5 Things To Know If You Are Sick On Holiday
The Law Of… Acting If You Get Ill While Abroad
A holiday sickness can turn a relaxing retreat into a stressful nightmare. Illnesses contracted abroad can leave you feeling weak, bedridden or constantly in need of the restroom.
Chandni Odedra, Travel Law Legal Executive, explains a few things to consider if you’re ill on holiday.
1. Whether Or Not To Take Medication
There are a few points to consider about taking medication for an illness abroad. The first, of course, is your safety; it can be difficult to understand what you are buying over the counter in a foreign country, and doses may also vary. Also, you could wind up taking something that is not licensed in the UK, which could have adverse side effects.
It's important to consider whether the medication is necessary. You should always visit a GP at the resort or in the local area before taking anything.
Furthermore, if you are prescribed antibiotics by a medical professional but have not yet received a diagnosis, then this could affect your claim. It may be difficult to claim compensation for a bacterial pathogen caught on holiday if antibiotics have wiped it out before you were able to get a diagnosis. It's important to ascertain from a doctor whether or not the antibiotics are necessary.
2. If You Do See A GP, Be Careful What You Sign
It is entirely your choice whether or not you seek out medical advice while you are on holiday. Just be sure that if you do receive medical treatment and have the intention of claiming compensation for the illness, be very wary of any paper work you are asked to sign.
If the resort you are staying at has a doctor and you decide to use them, they may ask you to sign forms that may prevent you from claiming in the future, making your claim unenforceable.
3. Evidence Can Help Your Claim
Keeping records from your holiday could prove useful at a later date, especially if you are looking to claim compensation against the tour operator. If you believe that eating at a certain restaurant at the all-inclusive resort you stayed at was the cause of your illness, then keeping receipts could help you prove when and where you ate around the time you got ill. The same goes for any products or consumables you purchased at the resort.
You can also request a stool sample be taken, either by the doctor at the resort or by your local GP when you return home. This allows for a clear diagnosis of the illness you had abroad, which can assist in your claiming compensation.
Some parasites, such as Cyclospora Cayetanensis, can only be detected through testing samples of contaminated food and water, or through analysis of a stool sample. It is important therefore that you consider having one taken, not only for your claim but for the peace of mind of getting a clear diagnosis.
4. Talk To The Other Guests Affected
If the illness you are suffering from is food related then there is a good chance someone else at the resort is also feeling unwell – potentially multiple people.
If this is the case, it is a good idea to share contact details with these people and compare symptoms. If you are making a group claim, this will be vital.
5. Your Tour Operator May Try To Settle With You
The tour operator you used may offer compensation to keep the matter out of court. This will likely be a small settlement of no more than a few hundred pounds or compensation vouchers, which for some may be suitable. For those who spent upwards of £2000 on a holiday that was ruined by a sickness bug, it is unlikely this will be acceptable.
If you fall into the latter category, reject the tour operator's offer and contact a trained holiday claims solicitor. Many of our lawyers have worked for the tour operators, giving us an advantage in securing holiday compensation.
Were You Ill While On Holiday?
Contact our holiday claims solicitors today, either on our freephone number or by using our online enquiry form.
Our solicitors have years of experience and an excellent track record in holiday sickness claims. We can offer a free no-obligation consultation, during which we can let you know if you stand to claim on a no-win no-fee basis.