Shigellosis Compensation Claims
If you have been affected by shigellosis we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered shigellosis and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
Shigellosis is a type of bacterial food poisoning contracted through the consumption of contaminated food and water. Shigella bacteria is a common cause of food poisoning on holiday, typically experienced by holidaymakers returning from emerging holiday destinations where food safety standards may be lower.
Around 1,800 cases of shigellosis are reported to the Health Protection Agency each year. This number represents the number of patients who are diagnosed with shigellosis via a stool test after visiting their GP. It is thought that most cases of shigellosis are not reported to a doctor so this figure may represent only a fraction of the actual number of people infected with the shigella bacteria.
Holidaymakers who are diagnosed with shigella dysentery may be entitled to make a claim against their tour operator.
What is shigellosis?
Shigella is a bacteria found in:
- Local tap water that does not meet safety standards
- Food, especially meat, that has been exposed to human faeces as a result of sub-optimal food hygiene
- Food that has been left out too long or is exposed to insect and other contamination
- Unchlorinated swimming pools.
Exposure to shigella bacteria causes shigellosis, a type of dysentery. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.
In the majority of cases, shigellosis will clear up by itself within one to 14 days. Medical attention may be necessary for patients who are at risk of dehydration through persistent dysentery, such as children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Occasionally, shigellosis can cause long-term gastrointestinal problems including irritable bowel syndrome and rectal bleeding.
Getting an independent medical assessment of the potential long-term effects of shigellosis is a crucial step in the claims process. This ensures the maximum appropriate level of compensation is claimed having regard to the long-term prognosis for the condition.
Who is at risk of contracting shigella dysentery?
The prevalence of shigellosis is significantly higher among holidaymakers taking confined-hotel holidays in emerging holiday destinations such as Turkey, Egypt, Cuba, the Cape Verde Islands and the Dominican Republic. However, shigella dysentery may be contracted anywhere in the UK or abroad.
Crowded hotels pose a particular risk. This is because shigella is highly infectious at very small quantities. One contracted, the illness can spread rapidly from person to person either directly or via contact with toilets, door handles and taps which have been contaminated with infected faecal matter.
Do I have a shigellosis claim?
As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make a shigellosis claim if your injury happened:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was at fault, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Do I have a claim? - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a shigellosis claim on their own behalf.
What if the other party denies liability?
If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your shigellosis. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.
Can I make a shigellosis claim right up to the three-year limit?
Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a shigellosis claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.
The amount of money you could claim for your shigellosis will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your shigellosis has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a shigellosis? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Shigellosis compensation amounts
The following shigellosis payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
|Digestive system||Moderate||Serious non-penetrating injury with ongoing sympto||£13,380 to £22,130|
|Digestive system||Moderate||Moderate non-traumatic injury||£3,150 to £7,600|
|Digestive system||Severe||Severe toxicosis||£30,630 to £41,860|
|Digestive system||Severe||Severe damage with ongoing symptoms||£34,280 to £49,350|
|Digestive system||Serious||Penetrating wounds, lacerations or serious pressure||£5,280 to £10,040|
|Digestive system||Serious||Serious non-traumatic injury||£7,600 to £15,200|
|Digestive system||Minor||Minor non-traumatic injury||£730 to £3,150|
What is the average injury compensation for a shigellosis claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a shigellosis will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your shigellosis compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Will I have to pay tax on my shigellosis compensation?
If you receive financial compensation following a shigellosis injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a shigellosis injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your shigellosis claim could be worth now:
How long does a shigellosis claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation for a shigellosis can vary significantly.
For example, a simple liability accepted injury claim could be completed in a month or two. However, if liability is denied it could take considerably longer. On average an injury claim should take 4 to 9 months. See more: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your shigellosis claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
No win, no fee - the facts
No win, no fee takes the risk out of making a shigellosis claim. If you do not win any compensation, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a shigellosis claim - even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my shigellosis claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my shigellosis claim?
If your shigellosis claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
Is there a catch?
The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a shigellosis claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the shigellosis to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your shigellosis claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a shigellosis after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim shigellosis compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a shigellosis claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.