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What to Do if You Become Injured on Vacation

How to deal with getting hurt while traveling.

Vacation

Whether you’re on a tropical island, a bustling city, or a serene countryside retreat, unexpected injuries can quickly turn a dream vacation into a nightmare. Do you know what to do if you suddenly find yourself hurt on vacation?

Preparing in Advance With Travel Insurance

Injuries are unpredictable. If you knew in advance that you were going to get hurt on vacation, you’d probably just stay home. Alas, travel plans don’t come with crystal balls. However, you can prepare anyway. 

One of the best and most proactive things you can do is invest in travel insurance. You can think of this policy as a safety net that protects you from some of the financial consequences of an injury – should one happen.

Not all travel insurance policies are created equal, and the coverage can vary significantly. Some might only cover very minor incidents, while others are geared toward severe medical emergencies that require hospital stays, ambulance services, and the like. Be sure to read and understand the fine print so that you know what your policy covers and what it excludes. For example, many policies will not cover certain adventure sports injuries or incidents where you were deemed to make irresponsible choices. 

When searching for a travel insurance policy, take all factors into consideration. This includes your destination, the length of your stay, the cost of the trip, the amount you’re willing to spend, pre-existing conditions, health insurance, etc. You can get quotes from different providers and go from there.  

Steps to Take Following an Injury

If you suffer an injury while on vacation, respond quickly. Every moment you delay could mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major health risk with serious financial consequences.

While all injuries are different, here’s a basic four-step response plan that works well in most situations:

  • Step 1: Seek Immediate Medical Attention. Your health is always top priority. Depending on how severe the injury is, you’ll need to seek immediate medical attention. You’ll have to judge whether that means calling first responders to the scene or locating and visiting a hospital/clinic for care.

  • Step 2: Report the Injury. Once you’re in stable condition, report the injury. Contact your travel insurance provider to make them aware of the incident. (This is usually required in order to file any sort of claim. If you wait too long to contact the provider, it could void your claim and prevent you from getting the proper coverage.) If you’re out of the country and the injury is serious enough, you may even want to contact your home country’s embassy or get in touch with the consulate in that country for further instructions on how to proceed.

  • Step 3: Document the Incident. Finally, don’t forget to document the incident. And when we say document, we mean everything. This includes where the situation happened, when it happened, what was going on when it occurred, any witnesses that were on the scene, images, videos, descriptions – anything you have that could be helpful. If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may end up filing a personal injury lawsuit. Having this documentation will strengthen your claim.

  • Step 4: Contact an Attorney (Optional). This step isn’t always necessary. For example, if you’re playing a game of pick-up basketball and you break your ankle on a routine play, that’s just bad luck. But if you were injured walking around a department store because the company’s cleaner never put a sign up letting you know Aisle 4 was freshly mopped, that’s another story. If you do need legal assistance, contact a local attorney who understands the laws and regulations in the area. 

If you keep these four steps in mind, you’re far less likely to find yourself in a dire situation. Injuries can still happen, but at least you’ll know what to do. 

Do You Know What to Do?

Understanding what to do after an injury is paramount. Not only could it save your vacation, but it could mean a faster and fuller recovery (including the monetary compensation you need to cover medical bills and get back to work sooner). 

The hope is that this article has armed you with some useful steps and given you a process that you can depend on if anything ever goes wrong. With that said, here’s to a safe, fun, and injury-free travel experience!



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