Posted: 6 August 2018
You’ve pinched your pennies all year in order to take that vacation you’ve been daydreaming about. Now, you’re all packed and ready to go. But what happens when that daydream turns into a nightmare, and you’re injured abroad?
No one wants to think about what to do if you’re injured on vacation, but the reality is that it happens. It’s better to go into your vacation prepared for all possibilities to avoid the possibility of an injury becoming something much worse.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about what to do if you’re injured while vacationing abroad.
Before the Trip
The best way to avoid injury on a vacation is to plan your trip with safety in mind. Here’s how to consider safety pre-trip.
How to Avoid Injury on Vacation
In the early planning stages of your vacation, you should think about designing your trip around safe locales. For instance, Thailand has the highest fatality rate for American tourists. Finland, on the other hand, has been found to be the safest country on Earth for travelers.
Check out the safety ratings of all your hotels, amusement parks, and excursion companies before booking. If you’re going on a cruise, read all safety precautions beforehand so you’re prepared in case of emergency. If you’re renting a car while abroad, make sure you read up on the local driving laws and regulations– you don’t want to be caught on the wrong side of the road!
Most importantly, keep a sharp eye out for any potential safety hazards in all situations while you’re traveling. It sounds like common sense, but it bears repeating; alertness can prevent injury.
Should You Get Travel Insurance?
Perhaps you’re swimming with sharks in Mexico. Maybe you’ve got plans to ride the world’s tallest roller coaster in Orlando, Florida. Or maybe your plan is to simply walk around the City of Love.
Regardless of how epic or relaxing your travel plans are, the unexpected can happen. That’s why it’s a good idea to cover yourself with travel insurance before your trip.
It’s easy to assume nothing bad will happen to you because vacation is supposed to be a good time. Travel insurance will reinforce that notion. Even if something bad does happen, you’ll be able to rest easy, knowing you’re covered.
After the Injury
Maybe you didn’t have a chance to prepare properly for the event of an injury while abroad, and need the steps on what to do in a hurry. Read on.
Record Your Injury and Circumstances
It’s not always your first instinct in the midst of an injury, but recording the scene can prove very important should you need to take legal action. Make sure to get photos of your injuries themselves, your surroundings, and any other relevant factors to your injury.
This is easy nowadays with smartphones as pervasive as they are. Be sure to back up your photos to the cloud as soon as possible after documenting the injury. iPhones have this feature built in, but if your smartphone doesn’t, use a service like DropBox or Google Drive to make sure you’ve got multiple copies of your photos.
An injury doesn’t just mean scrapes and bruises. There are a plethora of health issues you might encounter abroad, each of which you need to be prepared for.
Sickness abroad is a big one. Often, our bodies are unable to process tap water in other countries without getting sick due to different gut flora. This can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.
A scratch or bite from any bug or animal can lead to an unseen illness as well. The Zika virus, for example, is spread through a simple mosquito bite. Local medical professionals will know the variety of diseases tourists might contract from bug or animal encounters, so seek medical help immediately.
If you’re experiencing a fever, have been a victim of an attack, or experienced an injury that doesn’t seem too bad, you should still seek medical attention. You can’t always know the extent of an injury like a doctor can, even if you feel relatively fine.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Regardless of how severe you feel your injury is, you should seek medical attention if you’ve sustained any sort of injury abroad. Don’t be a hero and decide to walk it off. By waiting until you get home to see a doctor, you could be making the damage worse.
Besides the physical repercussions, many travel insurance policies require a local doctor to verify your injury for insurance purposes. It could mean the difference between your claim being covered or not, so don’t risk it.
For a complete list of medical professionals across the globe, visit the International Society of Travel Medicine‘s website.
Get in Touch with an Attorney
It’s always a good idea to talk to an attorney when you get home. This is true if your injury is so severe you have to go home early and if you’re still feeling repercussions of your injury after you’ve returned home by your planned date. An attorney will help you decide if you’ve got a claim that can help with your medical bills, who’s liable for the injury, and potentially help you receive reparations.
Personal injury lawyers, like Bond & Taylor injury lawyers, are your best bet when it comes to circumstances like this. Injury lawyers are experienced in determining liability and helping you receive settlements for injuries you may have sustained abroad.
It can be hard to iron out the details of your injury when you’re vacationing, and hiring a lawyer will help with that process.
Your Dream Vacation
Vacation is supposed to be the highlight of your year, so let’s hope you’ll never need to use this information. If you do, though, you’ll be glad that you read up beforehand in the event of an emergency abroad.
Now that you’re armed with knowledge, you’re probably ready to get back to planning your vacation. Check out our roundup of the best travel giveaways on the web for the chance to win a free one!