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The Ministry of Justice has revealed plans to clamp down on false claims for holiday sickness and food poisoning. The announcement comes following a reported 500% rise in the number of claims made by British holidaymakers since 2013.
Because the epidemic appears to only be a problem amongst British tourists, it is thought that this alarming increase has been caused by the unscrupulous actions of cowboy claims management companies.
Touts from these firms have been witnessed harassing unsuspecting holidaymakers in popular resorts and have made thousands of cold-calls to individuals once they have returned home. Some claim handlers are offering holidaymakers cash incentives to claim, promising them money off their next trip, while others are even coaching individuals on how to make a false claim.
The cost of bogus claims to tour operators and hoteliers is substantial. These claims are damaging the reputation of British tourists abroad and could result in higher package holiday prices for law-abiding citizens. Some hotels and resorts might go as far as banning UK holidaymakers altogether.
Individuals who lie or exaggerate their suffering in order to claim compensation are effectively committing fraud and will face severe consequences if caught. Both the government and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) have pledged to bring fraudulent cases to court.
Earlier this week, a judge at Liverpool County Court dismissed a false claim brought by a couple after a holiday to Gran Canaria. The couple had not mentioned their gastroenteritis to their tour operator at any point during their two-week stay and they had no medical evidence to support their condition. They were ordered by the Court to pay legal costs of more than £3,700.
Our managing director Michael Jefferies, comments on the problem:
“At Jefferies, we have strict criteria for people wishing to make holiday sickness claims and refuse to take on a claim unless medical attention has been sought. We never engage in cold-calling and condemn the companies responsible for touting false compensation claims.
In the most serious cases, the effects of food poisoning can be devastating and sufferers are absolutely entitled to claim for their suffering if their condition was caused by a third party. Unfortunately, rogue Claims Management Companies are undermining the industry and preventing people who have genuinely suffered while on holiday from claiming the compensation they deserve.”
If you have been unlucky enough to fall ill while on holiday as a result of poor hygiene practices, you are legally entitled to claim compensation.
To make a valid claim, it is essential that you reported your illness to your tour operator as soon as possible while abroad. Your condition will also need to be confirmed by a medical profession so you must seek medical attention at the earliest opportunity, either abroad or upon your return to the UK.
Get in touch with the legal experts at Jefferies today on 0800 342 3206 or contact us online to learn more.
Published on 14th July 2017.