Illness abroad claims

No-one wants to be ill when abroad but there is always the risk of it happening. It can occur as a result of consuming contaminated food or water or from contracting an illness or disease.

If you are unlucky enough to be taken ill whilst abroad then not only can it ruin your holiday but may persist even when you have returned home. In some cases those effects may be permanent.

The worst case scenario is to be left with permanently damaged health which means that you are unable to work. That will impact upon your finances as well as your daily cost of living.

We are talking about loss of earnings plus additional costs for travel to hospital (taxis or car parking), specialist care and services. All of these can prove to be expensive and may cause you financial hardship.

If you become ill whilst abroad then consider taking out a claim for compensation.

Types of compensation claims for illnesses abroad

These can range from a single claim through to those where large groups of people have been affected. These are often people who have booked a package holiday only to find that they have developed an illness such as Legionnaire’s disease or food poisoning.

If you become ill in a hotel as part of a package hotel then you can make a claim for compensation against the travel company. This will depend upon the circumstances at the time but you may be able to do so via the UK courts.

If not then it means making a claim against the travel company.

Legionnaire’s disease

This is a type of pneumonia which often occurs in ventilation systems in hotels and other similar buildings. This is why it tends to affect tourists more than other people.

This disease causes fever, aching muscles, weight loss and tiredness and feels very similar to ‘the flu’. In some cases mental confusion occurs. It usually develops in people over 50 and anyone who is considered at high risk, for example people with respiratory problems.

This disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria which are found in air droplets and water. These droplets are breathed in which then cause Legionnaire’s disease.

Food poisoning

Many people experience ‘traveller’s tummy’or something similar when they go on holiday which is often due to the change in cuisine. This is usually a mild illness that resolves itself within 24 to 48 hours.

However there are situations in which an outbreak of food poisoning occurs, usually caused by bacteria such as E coli or salmonella which can ruin your holiday and other people’s.

These outbreaks often occur in restaurants and cafes. Cruise ships are another likely source as people gather together in groups to eat which makes it very easy for the illness to spread.

Symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhoea. These symptoms are worse in people considered to be vulnerable such as young children and the elderly.

Making a claim for compensation from an illness abroad

If you are unlucky enough to develop food poisoning whilst on holiday then you can make a claim for compensation. The owners of the cruise ship, caféor restaurant have a duty of care to you in regard to food safety and hygiene. If they fail in this and you become ill then they are liable for compensation.

You can make a claim against the hotel –if you developed your illness there, or against the travel company.

A compensation claim will be for the loss of the holiday, the discomfort and inconvenience caused and any additional expenses.

To find out more about the claims process visit our making a claim for compensation section.

Time limit for claiming compensation for an illness abroad

There is a time limit of 3 years for making a claim for compensation for an illness abroad.

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