Compensation for Food Poisoning on Cruise Ship
If your holiday has been ruined by a food poisoning injury on a cruise ship, you may be entitled to make a food poisoning on cruise ship injury claim. Millions of holidaymakers take holidays on cruises each year and, with the huge amount of food that has to be prepared on board, it is practically inevitable that there will be some cases of food poisoning – also known as norovirus illnesses – or personal reactions due to the quality of food which has been consumed.
This guide to claiming compensation for food poisoning on cruise ship provides basic information about the procedures you should follow and obstacles you may face when making a claim for food poisoning on cruise ship compensation. Please note that our guide is no substitute for discussing the specific circumstances of your cruise ship food poisoning injury with a solicitor and receiving personal and practical legal advice at the first possible opportunity.
Establishing a Food Poisoning on Cruise Ship Injury
Establishing that a food poisoning injury on a cruise ship has occurred due to the negligence of a cruise ship employee with a duty of care to prevent the risk of injury can be difficult if you are the only person to suffer the symptoms of food poisoning. Most frequently, multiple passengers will display symptoms of food poisoning – even if you are unaware of the outbreak due to being confined to your cabin through illness.
The most important procedure you should follow when the symptoms of food poisoning manifest is to summon the ship´s doctor to receive professional medical treatment and not try to deal with the illness yourself through personal medication, hydration and rest. Often norovirus illnesses can be serious in young children, the elderly and people with existing health conditions, and can lead to severe dehydration, hospitalisation and even death.
Most food poisoning on cruise ship injuries last only three or four days but it is important that, once you return from your cruise, you seek a medical examination from your family doctor. Not only will this confirm that the bacteria responsible for causing your food poisoning on cruise ship injury have now left your system, but a record that you sustained a norovirus illness on a cruise ship will be recorded in your medical notes – medical notes which will be used by a solicitor to pursue a claim for food poisoning on cruise ship compensation.
Making a Claim for Food Poisoning on Cruise Ship
Unlike many other types of personal injury claim, how a claim for food poisoning on cruise ship compensation is processed does not only rely on providing evidence that you sustained an injury due to a third party´s negligence, but also on how your cruise ship holiday was booked. In the UK, if you have booked your cruise ship holiday through a UK-based tour operator, you will able to claim against the tour operator under the Package Travel Regulations 1992.
However if you have travelled independently and made your own cruise reservations, your claim for food poisoning on cruise ship will be made against the owner of the cruise ship under the Athens Convention – provided that the port of departure and destination were different, or that there was a port of call in a different country. You should always seek professional legal advice about making a claim for food poisoning on cruise ship compensation, as the way in which your cruise was booked can also affect how much food poisoning compensation on cruise ship compensation you will receive.
How Much Food Poisoning on Cruise Ship Compensation Will You Receive?
If your food poisoning on cruise ship injury claim is made in the UK under the Package Travel Regulations 1992, you will be entitled to claim for the pain and suffering you experienced due to your norovirus illness, for the effect that your food poisoning illness had on the enjoyment of your holiday and for any financial costs that were associated with obtaining medical attention and repatriation back to the UK if your holidays was terminated due to your illness.
Under the Athens Convention, you will still be entitled to compensation for food poisoning on cruise ship for your pain and suffering and to recover any expenses you have incurred. However, the levels of compensation available under international laws are usually considerably lower than how much food poisoning on cruise ship compensation you would receive if your claim was made in the UK.
Therefore, if you have sustained a food poisoning injury on a cruise ship which you booked independently, you may wish to have an assessment of your claim first conducted by a solicitor to ensure that you have a food poisoning on cruise ship injury claim for compensation which is worth your while to pursue.
Time Limits for Claiming Compensation for Food Poisoning on Cruise Ship
Different time limits also apply to claims for compensation for food poisoning on cruise ships depending on whether you booked your holiday through a UK-based tour operator or independently. Under the Package Travel Regulations 1992, the UK Statute of Limitations allows you three years from the date on which you were diagnosed with a norovirus illness in which to make a claim for food poisoning on cruise ship injury.
However if you booked the trip independently, you only have two years under the Athens Convention in which to make a food poisoning on cruise ship injury claim* and, although this may seem like sufficient time in which to compile a claim for food poisoning on cruise ship compensation, you may find that foreign bureaucracy, disputes over liability and how much compensation for food poisoning on cruise ship you are entitled to receive quickly erode the length of time you have available.
* Please note: Some cruise conditions of carriage state that the cruise line must be notified of your injury within six months and a claim filed within a year.
Offers of Food Poisoning on Cruise Ship Compensation
It is common practice of cruise ship operators to offer some token form of compensation to victims who have suffered a food poisoning injury on a cruise ship in the way of discount vouchers for a future cruise or some small payment of food poisoning on cruise ship compensation. Insurance companies, representing a UK-based tour operator may also approach you directly with an offer of food poisoning on cruise ship compensation in return for a quick settlement.
Even though this offers may be appealing, they are usually no reflection of how much compensation for food poisoning on cruise ship you may be entitled to. It is almost certain that a cruise ship operator or insurance company will have not assessed the financial value of your pain and suffering or lack of holiday experience; and any direct approach of this manner should be referred to a personal injury solicitor in order to commence negotiations for a fair and adequate settlement of your food poisoning on cruise ship injury claim.
Compensation for Food Poisoning on Cruise Ship – Summary
In most cases, the diagnosis of a cruise ship´s doctor will be sufficient to support a claim for food poisoning on cruise ship compensation, but it will support your claim if you have the contact details of other passengers on the ship who also sustained a norovirus illness due to the unsafe preparation of food. You should always seek a medical examination from your own doctor on your return to the UK and discuss the circumstances of your food poisoning injury on a cruise ship with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity.
All articles are written or edited by Eoin Campbell.