It’s vacation season, and Floridians can expect to see plenty of tourists exploring our state’s cities, beaches, and amusement parks this winter. You and your family may be planning your own in-state vacation, or getting ready to visit another part of the world. If you are getting ready for a vacation, you’re probably thinking about what to pack, how you’re getting to your destination, and how to keep the kids entertained along the way. The possibility of a vacation accident is probably far from the front of your mind.
Not too many people spend much time thinking about vacation accidents, and why would they? Vacation is a time to relax, try new things, and spend time with loved ones. No one wants to spend the whole trip asking,“what if” questions about potentially risky situations. Because of that, many people are at a loss as to what to do if an accident does happen.
Approximately 20% of people get sick, have an accident, or suffer some kind of injury while on vacation. If you catch a cold while you’re on vacation, it might not be the worst thing, but getting into some kind of accident—such as being in a car crash or getting hit by another skier on the slopes—can completely derail your vacation and put you in the difficult situation of getting help in a place where you’re unfamiliar with what’s available.
What To Do If You’re Injured on Vacation
If the unthinkable happens and you or a loved one is injured while you’re on vacation, there are a few important steps that you need to take.
- Seek medical attention. This should be your first priority after an accident. You might not like the idea of going to a doctor in another state or even another country, but you need to make sure you’re taken care of, especially since many injuries get worse if they’re not treated.
- Take pictures of injuries and other damages. It might not seem like the obvious thing to do right after you’ve been in an accident, but the more evidence you collect, the better chance you’ll have of proving fault and being compensated for your injuries. It may be harder to gather evidence after you’re back home, so do this as soon as possible.
- Collect information from anyone involved in the accident. Again, this is a situation where it could be very difficult to get the information once you’re back home. Name and contact information for anyone involved in the accident as well as any witnesses are some of the most important pieces of information to get. If you were in a motor vehicle accident, you should also get the license plate number, driver’s license number, and insurance carrier.
- File a report. Any kind of motor vehicle accident should be reported to the local police. If you’re staying at a hotel or vacation rental and are injured due to a problem with the property, you should absolutely file an incident report with management and ask for a copy to keep for your records.
If you are injured on vacation, try not to panic or get upset about the fact that your time off has been ruined. You need to keep calm, get the help you need, and make sure you gather as much information about the incident as you can. If you think that you have a case, contact a Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible in order to discuss the next step.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Lawlor Winston White & Murphy. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and was recently voted by his peers as a Florida “SuperLawyer”—an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state—and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”