Holidays claim to be the most fascinating time of the year, when families happily unite: enchanted lovers buy tickets to their very first romantic trip to a faraway land. The elderly, the young demographic – everyone is looking forward to travel abroad, enjoying magnificent landscapes and exquisite foreign cuisine.
However, life realties, unfortunately, happen otherwise. Getting sick on holidayis a normal thing. Being in a nasty mood, long flights and general rejection of the unknown environment result in making us feeling sick on holiday. What if you ate exotic sushi or the infamous blood pudding, but the next day end up feelingnauseous? There is no mystery – it is food poisoning on holiday. The important fact you need to understand is that nobody is fully protected from a misfortune and there is always a person to present a holiday illness claim. As foreign guests, each of your rights should be regarded immediately and every question has to be answered. The following information will enlighten how to get compensation on holiday.
Who is at risk of holiday sickness?
Tourists, who travel Europe for the first time, ask the same question: “What country has the best food safety standards?” We appreciate and respect this trepidation, as nobody wants to ruin an amazing trip by the sickness on holiday. Time, spent in bed in a terrible mood, is money. Nevertheless, consumer protection services in the United Kingdom have strict demands for hotels, restaurants and even street food sellers, so the chances to get sick are much lower than, for example, Eastern Europe countries.
Who is a group risk? Researches show that everybody is at the risk of food poisoning on holiday, especially, tourists from 30 to 50 years and children. Holiday sickness puts up a risk on various generations, but the proximity of getting stomach diseases is times higher in other places. Government from other countries try to control the quality of food on the kitchens, but the process takes too much funding and time to look after hotel restaurants, so the chance of food poisoning on holiday is significantly higher in resort or exotic island countries. Tour operators like to justify their companies by inventing mysterious bacterial diseases or epidemical viruses, which is, in fact, not true. The risk of getting sick from stomach flu in European countries like Great Britain is impossible, as every new disease is predicted three months before the peak of the virus and this information is catered to every tourist company. Remember: do not confuse infection with food poisoning on holiday. Get compensation if you understand the reason of poor physical condition.
Symptoms of Holiday Food poisoning
Food poisoning on holiday can start as a digestive disorder and turn into acute disease when the treatment is not provided in time. Besides that, a holiday claimshould legally depend on the number of symptoms, which will determine the state of the patient. Claim compensation is a serious document, so before you present accusations against tour operators, trace the list of symptoms, given below:
1. If a person is poisoned by poor-quality food, the first signs of intoxication usually appear 2-4 hours after eating. Some people begin to notice nausea before bedtime, others wake up from concerning feeling of headache and stomachache.
2. Typical symptoms of bacterial infection are nausea, vomiting, colic, diarrhea. If there is a headache and the body temperature raises, the pulse becomesmore frequent, the person feels weakness – these are signs of acute intoxication. This condition requires immediate medical attention.
3. Pain in the right hypochondrium is a serious sign of food poisoning.
4. Stomach and abdominal pain, accompanied by muscle pain are the main signs of severe intoxication. In this case, illness compensation shall be provided after diligent patient observation and medical treatment.
Light food poisoning can be treated overnight by making the person throw up and giving enough plain water. In other cases, additional absorbents are essential to get rid of toxins. However, severe food poisoning on holiday can cause a long-term debilitating effect that may potentially disable a person from going out and even eat for several days. Besides that, the pain in the abdominal muscles, caused by pressure from vomiting, makes it difficult to walk, run or have active recreation.
What you have to do if you sick on holiday
It may be quite cruel, but touristic agencies refuse to consider holiday compensation claims as some unfaithful tourists tend to simulate illness to receive a refund. We suggest you being wittier and record every suspicious thing you see that contradicts food safety rules. If it is allowed at the place you stay in, take photos or make notes if you see:
- – Raw food, contained near cooked meals;
- – Poor water conditions, dirty taps, pools, saunas;
- – Food and drinks that is contained in inappropriately warm conditions, when they need to be kept in a freezer;
- – Easy access for flies, bees, birds, small animals;
- – Dusty counters (dust can lead to severe food poisoning, especially among allergic tourists);
If you get sick during holiday and want to make a claim, it is important to have copies of the medical records. Compensation for illness starts from you informing your travel operator and the staff. That way your records may serve as the main clue.
Do not panic and waste time! Follow next steps:
- 1. Visit a doctor within first hours of noticing symptoms.
- 2. Drink a lot of water.
- 3. Report about your state to the staff and to the managers of the hotel/restaurant.
- 4. When you notice signs of bacterial illness (your family got si
ck as well), stay away from potentially new patients.
- 5. Keep record of the suspicious malfunction of the environment.
How to claim compensation
Holiday compensation claims should follow a legal structure and must be approved by doctors. People argue on whether legal advice is essential, and the answer is positive. Claiming directly to the tour operator is a bad idea, as the respond will take a lot of time, the company might refuse to give compensation and come up with excuses. Others may even suggest bribes (additional days in, free spa-procedures etc). but you should understand that such a way of compensation is illegal and might lead to others potentially suffering from poor service quality.
Look for legal advice as soon as possible. Although you have three years to bring a claim against your operator, do not hesitate to:
- – Inform managers of the hotel about the issues;
- – Take a copy of your complaint and trace the clues;
- – Keep receipts.
How much can you claim for holiday illness?
Obviously, the sum of your compensation will rely on the consequences of the illness. Patients with severe food poisoning are obliged to receive £30,000 and £45,000. The state is estimated by doctors and usually interferes with the ability to work. The time of rehabilitation is rather lengthy.
Serious food poisoning requires £7,700 to £15,910 worth of compensation. Food poisoning that is £3,000 and £8,000 is rather mild, but the symptoms last for weeks. Salmonellosis is one of the consequences. A patient gets a claim that covers £700 and £4,000 when he or she suffers from bloating or minor stomach aches for a day.
How much time you have to make a holiday illness claim and how long does it take?
There is a set of rules called Package Travel Regulations 1992. It covers issues of clients who booked a package holiday through a tour operator. You are free to present holiday compensation claims if the time of your visit was not later than 3 years ago. The symptoms of the illness should last more than 7 days.
Claims should be answered and compensated throughout 12 months; however,this process may be slowed down by lack of documentation or rejection of tour operator to receive the claim, which is illegal.
Documents you need to submit for a claim
Documents are the last step before getting a compensation after the claim. You will need to have: video-, photo- clues of poor hygiene as the reason of food poisoning; copies of claims to hotel staff and tour operators; receipts of all of your fees after the treatment, which the package does not include.
Overall, submitting a claim and getting a compensation is not the easiestprocess. It requires knowledge of your laws as a visitor of the hotel, digital clues of poor hygiene, copies and other documents. However, even this process and your personal eager can be not enough. It is difficult to make a claim against a hotel that refuses to get a refund or admit your proofs. In these situations, it is essential that you finish the claim within 3 years and address the specialist (Protection of Consumer Rights organizations, lawyers and advocates).