Injured on Vacation? What Steps to Take
Summer is here and many people are hitting the road to go on vacation. Whether you are enjoying some peace in the mountains, riding the waves at the beach, backpacking around Europe, or sipping pina coladas in the Caribbean, accidents can, and do, happen.
Before You Leave: Insure Yourself
Travel insurance is an excellent investment when you’re taking a vacation. While it is mostly considered in case there’s an emergency and you can’t take the trip, it can also pay if you have to deal with delayed flights, lost luggage, and more. However, the biggest reason to consider travel insurance is for the coverage offered if you become sick or injured on vacation. The most basic travel insurance package will cover emergency accident, sickness, and dental expenses, up to a set limit. Travel insurance can also cover emergency evacuation if necessary. Most travel agents can help you purchase travel insurance, even if you didn’t book your vacation with that agent.
When You Are Injured: Document Everything
Whether you fall on a ski slope, slip on a wet pool deck, trip on a damaged sidewalk, cut yourself on coral when snorkeling, or hurt yourself ziplining, vacation injuries can quickly ruin your trip. They can also lead to long recoveries and extensive medical bills.
As is always the case with an injury sustained away from home, it is important to document the incident as soon as possible. If the injury happens at a hotel, or on other private property, make the staff aware of the situation immediately. Take photos or video of the area where the incident occurred. Seek medical attention right away; having the medical record will be important to your case, so be clear with medical providers about how the injury occurred. Not seeking medical attention right away could hurt your case.
If there are witnesses to the incident, obtain their contact information immediately, as it may not be as easy to locate them after time has passed, especially when witnesses may be from other areas of the world.
A hotel or other business will have procedures to follow when an incident happens on the property. Follow the procedure of the business, which can include completing an incident report. If an employee of the business makes a remark about the area being unsafe, or comments about other guests having similar issues before, make a mental note of that statement and record the name of the person making that statement.
What can your attorney do for you in the case of a vacation injury? In addition to seeking reimbursement for medical bills, attorneys may also seek compensation for lost wages, and for pain and suffering. In order to determine whether your injury was caused by negligence on the business owner’s part, your lawyer will help you evaluate the condition that caused the injury. Were you using faulty equipment? Did a dangerous condition exist on the property? Did the property owner know of the condition and have sufficient time to fix it? You and your attorney will discuss these issues.
Even if you’re unsure if you have a case, contact us today to explore your options.