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Panama Canal

Cruise ship on the Panama Canal

For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today

0808 301 8622

  • Overview
  • Our Experts
  • See Our 10 Simple Steps

The remarkable Panama Canal is one of the world’s largest and most difficult engineering projects. Deemed to be one of the seven wonders of the modern world and one of its largest manmade structures, it is a really fascinating experience to enjoy from the comfort of a cruise ship.

Panama Canal cruises usually stop at several ports before and after their transit through the canal, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama City, Honduras, Belize or one or two of the Caribbean Islands such as Grenada, Aruba or Curacao.

Sanitary conditions in these cities are, however, not always comparable to those of Europe or the USA. Passengers getting off the ship are advised to avoid consuming salad that could be washed in unclean water, consume only bottled water and avoid ice cubes as much as possible. Food prepared or washed in unfiltered water is often found to be the source of stomach illnesses such as gastroenteritis, shigella, E.coli and campylobacter.  Due to the heat and humidity of these countries, viruses such as salmonella are also prevalent.

Poor personal hygiene amongst passengers can also mean that viruses are brought on board and unknowingly passed to fellow passengers. Despite strict sanitary regimes imposed by the cruise lines, it is not always possible to combat these bugs and gastrointestinal illness can spread quickly.  As onboard medical policies mean that passengers showing symptoms of a potentially contagious illness have to be confined to their cabin, this means missing out on the enjoyment of both the cruise and shore activities.

Accidents can also happen anywhere and the deep steps from tour buses, coaches and cruise ship gangways can be a particular hazard. No matter how careful you are, it is easy to badly sprain an ankle or damage a ligament, especially on uneven ground.

Being ill or injured so far away from home comforts can be very distressing and the costs involved can escalate, especially if a passenger has to fly home early or be transported for treatment on shore. Being airlifted is sometimes the only option – both terrifying and extremely costly.

When you’re faced with this situation, you need a specialist solicitor with extensive experience in personal injury claims.  At Your Legal Friend, we have over 30 years’ experience in personal injury compensation, a 95% success rate, and we’ve successfully claimed over £200,000,000 for our clients in the last ten years alone.

Our no-win, no-fee guarantee means no upfront fees or payments, so clients who are still paying off costly medical bills from their disastrous holiday don’t need to worry about the financial strain of a potential claim. Call our expert legal team now to see how we can help.

Here’s how Your Legal Friend can help you:

  • No win, no fee - guaranteed
  • 95% success rate in personal injury claims
  • Over £200,000,000 successfully won in the last ten years alone
  • Help and support you with your claim against the travel company or carrier
  • 30 years’ experience in personal injury compensation

Talk to us today

For an informal, confidential chat with one of our expert personal injury solicitors about making a claim, call us now on 0808 301 8778  (call free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.

Alison Saul, Director of Personal Injury leads our Personal Injury and Road Accident 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.

Alison is assisted by her team managers, Philip Waters Lee Quinn, Jenna Hargreaves, and Kathryn Langton. Philip, Lee, and Jenna lead legal teams focussing on Road Traffic Accident cases while Kathyrn leads our Personal Injury team. Together they have a wealth of experience in personal injury compensation.

  • There are many people injured in accidents each year through no fault of their own and the circumstances will be difference in each instance. Our team has extensive experience of successfully managing a wide range of personal injury claims, so we can help you secure the maximim compensation you deserve. 

    Alison Saul,
    Director of Personal Injury

Philip, a qualified solicitor, has over 18 years’ experience in personal injury compensation. Having previously worked for a large insurance company, he has extensive insights in how to engage effectively with insurers to achieve the level of compensation our clients deserve. Philip deals with cases of high value, complex cases, and recently secured £1.6 million in compensation for one of his clients who suffered catastrophic injuries in a road accident.

Lee has over 15 years’ specialist experience in Personal Injury claims and also manages a wide variety of high value, complex cases. Lee has extensive experience of working with insurance companies, acting for both claimants and defendants, and so understands how to secure the highest levels of compensation for the victims of road traffic accidents.

Jenna is a qualified solicitor and has studied to become a barrister. Jenna leads the internal reviews of our case management processes to ensure excellent, efficient case handling and high levels of client satisfaction.

Kathryn, also a qualiied 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.

Talk to us today

For an informal, confidential chat with one of our expert personal injury solicitors about making a claim, call us now on 0808 149 4227 (call free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.

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.