Whether you’re traveling for business or for pleasure, one of the main goals should always be to have a safe and stress-free trip. Unfortunately, life and Mother Nature all too often conspire to upend our plans and put us directly in harm’s way. Sometimes, this is completely unavoidable. However, there are instances in which personal injury can arise due to the fault of others.
It is vital that you understand your rights and legal avenues in the event you are injured while traveling. All too many people fail to act swiftly and properly, which can make the situation even worse. If you’ve been injured while traveling, keep reading to find out what you should do.
Seek Care First, Worry Later
In the event you are injured while traveling – whether domestically or abroad – it is vital that you take care of any health risks or injuries before all else. Without proper treatment, these injuries could transform into life-long problems that rob you of energy, vitality and even larger sums of money.
Your health insurance may or may not provide coverage depending on where you are traveling, but most emergency rooms around the world will thoroughly treat anybody who has been injured. Take care of yourself first and leave the worrying for later (and to the experts).
Consult a Lawyer
After any life-threatening situations are handled and/or injuries have been stabilized, the next course of action is to speak with an attorney. With so many unique situations in which somebody can be injured while traveling, it is impossible to outline specific courses of action for each scenario.
However, a personal injury attorney is well-equipped to provide this information – often via free consultation – and determine whether or not you have a valid case to bring to court. In many cases, time is of the essence: waiting too long after the injury to seek legal advice could result in less damages being awarded, or no damages being rewarded at all. As such, act as soon as you’re safe and able to consult with an attorney.
Document the Experience
In the heat of the moment, it can be hard to seek medical treatment and collect all the facts. However, it is important that you collect as much documentation and information as possible in the immediate aftermath of your injury. This may be photos of the scene, witness statements, insurance and personal information, or other corroborating details.
Being able to prove what happened is often one of the biggest obstacles in personal injury situations. Make sure you’re not in a situation where you cannot document what has happened.
Contact Insurers and Employers
While not everybody has health insurance, it is important to follow up with your insurers in the aftermath of a personal injury. Whether your insurance was accepted by the hospital or primary caregiver, touching base with your health insurance company (as well as any other relevant insurers, such as auto insurance companies) will help smooth over and/or eliminate unexpected snafus.
Likewise, it is vital that you consult with your employer about what has transpired. If, however, you were traveling on business, then you need to consult with an injury attorney before making any statements to your employer – this could potentially impact any compensation otherwise.
Suffering from an injury while traveling is not a pleasant experience. Depending on the situation, it could be downright terrifying. This is why acting properly in the aftermath of an injury is so important. By documenting what happened, consulting with legal professionals, covering bases with your insurers and seeking immediate medical treatment, you’ll have the greatest chance of resolving the situation positively.