The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has taken the unusual step of issuing a warning to holiday makers who intend to go to Spain.
The problem stems from the fact that there are reports that holiday makers are increasingly being encouraged to make a claim for personal injury if they suffer gastric illness perhaps as a result of food poisoning. There are claims management companies operating who advertise and encourage such claims.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is concerned that a number of these claims could be false and states as follows: 'You should only consider pursuing a complaint or claim if you have genuinely suffered from injury or illness. If you make a false or fraudulent claim, you may face legal proceedings in the UK or Spain.'
It is the first time that the government has issued such a warning in its advice checklist for people travelling to Spain. It is clear that the government considers this to be potentially a serious problem because the other dangers to holiday makers travelling to Spain are on the government's list include such issues as the possibility of terrorism and street crime.
Holiday makers will increasingly see advertising and may feel pressured into making claims for holiday sickness. A number of law firms are becoming involved and travel companies are also advertising their own schemes.
The wider context is that the companies purporting to act for consumers in this area are subject to review by the regulators.
Taking any form of legal proceedings can be a risky and expensive business. This risk is increased if the claim is made relating to an incident in a foreign jurisdiction. Consumers may be led to believe that making a claim is simple as filling in a form. However legal claims are rarely this simple and consumers must be aware of the consequences of making what may in real terms be a false claim for sickness.
To discuss this or any other personal injury related issue contact us.