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Holiday Food Poisoning Claims

Spain Food Poisoning

Millions of people from the UK visit Spain every year, both for work and for leisure, and illnesses such as food poisoning can be unfortunately common for travellers. If you've become ill while in Spain, our lawyers could help you claim compensation.

Restaurants, hotels, tour operators and cruise ships all have a duty of care to ensure you don't fall ill while staying or dining with them – if they've not followed proper procedures, then they could be held liable for your illness. Health and safety laws in Spain can be different to those in the UK, and there is a higher risk of gastric illness when these aren't followed.

Most of the international personal injury claims we handle are made in England & Wales. But in some cases it may be beneficial to make your claim abroad. We can advise you on this in a free initial consultation about making a claim.

Compensation claims in England & Wales are normally funded through a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there's nothing to pay upfront, and that you won’t have to pay any legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful*.

Our lawyers have a great deal of experience making food poisoning claims in Spain, and have strong links with local law firms too. When you make a claim with us, we handle every aspect of your case so you don't have to worry about language barriers, overseas regulations or foreign court appearances. Members of our international personal injury team are fluent in Spanish, and are experts in the local laws of the country.

Call us on 0800 056 4110 for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your options, or contact us online and we’ll get back to you.

No Win No Fee
Over £100 million claimed for overseas illnesses and injuries
Long standing links with foreign law experts
Offices across the UK

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Spain Food Poisoning Claims - More Information
    • What Happens When I Make A Claim?
    • To make a compensation claim for an accident or illness abroad, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with us for a free initial consultation. We'll discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident or illness, advise you on whether or not we think you can claim, and whether you could benefit from a No Win No Fee arrangement.

      If you choose to go ahead, your claim will usually go through the following four stages:

      1. Investigation. We'll establish who's responsible for your accident or illness, and arrange for a medical examination to find out the full extent of your condition.
      2. Rehabilitation. If you have any medical care or support needs, we'll help you to access the necessary treatment and advice that you are entitled to.
      3. Compensation. We'll work out how much compensation you should get based on the severity of your injuries and your pain and suffering, any medical expenses you've had, and your ability to get back to work. We'll put this amount to those responsible, and they can either accept blame or contest the claim.
      4. Conclusion. If your opponent accepts blame, you'll be awarded compensation. If not, the case will be settled in court – although this is rare. If you do have to go to court, we'll be there support you every step of the way. If we agreed to handle your claim under a No Win No Fee arrangement, then you won't have to pay anything if you were unsuccessful.

      If you have any questions about the claims process, please contact us today on 0800 121 6558 and we'll be happy to discuss your options in a free initial consultation.

    • How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
    • How much compensation you receive after an accident or illness abroad will depend on a number of factors related to your injury or illness, its circumstances, and the support and rehabilitation you need.

      The amount of compensation you could claim is based on:

      • Your condition, and its severity
      • Psychological trauma experienced
      • Current and future loss of earnings if you've had to stop working in the short or long-term
      • Medical expenses you've had to or will have to pay both abroad and in the UK, as well as travel expenses to any appointments
      • Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
      • Modifications to your home
      • Mobility aids
      • The amount you had spent on your holiday or travel abroad, and the loss of enjoyment you've experienced
      • Your pain and suffering
      • Other financial loss or expense due to your injury

      For more information, call us on 0800 121 6558 and we'll be happy to discuss your options in a free initial consultation.

    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case, we'll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household, travel or car insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you're best supported by a No Win No Fee agreement, we'll explain the process clearly. You'll only have to pay anything if your claim is successful – even then your opponent will pay most of our fees, with the remaining costs coming out of your compensation settlement.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • Can I Claim In The UK?
    • Even if your accident or illness occurred abroad, you can often make a claim here in the UK, though this will vary depending on your circumstances. For example, if you suffered an accident or illness while staying in a hotel as part of a package holiday, you should be able to make a claim against the tour operator here in the UK.

      You can also usually claim in the UK if you’re claiming against an individual insurer or employer that is based in the UK, or a business or insurer based in the EU. The law around compensation is different in each country, so we will consider where it would be best to make your claim in order to get the best possible result for you.

      If you do have to make a claim abroad, there’s nothing to worry about as we have years of experience in helping clients to claim in more than 80 countries around the world. We work with an international network of law firms to represent and support our clients and their families when they need to claim, no matter which country the accident or illness occurred in. Most claims are settled out of court, so it’s unlikely that you will need to travel abroad for a court case. If this is necessary in your case, we will support you every step of the way.

      If you have any questions or concerns about making a claim abroad, contact us on 0800 121 6558 for a free consultation. We'll be able to advise you on your options, and talk you through the process.

I am relieved that our legal battle is finally over. Our holiday was a nightmare and we were so disappointed. We’re glad Irwin Mitchell has managed to achieve a successful outcome for us”

David, client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Illnesses Are Common In Spain?

The biggest risk to travellers in Spain is gastric illness. Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in the stool
  • Loss of appetite
  • A high temperature or fever
  • Aches and pains
  • A general feeling of weakness

Gastric illness can be caused in a number of ways, but the most common is food poisoning. Food poisoning is a collective name for conditions caused by different kinds of bacteria and viruses that can contaminate food if it's not stored, handled or prepared safely. In Spain, these conditions often include:

  • Salmonella
  • Campylobacter
  • Giardia
  • E.Coli

For more information about the different kinds of food poisoning, its causes, and what should have been done to keep risks of illness to a minimum, read our food poisoning guide.

However, food poisoning isn't the only cause of gastric illness. We've represented a significant number of clients who have contracted cryptosporidium in Spain, and this illness has been associated with using hotel swimming pools.

The organisation liable to pay compensation for an illness depends on how you were travelling. If you were travelling as part of a package tour, then your claim will often be made against the tour operator, as they should have ensured the venues booked for your stay met hygiene standards.

If you were an independent traveller, on the other hand, you may have to claim directly against the hotel or restaurant where you ate contaminated food.

If you've suffered from an illness while in Spain or have any questions about the claims process, call us on 0800 121 6558 or a free initial consultation about your case.

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How Is Making A Claim In Spain Different To The UK?

Spain is made up of a number of mainland territories and islands, each with different laws and regulations.

As Spain is in the EU, there is often the opportunity to bring your claim through the UK courts, which means the claims process is no different to what it would be if you fell ill in the UK. This is also the case if you're claiming against a UK-based tour operator.

In the UK, you generally have three years from the date of illness to bring a claim, though this can be extended in certain circumstances, such as if you were under 18 when you became ill.

However, depending on your circumstances and who you're claiming against, you may have to bring a claim through the Spanish courts. For example, if you were travelling independently you might have to make a claim directly against the hotel or restaurant responsible for your illness. If this happens, we aim to ensure the process doesn't change too much for you, handling every aspect of your case and working with our international network of partner law firms to support your claim.

Our representatives can attend any court hearings on your behalf and, as most claims settle out of court, it's very rare that you'll have to go back to Spain for a court appearance.

The biggest difference if you need to claim in Spain is that the time limit for personal injury claims can be as short as 12 months – far less time than in the UK – so it's important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you don't miss your chance to claim.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us on 0800 121 6558 for a free initial consultation about your case – we'll be happy to go over your situation and discuss your options.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For A Spanish Food Poisoning Or Illness Claim?

We understand that claiming compensation for something that happened abroad can be a daunting prospect. Concerns about language barriers and having to go to court in another country are common.

Our aim is to ensure the claims process is as simple as possible, approaching cases with sensitivity and care, and putting you first in a difficult time.

We have the largest team of international personal injury lawyers in the UK, working solely on claims relating to accidents and illnesses abroad. The team features lawyers fluent in Spanish, and our representatives will be able to attend court hearings on your behalf. This means that you’ll very rarely need to attend court in Spain personally.

Our industry-leading lawyers have secured over £100 million in settlements. In the past, we have worked on a number of high-profile cases in Spain, including:

  • The Beach Club Hotel, Torremolinos. In one of the largest cases of its kind, we secured over £2.5 million in compensation for almost 1,000 holidaymakers whose holidays were ruined by illness, despite tour operators being aware of poor standards at the hotel.
  • Hotel Presidente, Ibiza. We obtained £2 million in compensation settlements for 383 people who stayed at the Hotel Presidente while on Thomson package holidays. Our clients suffered gastric illnesses from poor hygiene standards, with many, including young children, becoming seriously ill. Some were even admitted to hospital for emergency treatment. Individual compensation payments ranged from £5,000 to £30,000.
  • The Alcudia Pins Hotel, Majorca. We helped more than 1,900 holidaymakers claim over £3 million after an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis, which for some resulted in long-term symptoms including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) between June and September 2003.
  • Bellevue Apartments. In 2003, we represented 24 clients who fell ill with severe gastric illnesses in a claim against Air Tours and Island Blue. Despite poor standards of hygiene at the hotel and pool, resulting in a rat infestation, both tour operators denied liability – but we were ultimately able to secure a settlement of £120,000.
  • San Baulo Hotel, Majorca. In 2003 we represented over 100 clients who booked holidays to various hotels in Majorca with TUI UK Limited. A number of clients suffered gastric illnesses including Salmonella and Cryptosporidum. Liability was denied by TUI for those who suffered Cryptosporidium but we successfully obtained damages for these clients and a large number of others who had also experienced similar issues after staying at other hotels in Majorca.

If you would like to know more about how we can help, call us on 0800 121 6558 for a free, no-obligation consultation about your case. Alternatively, you can contact us online and we’ll get back to you.

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Our International Expertise 


Our lawyers are recognised as leaders in the field of international personal injury claims, and we bring this expertise to your claim. Members of our team regularly lecture internationally, are consulted on law reform issues, and hold key positions in several leading international organisations, including:

  • The Pan-European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Travel and Tourism Lawyers Association
  • The American Association for Justice.

We also have a long history of campaigning for improvements in health and safety. Our aim is always to improve the quality of life and levels of compensation for those who have suffered illness or been involved in an accident on holiday.

Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

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To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

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