Your Holiday Illness questions answered

The Holiday Illness team at Paul Crowley & Co have provided the answers to the following questions they are frequently asked.

If you have fallen ill whilst on holiday and are looking to make a claim against your tour operator but do not know where to start please call our Holiday Illness team on 0151 264 7363.

A holiday sickness claim is a claim for compensation as a result of symptoms such as, but not limited to, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, headaches, fever, lethargy and tiredness whilst on a ‘package’ holiday. The symptoms typically last from around 7 days onwards.

You must prove that you were ill in the hotel and that it was the hotel’s contaminated food and/or drink that caused this illness.

You can claim compensation for;

  • The period of illness.
  • Your loss of enjoyment of the holiday.
  • The decreased value of the holiday.
  • Other financial losses that can be attributed to your illness. For example, this could be loss of earnings if you were absent from work due to your illness.

As a matter of course, these types of claims are being defended by the travel companies and therefore to provide an exact timeline of the claim is very difficult. We can however advise of the following;

Investigation stage

This stage starts when we send our ‘Letter of Claim’ to the travel company. This sets out the full details of your claim and begins a 6 month investigation period for the travel company to speak to the hotel about your claim and to then return to us with their assessment.

Court proceedings stage

On the basis that your claim does not settle in the ‘investigation stage’, and if it enjoys a reasonable chance of being successful, we will recommend that you issue Court proceedings. Court proceedings can last anywhere between 6 and 9 months, depending on Court timetables.

The following is a list of the typical evidence that you may have which could be of assistance in proving your claim;

  • Your GP records if you went to see your GP when returning to the UK.
  • Written report you made in the hotel. This could be to the hotel staff or a travel company representative.
  • Medication receipts and/or proof of purchase (this could be a copy of your bank statement).
  • Any written complaint you made to the travel company when returning to the UK. Such complaints are commonly made via email.
  • Medical documents if you had any treatment whilst on holiday.
  • Photographs of any food that you thought was unsatisfactory.
  • Photographs of you/your travelling party during the holiday.
  • Any written advice given to you by hotel staff/holiday representatives in relation to your symptoms.
  • Supportive statements from friends/ family or travel companions who recall you suffering with the symptoms.
  • Negative reviews of the hotel online, such as TripAdvisor.

The above is a list of common examples used to evidence a holiday illness claim, you do not need to have everything on the list to be successful and there are numerous other ways in which we can prove the cause of the illness you suffered.

If you are unsure if you have the right evidence to prove your claim, call our Holiday illness team for free advice!

Each individual claim is assessed on its own merits and so to find out if you may have a successful claim for Holiday illness you will need to speak to one of our specialists.

Although these claims are being defended by the Tour operators, we still have a large number of successful cases.

At Paul Crowley & Co Solicitors we will be able to utilize our expert knowledge in this area to assess your prospects and provide you with advice as to the best way to progress your file.

If you are unsure if your claim would be successful give us a call today for free advice!


If the claim is on behalf of a child under the age of 18 an adult will need to be appointed as their ‘litigation friend’. A litigation friend will act in the other child’s best interests, if there is a court hearing, the litigation friend will have to attend.

Although adults only have three years to claim for an illness or sickness, the time limit for children is slightly different. A child has three years to claim from the day they turn 18 (i.e. up until their 21st birthday).


It doesn’t matter that you had a pre-existing condition; if the illness has made it worse you can claim for the additional pain and suffering that has occurred, including any other losses.

If you booked your holiday as a package with a UK based tour operator, they are responsible for ensuring that you receive the service you paid for. This means your claim will be brought in the UK Courts. We regularly bring claims against Thomas Cook, TUI, Jet 2 holidays and many more.

If you need advice on who to bring your claim against after a holiday illness, call our team for help.


If for whatever reason you are dissatisfied with the service you are receiving from another law firm, we can normally take over your case for you depending on the exact circumstances around your case and the stage it is currently at in the claims process.

If you are unsure if you would be able to transfer your claim to Paul Crowley & Co Solicitors, give us a call for impartial advice as to whether this would be the best option for you.

Our advice is free, confidential and you are under no obligation.

There are a number of simple steps you should take if you suffer with an illness abroad such as:

  1. Reporting the incident whilst you are still at the resort. You can either report your illness to your holiday rep or contact your tour operator’s head office directly via phone or email.
  2. Keeping records of any medical treatment you received abroad.
  3. Keeping a record of any communication that you have, either with the tour operator or your holiday rep.
  4. Taking photographs of anything you think could support your claim such as problems with food or hygiene in the resort.
  5. Making a note of the contact details anyone in your hotel who has also suffered similar symptoms or injuries to you.
  6. Keeping receipts for any out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of your illness such as missed excursions or medication purchased.
  7. Saving any packets of medication prescribed to you by a doctor or pharmacist abroad.
  8. Writing a diary of your symptoms so that you have a record of how your illness progressed during your holiday.


If you fell ill whilst on holiday and you believe it was the hotel’s fault, you could be able to claim, no matter what country you were staying in. Some of the more popular locations we have dealt with are Egypt, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Tunisia, Turkey, Spain and Mexico.

A package holiday is a trip abroad organised by a UK Tour operator that includes arrangements for 2 of the following:

  • Transport e.g. flights, trains, coaches and ferries.
  • Accommodation e.g. hotel.
  • Other tourist services that form a significant proportion of the package e.g. car hire or transfers.

The holiday must have been sold at an inclusive price.

In order to be able to claim for holiday illness, your symptoms must have been caused by the hotel or tour operator.

Generally speaking you need to have been ill for a week or more. If you have records of visiting a doctor or even being hospitalised, this will help with your claim. However, if you did not seek medical attention but experienced symptoms of holiday sickness you could still be entitled to compensation.

It’s always worth contacting one of our expert holiday illness legal advisors for free advice as to whether or not we would be able to recover compensation for you based on the circumstances surrounding your case.

Your illness does not have to be serious in order for you to claim compensation; symptoms lasting for around week or more may be eligible for compensation.

We will ask you to provide as much information as you have about the conditions and practices at the hotel. You do not have to gather information whilst you are on holiday but if you have managed to collect any we will present this as evidence that conditions and practices at the hotel were the cause of your illness.

A detailed witness statement will be taken from you and any other witnesses who can give evidence in relation to the poor standards in the hotel. The statement will also cover the symptoms you experienced and any treatment you might have received. We will then obtain a specialist medical report in relation to your illness and its likely source; this report would also be used to support your claim.

It may be that your claim is straightforward, with plenty of evidence pointing to the source of your illness. However, if your case is more complicated, you can rest assured that we will consider every option available to evidence your claim.

Holiday illness and sickness can manifest itself in many different ways but common symptoms include:

                        Stomach cramps




                        Blurred vision

                        High temperature



If you suffered one or more of these symptoms on holiday and it was the fault of the hotel or tour operator, you could be entitled to make a claim. There are lots of other ways in which people can be affected by holiday illness and so if you have symptoms that are not listed above contact our specialist holiday illness legal department to discuss this further.

You have the right to change your mind about claiming and can do so by contacting us and instructing us to stop working on your case. You have 14 days in which to do this.

However, if you do change your mind about claiming after those 14 days have passed, we will ask you to pay for the work that we have carried out on your behalf. It’s important to be sure that you want to make a claim before you instruct us to start working on your case.

If at any point you have doubts or concerns about your claim you can contact your dedicated lawyer, who will be able to provide you with all the information and advice you need for peace of mind.

Free Advice…

For free confidential advice call one of our Holiday Illness Solicitors now on 0151 264 7363 or email us.