Summer is coming to a close, and for some people that means one last opportunity to take a summer vacation and enjoy warmth and freedom before school and the business of life resumes. However, vacation doesn’t make you immune to the possibility that you could be injured. This is particularly true for traveling to countries where safety standards and requirements are not nearly as rigid as those that are enforced here in the United States.
Differences in laws can also make it difficult to recover damages for the losses you suffer, especially when you don’t know the laws and procedures the other country. However, regardless of how much you know, there are some things you should do to position yourself and your claim in a good place for success. Here are six important steps you should follow as best you can if you’ve been injured.
Notify Someone About Your Incident
The first thing you should do is notify someone in charge about the injury you have just suffered. If you’re in a store or restaurant, notify the manager or owner. If you’re hurt in a car accident, get in contact with the local authorities and don’t leave the scene until an official report has been taken. Many insurance companies have protocols for handling injuries abroad, but those protocols often require some form of documentation or evidence that the injury occurred.
Document the Accident Site
If you’ve got a smartphone, you have the most powerful tool for supporting your case right there in your pocket. The cameras on smartphones can take quick pictures of the scene of your injury, including possibly capturing small details you may not have noticed or thought twice about. Be sure to do this quickly as cleanup after accidents often happens quickly and you want to make sure you document everything as much as possible.
If you were involved in an accident, get the information of the other drivers involved. If you were injured in an establishment, get the name of the owners and their contact information. Get the names and contact information for potential witnesses who can attest to the facts of the accident. The more information you can collect and use to back up your claim, the better off you’ll be.
Get Medical Treatment
Whether you’re here in the United States or somewhere abroad, always go see a doctor quickly after an accident, whether you think you’re hurt or not. Tell them exactly what happened in the accident, if you’re hurt (and if so, where), and they’ll be able to advise you on any other potentially-unknown injuries you might be suffering from. If you see a provider outside of your normal health insurance network or if you don’t have health insurance, be sure to get the medical provider’s information and keep it close at hand. It’ll definitely play a role in your claim.
Contact Your Insurance
Many people choose to travel with traveler’s insurance, and this is a good idea because these companies are often experienced with injury claims and other types of accidents while abroad. If you have purchased traveler’s insurance, contact them about the incident as soon as possible. If you haven’t, contact your own applicable insurance companies about the incident. Don’t discuss fault for the incident—leave them to make that determination after their own investigation.
Seek Counsel from a Lawyer
If you’ve been injured while traveling through no fault of your own, you have rights to treatment and compensation for the damages you have sustained. However, justice isn’t always given, and it’s important to make sure you have an ally who’s willing to help you fight for it. By calling an attorney, you can make sure that your rights and best interests are preserved all through the process.Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC at (866) 675-4427 to request a case evaluation!