Whether you’re traveling for business or heading off on a much-needed vacation, you hope to enjoy the journey. However, there’s a possibility that you might experience an accident and get hurt. If you’re injured while traveling, it’s vital to know what to do next. Our Colorado personal injury attorneys explain what to do if you’re hurt while traveling.
1. Get Medical Care
The first thing to do when you’re hurt while traveling is to get medical care. Ensuring your immediate physical safety is the most important thing to do. Make sure that you have the care you need to stabilize your injuries and begin on the path to recovery. In addition to tending to wounds for your health and safety, medical care establishes proof that an accident occurred and that you suffered injuries as a result. This proof is essential later on when you pursue financial compensation.
2. Report the Accident
Some kinds of accidents need to be reported to the police. Nearly everywhere you go, you’re going to find a law that requires you to report various types of motor vehicle accidents to the police. Some jurisdictions may excuse calling the police after minor car accidents where no one is hurt and there is only minor property damage. However, it’s best not to take any chances. Be sure to make a report to law enforcement if it’s required in your location.
In addition, it’s important to make a report directly to the venue where the accident occurs, if applicable. For example, if you’re hurt at the airport, report it to the airline and airport operations. If you’re injured in a store, file an incident report to the store. These reports can help you confirm that the accident occurred as well as link your injuries and damages.
3. Identify Witnesses
Knowing who witnessed the accident is even more critical when you’re hurt while traveling. It may not be as easy to investigate to find witnesses when you’re not in your hometown. Getting this information upfront can help you streamline your case and prove that you deserve damages.
4. Document the Scene
There’s only one chance to document the scene at the time the accident occurs. There are several things that are important—the larger view of the scene itself, any damaged structures or spills that may have contributed to the accident and your injuries. Take as many photos as possible, even if you’re not sure how they may be important later.
5. Investigate Workers’ Compensation
If you’re traveling for work, there may be many ways to claim financial compensation. Your claim may fall under workers’ compensation or personal injury law. It can be complex to determine if workers’ compensation applies to travel injuries. It depends on whether you’re traveling on behalf of your employer at the time of the injury.
If it applies, workers’ compensation can be a way to access medical care and replacement income. However, a personal injury claim may be available and beneficial as well. Review your case with a personal injury law firm to ensure that you pursue all of your legal rights.
6. Check Health Insurance and Travelers Insurance
When you’re hurt while traveling, you may wonder how to pay your medical bills. If you took out a travelers insurance policy, be sure to read your explanation of benefits documents carefully. The insurance company may try to avoid making payments that you deserve. However, you can take action to fight back if they don’t pay you fairly. In addition, if you don’t have traveler’s insurance, your own health insurance may apply to assist with the bills for medical treatment.
7. Be Wary of Waivers
Sometimes, when you participate in an event or an activity, like going to an amusement park, they ask you to sign a waiver. Other times, they put something that looks like a waiver on your admissions ticket. If there’s a liability waiver in play, don’t assume that your case is over. There may be reasons that it doesn’t apply, or you may be able to bring your claim despite the waiver. An attorney can help you understand the waiver and whether it changes the picture for legal compensation for your travel accident.
8. Determine Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is which court can hear your claim for compensation. When you’re hurt while traveling, it can be tricky to determine what court has jurisdiction for your case. It may be where you got hurt, but there may be reasons that it’s best to file the claim in another place, like where the company had its headquarters or where you bought your ticket. Determining the court with jurisdiction can make or break a legal claim for a travel-related injury.
9. Check for Rental Car Insurance
If a car accident involves a rental car, it’s important to pin down what insurance policies apply. Your personal auto insurance may apply, but it may not cover everything. In addition, you may have purchased rental insurance at the counter when you got your car. There may also be a credit card that provides coverage. Don’t overlook car rental insurance policies that may help you find relief from your damages.
10. Ensure You’re Fit to Continue Travel
When you’re hurt while traveling, it can be common to want to be home in a hurry. However, continuing on your journey can make injuries worse. Ensure you’re fit to travel before you continue home.
11. Determine Legal Liability for Injuries While Traveling
If you’re hurt while traveling, you have rights. You may deserve financial compensation for your injuries. Determining fault depends on the laws in place where the accident occurs and other laws that may apply based on the responsible party’s place of business or where they conduct their operations. There are statute of limitations time limits that may vary by location. It’s essential to work quickly to protect your rights and take action to receive the compensation that you deserve.
Personal Injury Attorneys for Travel Accidents
If you’re hurt while traveling, we invite you to speak with a personal injury attorney for travel accidents about your case. Let us help you with the complex issues involved in claiming compensation if you’re hurt on vacation or while on business travel. Contact the lawyers at Bachus & Schanker today for a free consultation about your case.