Now that the weather has gotten a little cooler, many people will start thinking about taking their final vacations of the year. Maybe you are renting a home at a lake, or planning on eating your way through Tuscany, or counting down the days until you sail off to the islands on a cruise. No matter what kind of vacation you planned, you may find yourself facing serious complications if you are injured while on vacation.
The very first thing you should do if you sustain an injury, or come down with an illness, is to seek medical attention. Your medical records will be a vital part of any claim for compensation, regardless of whether you go to trial or work out a settlement. You should also file a police report, no matter which country you are in, as you will need it to corroborate your claim.
What about insurance?
If you are traveling within the U.S., and you get into an auto accident, then your car insurance should protect you. Your health insurance may also cover a portion of the costs for your care at an out-of-state hospital. But what if you are traveling by sea or by air, or if you are going abroad?
One way you can help protect yourself is by purchasing travel insurance. Depending on the package you purchase (and from whom you purchase it), you could be covered for everything from lost luggage to travel assistance to medical expenses. If you are renting a car, take the added insurance package offered from the rental company, just in case.
Complications while at sea
If your big summer plans include a cruise, please remember that transport vessels are subject to maritime (or Admiralty) laws – a very complex and specific area of the law. Be sure to review your contract before you sign on to see if you are prohibited from filing a claim in the event of a medical emergency, or if the statute of limitations to file that claim are different than they are in your home state. For example, in Kentucky you generally have one year from the date that the injury occurred (or should have been discovered through reasonable care) to file a medical malpractice claim; Ohio also gives you one year, though there are exceptions for this time limit in both cases. If you are subject to medical negligence on a cruise ship, you may have far less time.
Keep this in mind, too: when you are vacationing on a resort, on a cruise or in another country, it can be virtually impossible to track down witnesses to your injury in the weeks following your return home. If you can get other tourists to give statements to the police, do so. Otherwise, ask their permission to record their accounts on your phone, laptop or tablet, and keep those files safe so your personal injury attorney can hear them. Exchange information with the witnesses and whomever caused your injury if possible.
Whether you vacation locally or across the world, you want to be prepared in case the worst happens. If you do sustain an injury while on vacation, you can trust the skilled Kentucky and Ohio personal injury attorneys of Crandall & Pera Law to look out for your best interests. To find out more about what we do, or to schedule a free consultation at one of our office locations, please call our Ohio team at 877.686.8879, our Kentucky team at 877.651.7764, or fill out this contact form.