Located at the almost most south easterly point in Europe, Bulgaria has long been a popular location with back-packers and those looking for a cheap holiday in Europe, taking advantage of cheap food, drinks and accommodation. In recent years this history soaked destination has become popular with package holiday goers, but if you've suffered an injury or illness that wasn't your fault, you might be able to claim compensation.
Regardless of whether you booked your package holiday to Bulgaria through a tour operator such as TUI owned Thomson or First Choice, Thomas Cook or any other UK based tour operator; if you have suffered a holiday illness or injury you might be able to claim compensation.
The simple answer to how much a holiday illness claim is worth, is generally between £2,500 and £25,000, however this amount could feasibly be far great. The compensation that we can pursue on your behalf will be dependent on the circumstances of the accident or illness that caused your holiday to come crashing to a halt. We talk to you to find out what went wrong and assess your compensation based on the information that you provide us with.
Because of this, most injury and illness claims are for compensation for the cost of the portion of your holiday that was ruined, your loss of enjoyment and any additional costs you incurred, such as medical fees and loss of income. We'll take into account how long you are ill for, the severity of your symptoms, whether you're suffering from any long term health complications due to your illness, and more.
There aren't really any diseases that are exclusive to Bulgaria that can't be caught elsewhere in Europe and abroad, but we do find that the following strains of harmful bacteria and parasites are most commonly responsible for causing gastric illness in holidaymakers:
Bulgaria has been part of the EU since 2007, meaning that in addition to their own rules and regulations, their health and hygiene laws, they should share the same HACCP standards that are in place in France, Spain and other EU member states. Unfortunately this does not mean that food poisoning that could have been avoided if these processes were followed does not occur, and the following can still be a problem in Bulgaria:
Wherever you're holidaying, poor hygiene standards have the potential to let an illness causing pathogen slip by. The housekeeping teams at your hotel should be trained in the importance of good hygiene and provided with effective processes to follow, otherwise they could end up making any of the following common housekeeping mistakes:
If you become ill in Bulgaria you should let someone at the hotel know and report any problems with food poisoning or hygiene to your tour operator, ensuring that they provide you with a confirmation of your complaint. If you experience diarrhoea, nausea, headaches and vomiting for more than a day, it's advisable to get help from a medical professional, keeping a record of their diagnosis and any medication that you've taken. An easy way to help with this is keeping the receipts for any medical expenses you have incurred.
When you return to the UK you should still visit your GP to get your diagnosis confirmed and to receive any necessary further treatment. This is an important step in identifying if your initial bout of holiday illness has cleared, and whether it will lead to any further health complications.
If you suffer from an injury in Bulgaria that was caused by an accident that could have been prevented on a package holiday, your tour operator could be held responsible, regardless of whether your injury was caused by any of the following:
As part of our commitment to helping holidaymakers, we track hotels and resorts in Bulgaria, such as the popular Sunny Beach resort for signs of hygiene and food safety problems, as well as reports of illness outbreaks. We share some of our findings on our sister website Holiday Hotel Watch, as well as on our Hotel-Watch page. If you've experienced a holiday illness or found problems with hygiene, we would like to hear from you.
If you were on a package holiday in Bulgaria and suffered an illness or accident that wasn't your fault, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 (PTRs) you may be able to claim compensation from your tour operator. The PTRs make your tour operator responsible for any service or facility that they and any of their third party suppliers provide, meaning that they need to take reasonable steps to keep you safe.
Because of this, if you suffer an injury or illness that occurred as a result of the negligence of any aspect of your package holiday that you paid a single price for in the UK, your tour operator could still be to blame.
If you want to make a claim for an injury or illness in Bulgaria, we recommend collecting as much evidence as you can while still at your resort, including taking pictures or recording video of your condition and what you believe caused it. It's also advisable to talk to and exchange contact details with other guests who have had a similar experience, or those who witnessed the cause of your nightmare holiday.
When you get back to the UK you might want to complain directly to your tour operator, but we recommend against this. Your tour operator may try to dissuade you from claiming compensation or try to settle your case for a fraction of its true value. By speaking to us first we can advise you of the true value of your case and the best way to maximise your compensation. Don't settle for less, claim for what you're owed.
Our travel law team is comprised of dedicated lawyers who have previously represented tour operators, meaning that we have an unparalleled insight into travel law. We can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation in plain jargon-free English, and if we represent you, we can provide you with 'no win no fee' terms.
Take the first step towards claiming compensation for your package holiday illness or injury in Bulgaria by calling us on 0808 145 1353, or alternatively complete our enquiry form and we will call you back.