What Happens If You Suffer a Spine Injury on Vacation

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

A serious injury is the last thing anyone wants to face while on vacation. Unfortunately, spine injuries and other accidents may be more likely during a holiday, particularly if you participate in new or strenuous activities.

Being prepared for a possible injury during your time away is essential. When you understand what happens after you’re injured away from home, you’ll be better prepared to respond to potential complications. Keep reading to learn the most common reasons for vacation injuries, what to expect after you’ve been hurt, and how to respond.

Common Causes for Vacation Injuries

While many vacation destinations are perfectly safe, traveling away from home can still put you in danger. Some of the most common reasons people get hurt on vacation include:

  • Accidents during activities: Whether you’re on vacation, you’re more likely to try new things. Common holiday activities like swimming, skiing, using scooters, and riding on roller coasters can all lead to injuries. If your destination is negligent in performing critical safety inspections, repairs, and maintenance on its grounds and equipment, you could get seriously hurt.
  • Car accidents: Many vacation spots are crowded and difficult to navigate, making car accidents more likely. You could get hurt by someone ignoring local traffic laws, a rideshare driver getting in an accident, or getting hit by an intoxicated driver. Any car accident can cause serious injuries, whether you’re a pedestrian or in a vehicle yourself.
  • Slip and fall accidents: Hotels, restaurants, event venues, and other common vacation locations have a responsibility to maintain their facilities. This is part of their duty to keep customers like you safe. If they neglect to keep their grounds clean or signpost tripping and slipping hazards, it’s too easy for you to fall and hurt yourself.

The best way to stay healthy is to watch for risks like these during your vacation. You can’t prevent every accident in advance, but you can protect yourself from unnecessary harm by being a little more careful when you’re away from home.

What Happens If You Are Injured On Vacation?

Even when you’re doing your best to stay safe, you may still suffer a spine injury or other accident during your time away. If so, here’s what to expect:

  • Medical treatment: You should immediately receive help getting necessary medical treatment. You may need to call 911 to be taken to the emergency room or go to a local urgent care. After you receive immediate treatment, you should talk to your insurance company to decide whether to continue your medical care locally or return home.
  • Insurance: Health insurance companies can’t charge you extra for getting emergency treatment at an out-of-plan provider. However, they may not cover continued treatment if you can come home. In that case, travel insurance may reimburse you for the cost of extra care or the money you lost on the rest of your vacation.
  • Liability: In many cases, the venue where you got hurt or the person who harmed you is liable for your injuries. Don’t accept any compensation offered to you by the other party. That may be interpreted as waiving your right to further compensation.

In short, you should receive immediate medical care, but further treatment requires coordination with your insurance and a personal injury lawyer to retain your full legal rights.

How to Handle an Injury on Vacation

Getting hurt far from home can be scary. You can reclaim control over the situation by having a plan. If you get hurt on vacation, here’s what you can do to make sure you recover as quickly as possible.

  1. Request medical treatment. No matter what, the first thing you should do after any injury is to get medical treatment. If you’ve been seriously hurt, call 911 or have someone nearby call it for you. For injuries that aren’t immediately threatening, you should still seek an urgent care provider to treat the wound and start a paper trail of medical documentation.
  2. Inform the establishment or authorities that you were hurt. If you were injured in a restaurant, hotel, or other business, you should immediately report your injury to the manager. If you were in a car accident, you should contact the police. In both cases, prompt communication ensures there’s no doubt about where or when you were in an accident.
  3. Document the location of your accident. If you can, take pictures and videos about where you were hurt. If you need to receive immediate medical care, have a friend or family member document it for you. Focus on collecting details about the problem that caused your accident, whether you slipped on a hazard, were harmed by faulty equipment, or got hit by a car.
  4. Record your injuries. If your injuries are visible, take pictures of them. Take regular progress photos or videos to demonstrate how the damage evolves over time. This supplements your medical records since they rarely include actual images.
  5. Contact your insurance company. After you’ve handled the immediate trauma of the accident, you should let your health insurance company know what happened. If you have travel insurance, reach out to them as well, as they may provide extra coverage.
  6. Contact a personal injury lawyer. You should discuss your situation with a qualified attorney if your injury is significant. You may need to take legal action to ensure your medical costs and other losses from the accident are covered. Your attorney will guide you through the process and help you get the funds you need to recover from the accident.

Pursue Just Compensation for Your Vacation Injury

Vacations should be fun and relaxing. Injuries can ruin your experience, cause long-term health problems, and generate significant medical bills. That’s why you should reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer if you were hurt on vacation. At Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP, we focus on getting you the compensation you need to recover after a spine injury or other accident. We understand how insurance companies work, so we can pursue damages on your behalf through negotiation and in court. Learn how we can help you recover just compensation by calling our San Francisco law office at 1 (415) 421-7995 or contacting us online today.

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