Holiday Illness Compensation Claims and Pharaohs Revenge

Published: 20th March 2011
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One of the most common places for people to report illness during and after their holiday is Egypt. If you do become ill with what you think is food poisoning a travel solicitor may be able to help you make a holiday illness claim against your tour operator.

It will be in your interest to select a solicitor with experience of dealing with travel claims because they should be able to tell you whether they are representing other people that stayed at the same hotel. If others were ill, it may be helpful for your claim against your travel company.

Food poisoning is usually associated with poor hygiene standards and is often associated with undercooked meat such as chicken and red meats. In Egypt, pigeon is also very popular and may also cause sickness and diarrhoea.

If you think you have food poisoning on holiday or any other illness you should see a doctor in the UK even if you have already had medical treatment in Egypt. This is because your GP will be able to arrange a stool sample test which will enable them to test for harmful bacteria such as Campylobacter and Salmonella infections.

Some illness that people contract in Egypt can be from the water when it becomes infected or contaminated. A common cause of water contamination is when it becomes infected with faeces. When it does become infected you may develop illnesses such as Cryptosporidium, Shigella or Amoebic Dysentery.

Symptoms of food poisoning vary from person to person. The most common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pains and cramps. Those are the symptoms that tour operators may want to know about in their illness logs. If you are ill whilst on holiday, make sure you tell your representative and that they keep a record of what you told them. Keep your own record of what you told the representative. If you wish to claim against your tour operator you will need to provide evidence of your illness and what may have caused it. So if you can obtain photographs of things like birds and flies inside the restaurant, dirty swimming pool water and unhygienic practices, it will help your chances of claiming against the Holiday Company.

If you do have food poisoning or you think you have picked up your infection from the water, it is worth seeking the help of personal injury law firm or solicitor who can represent you on a no win, no fee arrangement. Besides vomiting and diarrhoea you may experience other serious symptoms such as hot and cold fevers, headaches, muscle pains and aches, delirium nausea and lethargy. Some people go on to suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Post-infective Arthritis (Or Reiterís syndrome) and severe dehydration which can lead to hospitalisation.

Even if you think the hotel operated high standards of hygiene, you can still claim against your tour operator if you contracted food poisoning. This is particularly so if your board basis was all-inclusive or full board. What is going on in front of you in terms of hygiene practices is just the tip of the ice burg. Experienced travel law solicitors have experience of knowing about what goes on behind the scenes at hotels. Safe food preparation including keeping raw food away from cooked food and cooking food to the right temperatures may reduce risks of food poisoning. Basic practices by food handlers including regular hand washing in hot water and use of clean utensils are also essential to reduce risks of illness.

Remember that you can also become ill from foods such as rice, salads, seafood, burgers and sauces such as mayonnaise due to negligent hygiene practices. If you notice food that appears to have been reheated from previous dinner services, you may be at risk. The presence of insects such as cockroaches and vermin such as pigeons and rats are also indicators of poor hygiene.

An experienced travel lawyer will not only have had experience of representing claimants bring actions against holiday companies. They will also have experience of actually working for the tour operator. When deciding what law firm to instruct, always ask whether they have people that have worked in the legal departments of major tour operators such as Thomas Cook, Thomson, My Travel, First Choice and Airtours. If not, they may not have the "inside knowledge" when it comes to helping you. By having inside knowledge, your travel lawyer will know what should be happening in the kitchens of hotels in places like Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Greece the Caribbean.

Tour operators are responsible for your safety when you book a package holiday with them. They and their suppliers must act with care and skill to ensure that you do not become ill. Helpful legislation called the Package Travel Regulations 1992 means that even though you book with a UK based Holiday Company that company is responsible for the actions of the hotels they provide to you as part of a package.

An experienced firm of solicitors can help you plough through legal minefield and make things simple for you. It is in your interest to instruct a firm of solicitors that offers you a no win, no fee agreement that entitles you to 100 per cent of the compensation that the tour operator offers.

Some people are ill for weeks, months and years due to their food poisoning. Compensation for pain and suffering can mean you may be entitled to thousands of pounds in compensation. You may also be entitled to claim back out of pocket expenses and losses such as the £50.00 insurance excess to weeks, months or possibly years of lost earnings; even if you loss just relates to overtime or premiums for working unusual hours.

Your best chance of claiming compensation is when there are a group of people that have become ill. If you are in a group of people that experienced illness at a hotel in Egypt your chances of claiming compensation will grow. Particularly if one or more of the people in your group contracted an illness such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium or Shigella. Exchange names and addresses when you get back and be wary that the law firm you instruct is not, in fact, a claims management company which will really be a third party that just sends you claim on to a solicitor.

People that go on holiday should not contract food poisoning or a salmonella holiday illness so make sure you complain to help yourself and prevent others from becoming ill.

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