More often than not, people plan where they will go, how they will get there, as well as where they will stay as soon as they get to their travel destination. What they fail to consider when it comes to planning for their travel is the possibility of getting hurt during their trip. However, this is just as important as all the other details of your trip because you need to be prepared for these unforeseen circumstances whenever you travel. This article provides a comprehensive guide on what you should do to handle an injury case while traveling.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
There are various types of personal injury cases that you may experience while you are traveling. Some of the instances that you may not think about, but can happen, include a vehicular accident on your way to and from the airport, as well as an injury while you are on a plane due to extreme turbulence. There is also a risk of a slip and fall accident while you are enjoying the pool amenities of the hotel where you are staying. Even unforeseen accidents on some form of public transportation are possible during your travel.
Secure a Travel Insurance
You may be a frequent traveler who tends to get more concerned about delayed flights and lost luggage. For this reason, you obtained a travel insurance policy that covers these scenarios. However, you may fail to consider getting an insurance policy that can protect you when you get injured while you are in transit or when you are in a foreign place.
While your regular insurance policy may cover you up to a certain point while you are traveling, it may fail to protect you from all sorts of unfortunate scenarios. Hence, the legal practitioners from a Massachusetts injury law firm suggest that you get proper emergency medical travel insurance. In this way, you are guaranteed that it covers major health care expenses, particularly from an out-of-network doctor or facility. In some instances, the insurance provider you go for can even assist you in looking for a doctor who will be able to help address your injury.
Rest assured that comprehensive travel insurance will be able to fill the gaps that your usual healthcare insurance won’t be able to cover. The great thing about emergency medical travel insurance is that you won’t have to exert the extra effort to research doctors in your destination, which can be quite hard if you don’t speak the local language. Your insurance provider can even help you get to the nearest hospital in the event of an injury.
As much as possible, purchase at least the minimum coverage for the entire duration of your trip. It may come as a surprise to you that the price of this coverage can be very affordable. With a meager amount, you can be saved from a significant amount of medical bills in case you get injured while you are traveling.
Determine the Time to Get Help
In most cases, travelers tend to neglect their need to get help when they get injured due to various factors. Apart from not having insurance coverage that can help them with the expenses they garner, they may also not speak the local language, finding it hard to communicate. However, certain injuries entail the need for you to seek help immediately.
Some of the most obvious cases wherein you need to get help as soon as you can include being involved in a car accident or when your injuries are serious or major. Similarly, you should also seek help immediately if you have been injured due to sexual assault. Even dental emergencies constitute the need for prompt assistance. Alongside this, in case you are traveling to a country with a known infectious disease, and you become sick, then you may need to get help as well.
On the other hand, some of the less serious cases of personal injuries include having a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or above, as well as having diarrhea or you have been vomiting for more than a couple of days. Even getting scratched or bitten by an animal or being punctured because you have stepped on a nail are considered less serious injuries. In these instances, you may or may not see a medical professional. However, it is strongly suggested that you still do seek the help of a doctor to evaluate your concern. In this way, you will have the proper treatment to help you get better during your stay until you feel better to travel home.
Learn How to Get Help
Another thing that you need to do when you get injured during your travel is to know how to get help. Assuming that you have already figured out that you need to seek immediate medical attention, the next step that you have to take is to get help. This can be quite challenging without insurance especially if you don’t speak the local language.
Thereby, before you travel, make sure that you are familiar with how you will be able to access healthcare during your trip. This will prove to be valuable when a medical problem arises or should you encounter an unfortunate injury. One of the most important things that you should know therefore is the location of the nearest medical facility where you are staying. Otherwise, you may also explore whether the hotel you are staying in has a resident doctor that speaks the same language that you do.
Some of the other things that you need to know, which will prove to be valuable when you need to get help include the numbers for your domestic and medical travel insurance carriers, as well as the specific number that you need to call in case of emergency. You should also take the time to find out which services will become available for you in case you encounter any injury or an emergency and how you will be able to invoke them.
In case you are a bearer of medical travel insurance, then make sure that you know the toll-free number that you can call to reach them. In this way, you will be able to speak to a representative who will be able to assist you with your needs. They will even go the extra mile to get in touch with your family members and follow through to ensure that you are getting the care that you need. Furthermore, they can even book your flights and cancel any travel plans that you have because of your emergency.
Collate Evidence and Important Documents
When you seek medical services in the foreign country that you are in, make sure to collate and organize all your medical records from the moment that you see a doctor. These will serve as valuable pieces of evidence later on to support your claim for your injuries should there be a need to. Regardless of whether you only visited a clinic for a checkup or you have been admitted to a hospital, make sure that you have the necessary records to back it up.
It is also vital that you receive a prompt and accurate medical diagnosis for your injuries. The injuries you sustain in case you have been involved in a vehicular accident may prove to be apparent. However, for a slip and fall injury, the diagnosis may be a bit more complex. The reason behind this is that you may not feel the effect of the injuries you have sustained until a couple of days later, which means that by that time, you may have been on your way back from your trip.
Thus, even if you feel perfectly fine after being involved in any kind of personal injury while you are traveling, you should always see a doctor for a prompt evaluation. During your visit, you should ensure that you get an accurate diagnosis because this will be the basis of your treatment later on. You have to keep in mind though that the diagnosis-to-treatment ratio is extremely important in a personal injury case. For instance, if the doctor you saw spent more time in diagnosing your injury compared to the time of treatment, then the insurance adjuster may question the intensity of your injuries, as well as the amount that you can claim.
Keep thorough records of all the treatments that you receive beginning at the onset of your injuries, regardless of whether you are abroad or you have already traveled back home. You should also ask the doctors that you see to keep detailed notes of your condition. Apart from this, you should also keep all the medical bills that you receive both abroad and the ones that you incur when you get treatment as soon as you arrive.
Begin the Claims Process
In case you are only filing for an insurance claim, then the claims process of a personal injury case during your travel will be very much similar to a personal injury claim in your locality. However, in case you are also filing a personal injury lawsuit, then the entire process may be more complex. The reason behind this is that it can be quite difficult to determine where you should sue.
When it comes to travel or vacation injuries, there are various factors involved such as the different jurisdictions where the courts have authority. Even the parties involved in the injury may live in different regions, which means that they may be covered by a different set of laws as well. Nevertheless, you can always file a lawsuit in the area where the injury happened. However, there are also instances wherein you can file a lawsuit in your locality. As soon as you have figured out where you will file your claim, as well as the lawsuit, then the process will proceed in a manner that is very much similar to a usual personal injury case.
As much as possible, seek counsel from a personal injury lawyer when you get back from your trip. You can also get in touch with a personal injury lawyer in the place that you have visited but their services may be limited because you will need to return home eventually. In some instances, you can decide to do both and get the help of seasoned lawyers from your travel destination, as well as your locality. However, you need to ensure that you and both of the legal practitioners will be working closely together for the benefit of your case.
While you may assume that in case you are injured, and someone else caused your injuries, they will be held liable instantly, but that is not always the case. Rather, various factors can affect your case, as well as how much it is worth in the end. Even the doctor that you go for, as well as the medical service that you receive, can dictate how much your claim will be or whether you will be eligible for one at all. For this reason, you should get in touch with a seasoned lawyer who will look after your best interest, ensuring that you will be eligible for a rightful claim.
Make sure that you are prepared when it comes to being injured while you are traveling. In this case, you need to familiarize yourself with the different types of personal injury cases that you may encounter abroad or somewhere far from your locality. As much as possible, secure travel insurance before you head out on your trip because this will prove to be advantageous in these types of unfortunate instances.
You should also identify when it is time for you to get help and familiarize yourself with how you will be able to do so, especially in case of emergencies. Take the time to collate all pieces of evidence that can support your claim later on before you even begin the claims process. In this way, you will be able to maximize the benefits that you can get for the injuries that you have sustained while traveling.
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