Claiming compensation for holiday sickness
Some claims companies are actively encouraging holidaymakers to make claims for sickness when no illness has occurred. The practice is apparently fuelled by unscrupulous touts operating in holiday resorts. The Foreign Office website warns travellers that it’s a criminal offence to make false claims and the Ministry of Justice has said that UK holidaymakers who are found guilty of making a fraudulent claim face up to three years in jail.
If you do have a genuine claim for sickness, it’s important you mention your condition to hotel staff or tour representatives in the resort immediately. You can contact your tour operator directly without using a claims management company. If you aren’t sure how to make a claim, you can get free, impartial advice from consumer organisations such as Citizens Advice or the Which? website. If you have suffered a genuine illness and you make a successful claim without using a claims management company, you will keep the compensation yourself.
If you have been seriously ill while on holiday, or suffered serious injury, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a solicitor specialising in personal injury. Choosing a specialist solicitor ensures a high level of service and expertise, plus guaranteed consumer protection. All solicitors are highly trained and subject to strict regulation to ensure they deliver the best service to their clients. The public are also protected by solicitors' mandatory professional indemnity insurance and the Solicitors' Compensation Fund.
Consumers have every right to expect such guarantees. Claims companies offer nothing like these protections to those seeking legal help and this is confusing for consumers.
A claims management company is required to adhere to strict rules when dealing with consumers. They must not:
- approach you in person
- use any form of high-pressure selling, such as asking for on-the-spot decisions, or send you emails or texts (unless you’ve agreed to receive them)
- make marketing calls if you have told them that you don’t want to receive them or if you’ve registered your number with the Telephone Preference Service
Finding a solicitor is easy. Call the Law Society helpline on 020 7320 5650 or visit our Find a Solicitor website to start your search.
If you’re seeking advice from a solicitor, it’s always sensible to do some preparation ahead of any meeting. Think carefully about the details of your case - the more preparation you do before the meeting, the more you'll get out of it. Make a list of the main points you want to make or the questions you want to ask. Gather any paperwork that might be relevant and put it in some kind of order so you can refer to it quickly. This will make it quicker and easier for your solicitor to understand your circumstances and give you proper advice.
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While we have made every effort to provide accurate information, the law is always changing and affects each person differently. This information is no substitute for specific advice about you personally and we will not be liable to you if you rely on this information.