28 Sep Sick on holiday? Here are some practical steps to take

What are the steps to take if you are sick on holiday?


Falling ill on holiday: it can feel like a disaster. After all the saving, planning, packing, and waiting for your holiday to finally arrive, you end up getting struck down by illness when all you came to do was relax and enjoy yourself. To make matters worse, being ill while abroad will mean you have to tackle the additional stress and hassle of finding the right medical attention in a foreign country. All this is made more frustrating when you know that your illness was the fault of your holiday provider.

But you shouldn’t suffer in silence. If you become ill as a result of failings by your tour operator, you could be entitled to make a legal claim. In fact, claims of this nature can range from around £700 for very minor illnesses to £40,000 for more serious and long-term problems. Successful claimants can be compensated for pain and suffering, loss of earnings, private medical care at home or abroad, and loss of enjoyment.

So, what action should you take when ‘the dreaded lurgy’ strikes? We’ve compiled some practical information to help you make the best of a bad situation:

  1. Report your illness

If you are on a package holiday, you should report the fact that you’ve become ill to your holiday company representative or hotelier as soon as you can. They should be able to advise you on where to get medical care and provide the assistance you need. Package holiday operators have a level of responsibility for the health and safety of their customers, and if your sickness could have been caused by their food or facilities they need to know as soon as possible. If the incident is in the holiday company’s records it could also help your claim later on.

  1. Keep a record

The more information you have, the better. Make a note of any relevant details – what are your symptoms? What did you eat? Is anyone else suffering from the same symptoms? If you receive medical assistance, be sure to record what you were told and keep any documentation and reports. And don’t forget to keep the names and addresses of people who can verify this information for you once you’re home.

  1. Check your insurance cover

It’s important to contact your insurer if you think you’re going to need medical attention – they should have provided an international contact number. Double-checking your cover is the best way to avoid any nasty financial surprises when you’re seeking healthcare abroad.

Having an EHIC card entitles you to state-funded care in the European Economic Area (EEA), but you may have to pay for your treatment and claim the money back – again, just remember to keep all your receipts and paperwork.

  1. Speak to a solicitor

When you get back home, get in contact with a solicitor who is experienced in holiday illness claims. Smooth Law holiday sickness solicitors have a wealth of experience and will happily talk you through your options if you think you have a claim. And you don’t need to worry about putting a dent in your finances – we operate on a no win, no fee basis so if you’re unsuccessful you won’t have to pay. Why not see if you can get the compensation you deserve?

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