Jamaica has long been a desirable destination, with holidaymakers all over the world travelling to the Caribbean island to enjoy the white sands of the stunning beaches, hot weather and great food, but if you become ill or suffer an injury that wasn't your fault, you could claim compensation from your tour operator.
If you booked a package holiday to Jamaica through a UK tour operator such as Thomas Cook or TUI owned Thomson and First Choice and suffer an illness or injury, then there's a good chance that you're eligible to claim compensation. Your tour operator should take precautions to prevent you and your family from coming to harm while travelling abroad, and if they fail in this endeavour they could become liable and you may have a case against them.
While assessing your personal injury or illness claim we'll take into account every individual aspect of your ruined holiday, including how much it cost, how long you were ill for, the severity of your symptoms, any long term health complications and more. Because of this it's difficult to provide an exact amount of compensation without knowing the circumstances of your case, although compensation awards for food poisoning tend to vary between about £2,500 and £25,000.
To give you an idea of the amount of compensation that you could expect to receive, below you'll find an example of a case that we recently completed:
The couples focussed Sandals Carlyle resort in Jamaica advertises itself as "the very pinnacle of luxury Caribbean all-inclusive holidays", but back not long ago we were contacted by a husband and wife who suffered debilitating symptoms of gastric illness. It's safe to argue that having spent so much on a holiday to the Caribbean our clients' expected better standards. Upon their return to the UK one of them was diagnosed with Salmonella food poisoning, and after receiving advice and representation from our travel law team they were awarded compensation that totalled £13,000.
While the harmful strains of bacteria and parasites that could cause you to suffer a gastric illness aren't exclusive to Jamaica, the following pathogens are the ones that are most frequently reported to us by sick holidaymakers abroad:
Food poisoning is a common cause of illness in travellers visiting countries such as Jamaica, and we find that more often than not, the nightmare of sitting on white porcelain rather than white sandy beaches could have been avoided if basic food safety and hygiene processes were followed. We find that the following are the most common causes of food poisoning abroad:
Food poisoning isn't the only thing that could make you sick on holiday in Jamaica. Poor hygiene can just as easily cause an illness outbreak, especially if the members of staff at your hotel aren't properly trained on the importance of hygiene. We find that the following are the most common housekeeping mistakes that are reported to us:
If you get sick abroad, you should make the hotel staff and your tour operator aware of your condition, insisting that you're provided with a written report of your complaint. If you suffer from symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea and headaches for more than 24 hours, it's generally advisable to seek out help from a medical professional, keeping note of any diagnosis and treatment you are given. A good way to do this is to keep hold of any receipts for any medical expenses you have incurred.
Even if you do see a doctor in Jamaica, you should still visit your GP once you return to the UK. If you've yet to receive a diagnosis your GP may be able to confirm your condition and provide you with any further treatment if your symptoms have yet to subside. This can be a vital step in reducing the risk of suffering any further health complications.
We find that British tourists who have been injured abroad usually find that the accident that caused their injury could have been prevented. Whether caused by a negligent hotelier, airline or tour operator, the following are some of the most common accident claims that we encounter:
We keep track of the hotels and resorts in Jamaica, some of which we have listed in the map below, reporting problems with hygiene, food safety and illness outbreaks on our sister website, Holiday Hotel Watch. If you've suffered an illness or witnessed problems at a hotel or resort in Jamaica, our travel law team would like to hear from you.
If you became ill or were injured by an accident that wasn't your fault on a package holiday in Jamaica, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 (PTRs) you may be able to claim compensation from your tour operator. The PTRs are there to ensure that your tour operator makes sure that they and their third party suppliers take reasonable steps to ensure your safety abroad.
This means that even if you sustained an injury or suffered an illness due to the negligence of any of the following on a package holiday, your tour operator may still be held responsible:
If you are considering making a claim following an illness or injury in Jamaica, it's beneficial to gather as much evidence as possible. This can include taking pictures or recording video of your condition and what you believe caused it, and it can also help to speak to other guests who have either been affected or witnessed the cause of your condition, exchanging contact details with them.
Upon returning home you might wish to call your tour operator to make a formal complaint, but we recommend speaking to our travel law team first. The legal team of your tour operator may try to dissuade you from claiming, or might even try to settle your case for a fraction of its true value, and once you have accepted compensation you might not be able to claim again. We can advise you of the true value of your claim and the best course of action to maximise your compensation.
Members of our travel law team have previously represented the big tour operators in the UK and possess an unparalleled understanding of travel law. We can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation during which we can provide you with an assessment of your case in plain jargon-free English. If you choose us to represent you, we can do so on a 'no win no fee' basis, meaning that you won't have to pay us a penny up front, so you have nothing to lose by getting in touch.