Going on holiday is a time of year that everyone in the family looks forward to; the one highlight of the year that they know they will be free from early morning phone calls, a mad rush to the office or school and all those stressors that make everyday living sheer hell on earth. So what happens when you finally pack up the kids, set out on your journey only to incur some sort of injury while away from home? What do you do when injured on holiday? Do you know what steps you should take?
Assess the Injury
Obviously the very first thing you should do when injured on vacation is to assess the extent of the injury. If it is severe or life threatening that is always your first concern. However, let’s say you are camping in Yosemite National Park and a loose dog from other campers comes up and bites your leg. Yes, you will be concerned that you may need a rabies shot or that the bite could get infected, but if you are not bleeding profusely, there is no cause to call an ambulance in most cases. Just get the name and address of the dog’s owners and from there find the local hospital. There’s always time to contact a Personal Injury Lawyer later in the day or even when you get home.
File an Official Report
Whether police are dispatched to the scene of the injury or not, you must file an official report. Most, if not all, insurance companies will insist on seeing an official report. In the absence of documentation, it becomes a ‘he said, she said’ situation that may never get resolved. Bear in mind that there are very few places left in the United States where dogs are allowed to roam freely, even in the presence of their owners. There are leash laws and if that dog was wandering freely, unleashed, then you have a solid case if it can be substantiated that the facts are correct and true as you state them.
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
So then, you’ve already assessed the injury and had proper medical care. Whether it is a dog bite or a defective piece of camping equipment or you get mowed over with an ATV, you’ve assessed the situation, had medical attention and filed an official report with the police responding to the site. Many people choose to call their lawyer immediately, even on vacation, and others simply wait until they arrive back home to find one. It is best not to wait too long because you can be almost certain that the responsible party has already contacted their own insurer. The sooner you get legal representation, the better you will be in getting the just compensation you deserve.
Now you might be asking why you would want to contact an attorney when you could file directly with the insurance company. There may not be an insurance company on the other end so an attorney would be your best bet in getting your medical bills and other expenses paid for that resulted from the injury. In the case of a dog bite in a National Park, chances are you will need to go after the dog’s owners in a civil court. Without a lawyer, your chances of getting the maximum payment will be limited. Always act responsibly (get medical attention) and promptly (file official reports) and your attorney will have the best chances of winning a personal injury case.
Swimming pool injury image by ShutterStock.