What Should I Do if I am in an Accident on Vacation?
June 24, 2021
Families across the United States are eager to get on the road this summer and go on vacation after more than a year of pandemic restrictions. The increase in vehicular traffic also means a greater chance of getting into a car accident on vacation. Here are some tips for vacationers regarding what to do in case they are involved in a collision or other type of accident while traveling this summer.
What Concerns Do Travelers Have if They Get into an Accident on Vacation?
Accidents create frustration and upheaval no matter where they happen. However, when they occur away from home, the stress can be much greater. Some concerns that travelers may have if they get into an accident on vacation include the following:
- Finding quality medical care
- Notifying others about the accident
- Paying for unanticipated expenses
Travelers may also face transportation issues if their vehicle is badly damaged in a car accident, if their injuries make it impossible for them to drive, or if they must cancel and rebook flights.
Why Should Injured Travelers Seek Medical Treatment Right Away?
When accidents happen at home, injured persons typically seek medical treatment from health care providers they know and trust. This is not always the case while on vacation, particularly if the destination is in a remote area or a foreign country.
Despite any concerns that travelers may have about the quality of medical care available away from home, they should seek treatment immediately if injured, even if they believe their injuries are minor. They should not wait until they get home to see their family doctor for the following reasons:
- The body’s delayed reaction to trauma may mask the pain of an injury for some time.
- Devastating effects of injuries such as whiplash or concussions may not show up right away.
- Getting immediate medical treatment is crucial for documenting the full cost of the accident.
In addition to improving a person’s chances for faster healing, obtaining medical treatment right away is crucial for preserving one’s rights to recovering damages if they decide to file a personal injury claim. It is important to keep a thorough record of all medical providers seen for this purpose.
Who Should Travelers Notify if They are Injured in an Accident While on Vacation?
Many people instinctively reach out to family or friends if they have been in an accident. However, travelers should also notify the following entities as soon as possible:
- Local authorities. Call 911 in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. In Europe, dial 112. In all cases, it is important for injured travelers to remain at the scene of an accident until local authorities arrive.
- Rental car agency. If the accident involved a rental car, the driver should call the car rental agency as soon as possible.
- Premises owner. If the accident occurred in a hotel or other premises, injured parties should notify the manager or premises owner right away.
- In the case of a car accident, travelers should contact their insurance company even if the accident was not their fault. However, it is best for travelers to contact their lawyer first before giving any statements to an insurance adjuster.
Notification to the above parties is crucial to recovering damages. However, it is important for travelers to be prudent about sharing post-accident experiences on social media, particularly if they continue with their vacation after their injury. Insurance companies may use these posts as evidence to prove that injuries were not extensive and therefore not deserving of full compensation.
If a traveler’s accidental injury is the fault of another party, they should contact a lawyer to learn more about their legal rights.
What Do Travelers Need to Know about Unexpected Expenses?
Information that travelers need to know about unexpected expenses that arise from unexpected travel injuries, include: :
- Additional out-of-network fees for medical treatment for injuries sustained away from home in the United States.
- Costs for medical treatment outside of the United States may be even more expensive and complicated.
- Costs for additional hotel room stays and transportation can escalate quickly if injured persons must remain at the vacation destination until they are well enough to go home.
- Unexpected expenses for changing flights if a vacation must be cut short.
In all cases, injured travelers should track extra expenses they incur.
Be Prepared for More Car Accidents during Vacation Season
AAA has designated the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the 100 Deadliest Days for driving, particularly for teen drivers. That is because the number of road fatalities increases, with road deaths spiking for the following reasons:
- July 4 is the most dangerous holiday in the United States for road fatalities, with an average of 450 fatal car accidents on that day alone.
- Memorial Day and Labor Day are the second and third deadliest holidays to drive.
- Summer holidays have more fatal accidents because of drunk driving.
AAA also warns that the 2021 summer vacation season may see even higher rates of accidents now that there are fewer pandemic restrictions.
How has Galfand Berger LLP Helped Injured Vacationers?
Galfand Berger LLP has more than 70 years of experience helping individuals who have suffered serious injuries in car accidents, at work, and because of dangerous or unsafe conditions on someone else’s property. Examples of how our lawyers have helped injured vacationers include the following:
Visitor to the United States sustains injures in rental car accident. The 75-year-old client was a passenger in a rental car that struck a guardrail on I-78. Although the client suffered significant injuries, the rental car agency initially attempted to deny coverage even though the driver had purchased an excess liability policy. The rental car agency initially offered only $15,000. Galfand Berger car accident lawyers obtained a $900,000 settlement for the client after the insurance carrier acknowledged that the excess liability insurance policy was in effect.
Vacationer suffers permanent leg injuries in fall at a resort. The client had rented a two-story villa. She tripped down the stairs on a section of uneven wall-to-wall carpeting. Because of the fall, she suffered leg fractures and permanent scarring and disfigurement even after multiple surgeries and many days of hospitalization. Galfand Berger LLP investigated the circumstances of the accident and found that the carpeting had not been repaired for nearly two decades, and the absence of handrails violated international building codes. Our premises liability lawyers obtained a $300,000 settlement for this trip and fall accident.
If you are injured in an accident on vacation, it is important to contact a trusted law firm that can advise you of your rights.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Assist Injured Individuals and Their Families
Sometimes, vacations are disrupted when travelers are injured because of someone else’s negligence. If you have been injured while on vacation, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP to ensure your rights are protected and that you recover full damages. We have been assisting injured individuals and their families for more than 70 years. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online. From our offices in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Allentown and Harrisburg.