Today’s guest post provides information for travellers on a negative potential consequence of going on holiday. Food poisoning. Here are four questions about food poisoning claims that you should answer truthfully.
So you’ve gone on your dream holiday, eaten the food at the hotel, fallen ill and spent most of your holiday moaning and retching in bed, staring wistfully out into the sun. What should you do when things go wrong like this?
Food poisoning claims have been in the news a lot recently and for anyone who has ever has a bout of illness abroad, a couple’s recent imprisonment for fraud is enough to make you hesitate when it comes to lodging a claim for holiday sickness. While holiday companies have sought to crack down on false claims, it is no reason for genuine people to panic. Honest companies will not take possibly fraudulent cases on and, as long as you are honest, there is no reason not to complain and make a claim for your illness, if you think it has been the fault of your holiday provider. Ask yourself the following questions, and answer them honestly, to see if you would have a genuine claim.
Have I been approached by genuine solicitors, or a claims management company?
Many people may not know this, but there is an entirely legal form of marketing in the legal profession, which is called a claims management company. A claims management company acts as a middle man, taking your details and marrying you up with a solicitor. The famously kitted out ambulance that did the rounds in Europe, touting for possible food poisoning victims is an example of a claims management company. If you have been approached by one of these companies, rather than say, responding to an ad from a food poisoning abroad solicitors, it is up to you to decide if they are a genuine and honest company. Be aware, solicitors are heavily regulated and will not wantg to take on possibly fraudulent cases – some CMCs have been found to have encouraged false claims in the past.
Was I actually sick from food poisoning?
It’s pretty common to get sick on holiday, especially if you’re unused to the heat or you are eating unfamiliar cuisine. Dehydration and alcohol can play their part in making holiday makers feel pretty sickly during their stay. However, if you fall ill while you are away, it can be easy to place the blame on food poisoning. Food poisoning is usually caused by consuming certain bacterium when either eating or drinking. If you haven’t eaten or drank anything outside of your hotel (for example, if you were on a package holiday), and you were to fall ill, you could be seen by a local doctor and be tested for these bacteria. Alternatively, in some cases, it is possible to be tested when you return home. This is pretty solid evidence, should you wish to make a claim. Failing this though, if you have seen dirty dishes, cutlery or unsanitary food practices during your stay; documenting these can help your case.
Did being ill ruin my holiday?
In order to make a claim, you need to have had some kind of financial loss. Losing out on your holiday, after spending out on it, is a genuine financial loss. People forget sometimes how hugely significant a purchase a holiday can be. If your holiday was partially or mostly unenjoyable – or your sickness continued into returning home, then it is possible for you to recoup your expenses.
How long ago did it happen?
Most holiday claims have to happen within the first 1-2 years after the holiday in question, although the time limit on making a claim is 3 years. Given that these claims are very topical right now, claims have been questioned in the past for being made a very long time after the holiday was taken.