Going on vacation is supposed to be relaxing and fun. But what happens when you get hurt or injured while you are away from home? Below are five things you should do if something bad happens while you are traveling.
- Seek Medical Attention
If you have been seriously injured, the first thing you should do is get to a doctor. If you are traveling in the United States, you should be able to call 9-1-1 in an emergency. If the injury is not life-threatening, you can find the nearest clinic by searching the internet or using a GPS mapping app on your phone.
If you are traveling abroad, the State Department recommends contacting the local American embassy or consulate for assistance locating an appropriate caregiver or arranging transport back to the United States.
Do not skip the trip to the doctor just because you cannot see “your” doctor. You may not realize how seriously you have been injured, or you may make your slight injuries worse by postponing care.
When you return from your trip you can and should follow-up with your primary care physician.
- Notify the Authorities
If you have been in a car accident, it is often against the law to leave the scene without contacting law enforcement.
If you have suffered some other sort of personal injury in a store, hotel, restaurant, museum, or amusement park, let the manager on duty know about the incident. Many companies in the travel and entertainment industry have their own protocols for handling guest injuries. Give them your contact information, but don’t sign any waivers or other documents. And be sure to get their contact information to bring home with you.
- Collect All the Information You Can
Building on the last point, don’t be shy about asking for the contact information of witnesses and other people involved in the accident. If you want to hold the party responsible for causing you harm accountable, you need to know who they are!
If possible, you should also take pictures and video of the place you were injured and the surrounding area. The camera on most cell phones works well for this, and allows you to gather crucial evidence before it gets cleaned up and forgotten.
- Contact Your Insurance Provider
You may want to contact your insurance provider, just like you would do if you had been injured at home. Accept the help they can provide you to get home or just get back on the road. This is one of the reasons you have insurance, so you should take advantage of it.
Be careful, however, about discussing fault or assigning blame when you are talking to someone who works for your insurance company. Admitting you were in the wrong could hurt your chances of having your policy cover your injuries.
- Contact An Experienced Attorney
As soon as you get home, or even before then, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney in your home area. There are a lot of complex rules about where lawsuits can be filed, and who can file them, and an experienced attorney can navigate that mess on your behalf.
We recommend working with an attorney near your home rather than near the scene of the accident because that is going to be more convenient for you. Your local attorney can hire someone near the scene to work as a sort of subcontractor at a later date if necessary.
If you are in the Houston area, the Sherman Law Firm should be your go-to group of advisers if you have been injured while traveling. We have assisted numerous clients who were in accidents while on the road, and we are ready to help you. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.