Holiday sickness claims


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Getting ill abroad can not only ruin your holiday, but cause lasting serious health problems. If health and safety rules are followed then many illnesses can be avoided entirely – so if you have fallen ill on holiday you may be eligible to claim for compensation.

As a customer on holiday, a duty of care is owed to you by your tour operator, hotel and restaurants and, if they fail in that duty of care, and you become ill as a result, then you may be able to make a holiday sickness claim to compensate you. Find out more about making a claim for accidents abroad.

A common illness caused by failure to ensure your safety is food poisoning. There are many different types of food poisoning, including:

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Salmonella poisoning

Anyone can get salmonella, but at most risk of becoming seriously ill are young children, the elderly and people who have immune systems that are not working properly (including people with cancer, AIDS or alcoholism).

Symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever and develop 12-72 hours after infection, lasting 4-7 days. You usually get salmonella by eating contaminated food. Contamination is possible if raw and cooked foods are stored together.

E. coli

Anyone can get an E. coli infection. Symptoms include diarrhoea, blood in faeces, vomiting, stomach cramps and fever. Symptoms can appear anywhere from 1-14 days after infection.

You can get E. coli by eating infected food, touching infected animals and from another infected person. You can also get it from drinking poorly treated water supplies and swimming or playing in infected pools.


Gastroenteritis is a very common condition, causing diarrhoea and vomiting. It’s usually caused by a bacterial or viral tummy bug. It affects people of all ages, but is most common in young children.

Symptoms usually appear within a day of infection and include sudden, watery diarrhoea, feeling sick, projectile vomiting and a mild fever. Symptoms usually clear up within a week.

The bugs that cause gastroenteritis spread very easily from person to person – through small particles of vomit or faeces that get into your mouth, through close contact with an infected person, touching contaminated objects or surfaces or eating contaminated food.

Food poisoning can be caused by many factors, including:

  • not cooking food thoroughly (particularly meat)
  • not correctly storing food – especially food that should be chilled
  • leaving cooked food out for long periods
  • eating food that has been touched by someone who is ill
  • cross-contamination (where bacteria are spread between food, surfaces and equipment)

Other illnesses that are commonly picked up on holiday include:

  • Viruses – including Norovirus
  • Legionnaires’ disease
  • Typhoid
  • Bacterial infections
  • Parasitic infections

If you or a loved one have suffered illness during or following a holiday abroad as a result of negligence, then get in touch to start your No Win No Fee* claim for compensation.

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