Call me back

Accidents & illnesses abroad


For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today

0808 301 8622

Accidents Abroad

Person with a plaster cast on leg and crutches

Illnesses Abroad

Doctor looking at an X-ray image

Beach & City Holidays


Winter Sports Holidays


  • Overview
  • Our Experts
  • See Our 10 Simple Steps

If your holiday is ruined by accident or illness, you may be able to make a claim for compensation against your tour operator. Start your claim today by filling in our claim form, or read on for more information about holiday claims. 

Holiday Claims Guide

Where do I start with claiming for holiday compensation?

A holiday is a big ticket expense. For many people, a holiday is something to save up for, and look forward to, sometimes for over a year or more.

That’s why, if a holiday is ruined or cut short by an accident or illness, it’s more than an inconvenience or bad luck; it can be understandably upsetting.

If the accident of illness was not your fault, this can make the situation even worse. It adds to going through such a traumatic event in a foreign country; which can be particularly stressful, even frightening sometimes.

The financial impact of this can also be significant. If a holiday costs you upwards of £1000, this is a substantial expense. In any other time, a consumer would expect a certain level of quality for an payment as large as that; however, some people are still shy about complaining or reclaiming their money from travel companies after their holidays are ruined.  

For those who decide to claim compensation though, our experienced holiday solicitors can handle holiday claims in their entirety, seeking maximum compensation for our clients. 

Types of holiday claim we deal with

Holiday Accidents

We cover a range of holiday accident claims including:

Accidents on cruise ships
Accidents on pre-booked excursions
Aviation accidents
Cruise ship beauty treatments
Hotel accidents
Road traffic collisions
Skiing & snowboarding accidents

Accidents may be the result of negligence on the part of your hotelier or cruise, or down to faulty equipment provided on an activity, to give a few examples. To qualify for a holiday accident claim, there must be evidence that your accident was the result of negligence.

Holiday Illnesses

We can provide services to assist people with holiday illness claims, including claims for:

Cruise ship illnesses
Ear infections
Food poisoning claims
Legionnaires' Disease
Water contamination

An illness may be caused by poor hygiene practices at your holiday destination. For you to qualify for a genuine holiday illness claim, the illness must be provably due to negligence at your hotel or due to your tour operator. It also must have been within the past 3 years in order for us to help you to pursue a claim. 

What should I do next?

If you feel ready to get in touch, you can call us at xxx to begin your claim. In anticipation of your call, it’s a good idea to

  • Gather up all evidence that you have of your claim
  • Write up an outline of events, so you don’t forget anything
  • Write down any key dates or important facts

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the information to hand, our excellent first response team will ask you for any extra information you may need to provide us with when assessing your claim, and are happy to make another telephone appointment with you to give you time to gather any extra information you are asked for.

Holiday claims time limit

As with most personal injury claims, the time limit on making a holiday claim is that the incident has to have been within the last 3 years. We encourage people to make a claim as quickly as possible upon returning from their holiday, as accounts and evidence will be fresher, making it easier to pursue a claim. Ideally, the claim should be raised within 2 years of returning from the said holiday.

It is worth noting that in a recent holiday claim fraud case, the amount of time it took the couple in question to raise their claim (3 years) was raised as a point of suspicion when they attempted to make their claim.  

Why choose Your Legal Friend?

We have 30 years’ experience in personal injury compensation; our expert personal injury team handle all holiday compensation claims and can advise you on whether or not you have a genuine holiday claim.

We have a no win, no fee agreement with our clients, which helps to minimise the financial risk for clients who need to make a compensation claim, but maybe would not be able to

We have a 95% success rate in personal injury claims. Our 10 simple steps process is easy for our clients to follow while we support them through their claim.

We have won over £200,000,000 in the last ten years alone. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What counts as loss of enjoyment on holiday?

Claiming for ‘loss of enjoyment’ is really making a claim for a breach in contract. For all holiday claims, the holiday contract needs to have been breached in order to be successful. Your holiday provider, hotel or cruise ship providers are all required to fulfil the terms of your holiday contract. For example, if your holiday is ruined due to a bad case of food poisoning and this can be provably traced back to poor hygiene practices at your hotel; this could potentially be grounds for a case. In this example, your enjoyment would have been lost due to illness, and the holiday provider would have breached contract by failing to provide a clean and hygienic holiday environment.

Can I make a claim if I didn’t have travel insurance?

Yes. Claiming on your travel insurance and making a claim for a holiday illness or accident can be two different things. It’s important to get travel insurance, as this is what you can use to recoup financial losses due to having to pay for medical care while abroad, or if your belongings are damaged or stolen.

However, making a claim against your holiday provider or hotel is making a claim against their insurance, to recoup the cost of your ruined holiday and sometimes expenses you have had to pay.

To use an analogy, if your car is damaged and it is your own fault or there is no third party at fault, you would claim on your own insurance to have your car fixed. However, if your car was damaged in a collision that was someone else’s fault, you would claim on their insurance to cover the costs of car repair.

Do I have to accept holiday vouchers as compensation?

Absolutely not. You can choose to accept vouchers from your holiday provider as compensation for a ruined holiday. When making a complaint to your tour operator, this is often what is offered instead of settlement or refund. However, you are not obliged to take this from the tour operator, as you may not wish to use their services again after your holiday experience. If you feel an offer of vouchers is insufficient for your complaint, contacting solicitors such as ourselves can help you to advance your complaint and start the process of claiming your deserved compensation.

How much compensation can you claim for loss of enjoyment on holiday?

Compensation for holiday claims is based on your actual loss, resulting from your holiday provider’s breach of contract. It is difficult to provide exact settlement figures without context, which is why we usually advise people to speak with our first response team about their situation in order to be advised about possible settlement amounts.

Your loss is subjective, based on your circumstances. An accident that results in a broken bone may result in lost income when you return home, making your claim potentially much greater than if you were to suffer an illness while abroad that caused you to lose a few days of your holiday. Our solicitors will always seek maximum compensation, within the bounds of what is fair and realistic based on your personal situation. 

How long does a holiday claim take?

It is difficult to give an exact time frame for a claim. The complexity of a case determines the amount of time it takes for an outcome. In some cases, ample evidence of the claim is provided at the outset, the company in question chooses not to challenge the claim and offer a fair settlement. However, in some cases, tour operators may challenge the claim, which requires our team to spend longer gathering evidence and negotiating your claim. Recently, more holiday sickness claims have gone to court, although genuine claimants needn’t be put off by this.

Can I make a claim if my travel companion is ill?

While you may be able to claim on your travel insurance if your travel companion is ill and this results in the end of your trip, it may not be possible to make a claim against a holiday company for someone else’s illness. While you can make a case that your companion’s illness, if caused by the negligence of your holiday provider or hotel, caused your holiday to be ruined, it could be potentially a complicated case to prove.

One thing that can happen is that your travel companion gives you permission to make a claim on your behalf as their ‘litigation friend’, this happens when a person may be unable to handle the claim themselves. We walk clients through the paperwork necessary for this process.

Can we make a group holiday claim?

Yes. When negligence affects more than one person or family, it is possible to make a group claim. In cases of food poisoning for example, a group claim could lend more evidence and weight to a claim, as it is unlikely that one person would be affected by food poisoning in a hotel and no one else would be. We can help you set up a group claim if one of your party gets in touch to explain your situation.


  • Director of Personal Injury Alison Saul

    Our team has extensive experience of successfully managing a wide range of holiday illness claims, so we can help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

    Alison Saul,
    Director of Personal Injury

Your Legal Friend's holiday illness team

Left to right:

Iain McCrave

Iain is an Assistant Fee Earner with the travel team and has 9 years’ experience in litigation dealing with all aspects of the claims process. Iain enjoys listening to music and travelling.

Kathryn Langton

Kathryn, also a qualified Solicitor, specialises in accidents at work, public liability and accidents abroad. Kathryn deals with a wide variety of cases, often including accidents that involve serious, complex injuries.

Anita Carroll

Anita began working with us as a Paralegal in 2010 and, after securing a training contract, qualified as a Solicitor in February 2015. She manages a mixed case load, including holiday illness cases. She is also a married Mum to 3 girls (18, 13 and 6) and they are her hobby!

Alison Saul

Alison Saul, Director of Personal Injury leads our Personal Injury, Road Accident and Holiday Illness teams. A fully qualified Solicitor with over 15 years of experience and expertise, Alison is dedicated to achieving the highest levels of compensation for her clients as well as ensuring high quality client care.

Marta Skornog

Marta began working with us in 2012 as a Paralegal. She deals with RTA and Holiday Illness cases for both English and Polish speaking clients. Outside of work, Marta enjoys yoga, socialising and going to the movies.

Lee Quinn

Lee is a Fee Earner Manager, with 20 years’ experience in PI litigation. He runs both Holiday Illness and RTA cases, and has teams who deal with Polish Speaking Clients for both also. He’s a father of one who loves to travel, last year he completed the Marathon Des Sables a 230k race across the Sahara desert.

Michelle Craven

Michelle has worked with us as a Legal Assistant since 2011. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her 5 year old son.

Suzanne Wibberley

Suzanne is an Assistant Fee Earner to Lee Quinn and works with the travel team.  Suzanne has 12 years experience in PI litigation and deals with both Holiday illness and RTA cases.  Suzanne is currently undertaking her Ilex studies.  In her spare time Suzanne enjoys going the gym and socialising with friends.

Accidents & Illnesses abroad - 10 simple steps to achieving your compensation

For most people, a compensation claim isn’t an everyday occurrence so we thought it would be helpful to explain how we manage your claim and the steps that we both need to go through.

Step 1 - Obtaining a full description of your accident or illness

We need to understand as much as possible about your accident or illness – exactly how it happened or what caused you to be ill and why, the injuries you suffered, what happened immediately afterwards and how your life has been affected as a result.

Step 2 - Obtaining your medical records

We will ask your GP and hospital for your full medical records so that we can establish the extent of your injuries or illness, the treatment you received, and how long it will take you to recover. If your treatment was carried out abroad, we can obtain and, if need be, translate those records.

Step 3 - Contacting the company responsible for your accident or illness

Once we have decided who is responsible for your accident or illness, we will inform them that you intend to claim compensation and send them the details you have provided. We will let you know their response and, if they dispute the case, we will ask you to provide your comments on their response. 

Step 4 - Arranging your medical assessment

We will arrange for an independent clinician to evaluate the extent of your illness or injuries and whether they will affect your ability to work in the short or long term.  In holiday illness claims, it may sometimes be possible to obtain a “desktop” report that can be done based on your witness statement and any medical records so that you don’t have to go for a medical examination.

Step 5 - Collating details of your financial loss

In addition to compensation for your injuries or illness, you can claim for another other expenses you have incurred as a result, including lost earnings, expenses travelling to medical appointments, and the cost of care and help with everyday tasks.  

Step 6 - Providing you with our valuation of your losses

Once we have received all your medical reports, we can provide a valuation for your illness, injuries and associated losses. We will send this to you along with your medical report. You then need to complete and sign the medical slip and schedule of losses and return them to us.

Step 7 - Sending your valuation to the other party's insurer

Once we have received your signed medical slip and schedule of losses, we send these to the defendant’s insurer and ask for their best offer to settle the case. Often the insurance company takes 4 – 6 weeks to get back to us.

Step 8 - Negotiating the maximum settlement possible

We work hard to achieve the maximum possible settlement for your case, which can take some time to negotiate. So we text and email you to keep you up to date with our progress.

Step 9 - Issuing Court proceedings

If the defendant’s insurer refuses to make a realistic offer, then we issue Court proceedings for a hearing. It is very unlikely that you need to attend this hearing, so there’s no need to worry about it. 

Step 10 - Sending you your compensation payment

Once we receive your compensation payment from the defendant’s insurer, we let you know. Most important of all, we send you your compensation payment straight away!

How long does a claim take?

Because the circumstances surrounding every claim and their effects are different, it’s very difficult to give a definitive answer on how long it takes to settle a claim. Often it depends on how quickly our clients provide us with essential information, how quickly we can get medical records and assessments, and whether the insurance companies are willing to provide realistic offers to settle the claims.

Whilst we aim to settle your claim as quickly as possible, we also want to ensure we secure the maximum compensation for you. This often means we have to do some hard negotiation with the defendants – which takes extra time. Our aim is to balance progressing the claim as fast as possible with getting you the maximum settlement.

We realise that you’ll be keen to know about the progress of your claim so we will send you regular emails and texts to keep you up to date, and also to remind you if there is any information we’re waiting for from you.