We look at the apparent surge in holiday sickness claims, after the announcement that investigations are being made by the Claims Management Regulator.
This morning I came across an interesting article regarding the apparent surge in holiday sickness claims. The Association of British Travel Agents’ (ABTA) chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said “last year, members informed ABTA that they were seeing dramatic increases in the number of gastric illness claims. The level of claims far exceeded the reported sickness levels in resorts”.
The article went on to state that claims management companies have now spotted the potential profitability in pursuing holiday sickness claims. ABTA said that claims management companies have been undertaking “significant advertising and marketing campaigns” aimed at holiday makers who have suffered illnesses abroad.
The article also noted that ABTA had advised that Spanish hoteliers have reported significant increases in sickness claims being made by British holiday makers alone, leading them to suspect that the claims may be fraudulent. This argument on the face of it is a very simplistic one and does not take into account that there are significantly more British holiday makers in Spain than those of any other nationality, so this claim is not surprising and in no way indicative of fraud.
As a result of the apparent surge in holiday sickness claims, it was announced on 1 February 2017 that investigations are being made by the Claims Management Regulator.
Perhaps of most interest is that ABTA have recently submitted a response to Lord Justice Jackson’s review of fixed recoverable costs calling for overseas holiday claims up to £25,000.00 to be brought under the same fixed cost regime that currently applies for personal injury claims.
Whilst it is clearly important that any potentially fraudulent claims be investigated, it needs to be taken into account that there is now a far greater awareness of the ability to claim following an illness or accident abroad and it is likely that this has considerably contributed to any increase in holiday sickness claims. There is no compelling evidence to suggest that any increase in holiday sickness claims is as a result of fraudulence as opposed to genuine claims.
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from an illness whilst on holiday pursuing a personal injury claim is generally an afterthought and unless you have previous experience of pursuing a claim, it is probable that you won’t obtain sufficient evidence to enable your claim to succeed.
For anyone who is planning on taking an exotic break, below are some tips for you to follow should you suffer from any illness or accident:
- Report any incident or illness to your tour representative or a member of staff;
- Ensure you obtain a copy of the incident report;
- Be seen by a medical practitioner, either abroad or immediately upon your return home.
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If you are a claimant, witness or an expert making a false statement it is likely that you will face committal proceedings for contempt of court