What to Do if You're Injured on Vacation
There's a proverb that says, "No matter what, travel gives you a story to tell." Unfortunately, for some travelers, their stories end in tragedy.
It's sad but true: Vacation accidents happen, and thousands of tourists are injured—sometimes fatally—while enjoying their time off from work and worry.
Your Biggest Injury Risks on Vacation
If you're traveling abroad, it's always prudent to ensure you have all the proper vaccinations. That said, you may be surprised to learn that, statistically, tourists are far more likely to be injured on vacation than sickened.
Driving to the beach? The Outer Banks is a popular vacation destination for many Pennsylvania residents, which can mean eight to 12 hours on the road.
Statistically, a car accident is the number-one cause of death among healthy travelers. In fact, almost 50 percent of all medical evacuations back to the United States—which can cost as much as $100,000—are the result of car crashes.
The Centers for Disease Control estimate that, worldwide, as many as 25,000 tourists are killed in vehicles accidents and scores more are injured in them.
Why is the percentage so high? Part of it has to do with location, with crash factors that could include:
- Poor road maintenance
- Loosely followed and/or enforced traffic laws
- Lack of skilled medical facilities
The other risk factors deal with behavior, and include:
- Drivers who are unfamiliar with local driving laws and courtesies.
- Drivers who are inexperienced with driving on the left side of the road.
- Drivers who are unfamiliar with a certain type of automobile, such as motorcycles and scooters available in some cities for local travel.
- Drivers engaging in risky behaviors like drinking and driving and texting and driving.
Car accidents may be the number-one cause of death among healthy travelers, but unfortunately, they aren't the only way tourists can be hurt or killed while on vacation.
Travelers are also at risk of everything from violent crime to slip-and-fall accidents. Fortunately, a little forethought and preplanning can help prevent these types of injuries.
You already know that you should always wear your seatbelt, and secure your children in appropriate car seats. We doubt we have to tell you—vacation or not—that drinking and driving is a poor idea, and we've long warned you against the dangers of distracted driving.
What to Do After Being Injured on Vacation
The question remains: What do you do immediately after you've been hurt in a vacation accident?
People meticulously plan every aspect of their vacation, finalizing details on everything from their route to their wardrobe.
Please consider also preparing for the worst-case scenario: You or a loved one suffering an accident while away.
The attorneys at Edgar Snyder & Associates have been representing—and advocating for—injured people for more than three decades, and we can't stress enough that, following an accident, time is of the essence.
This is especially true if you are out of town and out of your element. Witnesses to your accident can disappear and evidence can be lost or washed away unless documented immediately.
Before you pack or plan anything, make sure you understand what to do if that worst-case scenario becomes your reality on vacation:
- Have the proper documentation. Before you go, make copies of all your important documents (like your passport, insurance information, driver's license and more) and make sure they are available electronically.
- Pay attention to details. After the accident, write everything down—weather conditions, contact information for witnesses, and details of injuries, as well as landmarks and anything else that seems important. Also, collect the license and insurance information for all other involved drivers at the scene of the accident. Make sure to take down the contact information for the responding officer, too, so you can request a copy of the associated police report.
- Don't take the blame, and don't assign any. What you say following an accident—even if it was caused by no fault of your own—can be used against you should you want or need to file a legal claim.
- Don't sign anything, and don't say anything. Many people think they have an obligation to speak with an insurance agent that calls them related to an accident. We want to be clear: You have the right to say no and hang up. Here's another rule of thumb: Never sign any document you don't understand without first consulting with an experienced attorney.
- Call an attorney right away. All too often, accident injury victims are bullied by insurance companies that try to pressure them into admitting fault or accepting a subpar settlement. Don't let them stack the cards against you—call Edgar Snyder & Associates today and let our legal team even the playing field. Our skilled attorneys will answer all your questions and handle all the heavy lifting. Your only concern should be getting back on your feet again. Plus, we've been telling our clients this for more than 30 years, and it bears repeating: There's never a fee unless we get money for you.