It’s every Clearwater-area vacationer’s nightmare. Far from home, you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. A slip-and-fall, a car accident, a casino boat fire. Now your vacation is in ruins and, what’s worse, you have to figure out if and how you can recover compensation for all of the ways you’ve been harmed. Insurance may cover some of your medical expenses, but what about the rest of what you’ve lost?
Here’s some good news. You don’t have to fight for justice alone. At Dolman Law Group, we’re here to help you and your loved ones understand your legal rights and to fight on your behalf to recover compensation for your expenses, suffering, and inconvenience.
In this post, we walk you through some steps you may want to take to recover from a vacation injury and protect your rights.
First Things First: Seek Medical Treatment
Obvious as it might sound, the most important thing to do when injured on vacation is to seek immediate medical attention. Don’t wait until your vacation is over. Don’t try to downplay your injury because your family members want to keep having fun in the sun. If you’re hurt, call a doctor or 911, stop in at an urgent care clinic, or if necessary, head straight to a hospital emergency department. Your health and well-being take priority, and waiting to seek care could make your injuries worse or even threaten your life.
There’s another reason that it’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you’ve been injured on vacation: the longer you wait to see a doctor, the more difficult it may be to receive insurance benefits or to recover damages from a responsible party under Florida law. The records your healthcare provider creates when you seek care serve as evidence of the nature, severity, and timing of your injury, potentially critical pieces of information down the road. So, don’t wait! Get to a doctor if you’re hurt.
Inform Your Doctor at Home
It may also be important for you to let your doctor at home know about your injury and current condition. Your doctors here in Florida may need to connect with your doctor about your medical history in order to give you the best care. If possible, you or a family member should call your primary care doctor at home and get the necessary contact information to pass on to your Florida medical team.
Preserve the Evidence (If Possible)
The accident was a shock. It interrupted your vacation and threw your family into “chaos mode.” At a time like that, it’s not easy to keep a clear head. But, if you can, it may help to preserve and collect evidence of how your injury occurred. What you gather will depend on the circumstances, of course. If you were injured in a car accident, pictures of the accident scene, of the damage to the car, of any cuts and bruises you suffered, could be helpful. If you tripped and fell at a restaurant, you could take photos of what you tripped over, and any warning signs (or their absence). You may also want to set aside and stop wearing the shoes you had on when you fell. In other words, the idea is to preserve a record of the factors that might have led to your accident, to reduce the possibility later on that someone will dispute what the conditions were in which you were injured.
In contrast, don’t worry too much about obtaining accident reports or medical records. Those are important, of course, and if you can collect them, that’s good, but they’re also the sort of evidence an attorney can track down later if necessary. It is more important to gather the sort of evidence that could change or disappear over time if it’s not preserved right away.
Keep Track of Extra Expenses
One of the many difficulties of suffering an injury on vacation is that you’re far from the comforts and support system of your home. As a result, you’re often forced to spend money you never would have needed to spend at home. For example, you or your family may have to extend the stay at your hotel (or find a new hotel) while you recover. You may need new clothes. Your family may be eating out at restaurants instead of at home. And so on.
It’s important to keep track of all of these added expenses. They may not be covered by your own insurance (possibly unless you carry travel insurance), but they could be recoverable as damages from the party at fault for your injury. So, always get receipts and/or pay with a credit or debit card instead of using cash, so that you have a record of what you spent.
Before You Leave for Home, Meet With Us
It would be understandable if you wanted to head home as soon as possible after getting injured on vacation. But, if you have the time, you and your family could help yourself significantly by meeting with the experienced personal injury lawyers in Dolman Law Group’s Clearwater office before you go.
By sitting down for a free consultation with our attorneys, you can gain the peace of mind of knowing your legal options, and (if you choose) ensuring you have a legal team in place, “on the ground,” before you leave for home. While you return to your life and recuperate, we can pursue an investigation, interview witnesses, and advise you on your rights to compensation from insurance companies and responsible parties.
At Dolman Law Group, we understand that, as a visitor to Florida, the last thing you ever imagined for your vacation would be spending part of it in a lawyer’s office. But the sooner we can meet and start working for you, the better your chance of recovering the payments and obtaining the justice you deserve. Call us today at (727) 451-6900 or contact us online to schedule a time to meet. We’ll do our best this part of your time in the Clearwater area as stress-free as possible.