If you got ill or were injured whilst on holiday you could be entitled to compensation. Our Head of Personal Injury explains your legal rights

Are you one of the thousands of people who returned from holiday this month not just with a tan, but also a feeling of being short-changed – your trip blighted by getting ill or suffering an injury? Whilst the temptation might be to just forget the experience and move on, don’t. You could have a right to substantial compensation – money that could be used for another, much more enjoyable holiday next year.

What can I claim for?

You can claim compensation for both illnesses and injuries suffered whilst on your holiday if it can be proven it was the fault of someone other than yourself. If you undercooked a chicken in your own holiday apartment you wouldn’t have a claim, if you were served undercooked chicken in a hotel restaurant, you would.

Similarly, if you suffered an injury because you slipped in the reception of a hotel where a cleaner had failed to dry the floor properly, or got injured taking part in an activity organised by a hotel that failed to meet safety standards, you could be due financial recompense.

You can make a claim if you were part of a package tour or if you booked your trip yourself. You can claim if you were in a hotel, on a cruise, or staying in a B&B. There are very few circumstances in which a claim for compensation cannot be brought.

What do I need to do next?

To make a successful claim you will need to prove that you did indeed get ill or get injured, and then prove the cause of that illness or injury. For example, if you got sick you would need to prove it was caused by food from a hotel restaurant or bacteria from a hotel swimming pool. If you got injured, by slipping in  a hotel reception for example, you would need to prove the state of the floor was to blame.

Proving it sounds difficult, is it?

Actually no. A good lawyer will guide you through what you need to do and take legal action to gain evidence, such as requesting cleaning records of a hotel swimming pool, gaining testimonials from other guests, or requesting notes kept by a hotel if you made a complaint. You only have to prove your case based on the “balance of probabilities”. But to make things easier you should hold on to all paperwork or packaging, such as a doctor’s prescription if you sought medical assistance. The key thing is to get legal advice as quickly as possible.

What are my chances of success?

High. Our team have helped hundreds of people make successful claims. Like the family who suffered food poisoning on a package tour in the hotel and were awarded hundreds of pounds each for their discomfort, as well as compensation for the ruined holiday.

We’ve brought claims against major firms including Thomas cook (TUI), Virgin Holidays, P&O Cruises and many more.

If your holiday was part of a package deal you are on very strong ground as the company you booked with is liable, making it easier to make a claim. But even if you booked your flights and hotel separately it may still possible to bring claims against individual hotels, restaurants or other providers.

Your rights in relation to accidents within Europe are greater than your rights elsewhere, but it’s worth getting legal advice so an expert can evaluate your claim. Package tour claims can be made worldwide.

How much could I claim?

You could expect to claim up to £20,000 in the most serious food poisoning cases and up to £10 million pounds in the most serious personal injury cases. However, most injury or illness claims are fortunately less serious and attract awards between £1000 and £20,000.

Is there a time limit on when I can claim?

You actually have up to three years to make a claim unless your accident was at sea or on an aircraft, in which case it is two years.

What will it cost?

We offer a no-win, no fee arrangement in all cases meaning you don’t pay us anything unless your claim is successful.

What should I do now?

Contact Setfords Solicitors either by phone on 0845 450 6135 or by filling in the enquiry form below and we can talk you through the next steps.

Nigel Cragg

Head of Personal Injury
Setfords Solicitors