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Accidents in Paradise

You’ve been looking forward to your get-away for what seems like forever, but then you finally get there and disaster strikes! Do you know what to do if you’re injured while on vacation?

Photo Courtesy of: Shutterstock/ ZefArt

It’s not something any of us want to think about while we’re planning a trip, but it could happen to you: you’re finally on vacation, relaxing and having fun, when suddenly you’re face-to-face with an accident or injury. Whether it’s a car crash involving an Uber driver, a slip-and-fall in a restaurant dining room, or an injury due to faulty hotel maintenance, what should you do to protect yourself if you are injured on vacation?

What you do — or don’t do — immediately after you are injured on vacation can have a major effect on your case.

The first step you should take is to have an incident report filed at the hotel, resort, theme park, or wherever the accident happened. Be sure to ask for a copy of the report — although there is no guarantee that you will be provided with one. Take notes of the names of the people you spoke to, their title within the company, and when exactly you spoke to them. In a stressful situation like this, you might forget the timeline or specific details of how things happened, so it’s always good to have notes to refer back to.

You’ll also want to take pictures of anything related to your injury: the broken stairs you fell down, the poorly-lit hallway you tripped in, the freshly-waxed floor you slipped on, etc… It’s also important to note the physical address of where the injury occurred — this sounds like common sense, but is easier said than done if you are in a place you’re not familiar with!

Another useful tip that could help strengthen your case is to save any receipts, reservation confirmations, or tickets from whatever restaurant, theme park, or hotel was the site of your accident. These can be used to prove you were where you say you were at that time you sustained your injury, and could be an important reference in the future.

In vacation injury cases like this, one question we sometimes get here at Burnett & Williams is whether an injured person needs to hire a lawyer near the accident location, or can they hire a lawyer near where they live. Fortunately it’s typically not a problem to hire an attorney close to home to help you settle the claim. If you need to file a lawsuit — which might happen if you reach your statute of limitations and need to file to protect it, or if the claim is denied — your hometown attorney can bring on co-counsel from the state where your injury occurred. That co-counsel will then be able to handle anything court-related while preserving your relationship with your own attorney.

If you or any of your loved ones are ever hurt in an accident while you’re on vacation and you’d like to speak with someone in our office, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-969-1650 for a free consultation. We are always here to help!