely have to pay a fee. Please ensure that you request a copy of the invoice and the medical report from the doctor. You may be surprised how often tour operators fail to keep adequate records, leading them to assert that no treatment was obtained at all.

What Evidence Can Help Your Claim?

If you’re looking to claim compensation from your tour operator, keep as many records from your holiday as you can.

For example, restaurant receipts can help you prove when and where you ate around the time you got ill and you believe eating at that restaurant led to your illness. The same goes for any products or consumables you bought at the resort.

Whilst it is not always practical, photographic evidence really does add significant strength to a case. The strongest claims usually are those where Claimants have managed to obtain photographs of unhygienic practices such as chefs not wearing gloves, raw food being placed next to cooked food and the presence of birds and flies around the food.

It’s also very important that any illness is reported to the hotel and to your tour representative. Please ensure that the illness is actually properly logged and if possible obtain a copy of the report. If this isn’t possible, ensure that you obtain the full name of the staff member(s) that you spoke to.

Following your return home, you should attempt to see your GP as soon as possible and ask for a stool sample to be taken. This allows you to get a clear diagnosis in writing of your holiday illness, which could be crucial when it comes to building a legal case against your tour operator.

Some parasites, such as Cyclospora, can only be detected through testing samples of contaminated food and water, or through analysis of a stool sample. So it’s very important to consider having one taken, not only to help your claim, but also to be sure you’re getting correctly diagnosed.

Have Other Guests at Your Resort Also Fallen Ill?

If you believe poor food hygiene standards at your resort led to your illness, it’s likely that other people have also fallen ill with similar symptoms. It’s therefore a good idea to find out if fellow holidaymakers have been struck down with illness and share your contact details with them, as you could possibly make a group claim later on.

Do I Need to Take Legal Action if the Tour Operator Offers to Settle Straight Away?

When a customer comes down with a holiday sickness, tour operators often offer a small sum of money in compensation or a goodwill gesture such as holiday vouchers. For some holidaymakers, these could be more than enough to compensate them for what they’ve gone through.

But if you’ve spent a large amount on a holiday, perhaps £2,000 or more, and it was ruined by a sickness bug, it’s unlikely that this will be enough to cover your losses. You’re therefore well within your rights to reject the tour operator’s offer of compensation and approach an expert Holiday Sickness Solicitor instead.

Our expert team have years of experience of handling holiday sickness claims, so get in touch with us for a free no-obligation consultation and we’ll let you know whether your claim has a good chance of succeeding.

If you or a member of your family suffered sickness on holiday and believe the illness was caused by the fault or negligence of the hotel or tour operator, you may be entitled to compensation.

Start your No Win No Fee Holiday Claim by calling 0808 145 1353