Experiencing an accident while traveling can make your entire trip a nightmare . Being injured in a foreign country can be frightening, whether you’ve fallen over on a slippery floor in the hotel, been injured during an activity like water-skiing or been taken ill after eating some bad food. If you’re ready prepared with the knowledge of what to do in the case of an accident, you’ll be prepared for the worst. Being prepared helps you to have a more relaxed holiday.
1. Know how to ask for help.
If you’re away somewhere where you don’t speak the language, try and learn some key phrases before you leave. Knowing how to ask for help is essential. Take a phrasebook with you or download a translation app to help you explain what’s happened if you need to seek medical attention.
2. When you arrive, check where the nearest medical center or hospital is.
If you’re in a large hotel, there’s likely to be a medical center on site somewhere. Find out where this is and know who you should ask for assistance.
3. Store local emergency numbers in your phone before your trip.
If you’ve been hurt and don’t know what to call, in most countries you can dial 911 or 112 and your phone will automatically connect you to the right place to get help.
4. Before any trip, make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance.
If you’re going to be taking part in more dangerous activities like skiing, diving or hiking, make sure your insurance will cover you for these. You may need to upgrade to get this.
5. Even if you have insurance, be aware that you may have to pay out anyway.
Depending where you have travelled to, and what sort of passport you have, you might have to pay your bills first before your insurance company pays out. To claim these costs back, keep a record of any bills you’ve paid for. Ask for copies of bills and receipts.
6. Report the incident to the place where it occurred, such as your hotel or a tourist attraction you were visiting.
Make a note of the name of the person you spoke to, and make sure they made a record of the accident. Jot down a timeline of events too. This record could help you claim later.
7. Report it.
If you’ve been hurt while on a package vacation, make sure you make your holiday rep aware of what has happened, especially if you were hurt during an activity arranged by them. If your accident was on a path or on the road, report it to local authorities like police or the embassy.
They can use this information to help other tourists avoid similar mishaps. Contact your insurance company as soon as you can. They can advise you on what evidence you’ll need to collect and how best to proceed.
8. Gather evidence for your insurer.
Make a clear record of what happened as soon as you can, while you can still clearly remember all the details. Ask any witnesses for contact details. Take some pictures of where the accident occurred, and of your injury. Your record should also include the times of any calls you made to seek help any reports you gave and any medical appointments. Include appointments for treatment whether they were at home or abroad.
As well as the receipts from medical treatment, save the receipts for any other expenses caused by the accident. This could cover things like rebooking a flight, hiring a taxi if you were unable to work, or things like bandages and painkillers.
9. See your primary care physician when you return.
When you get home, make an appointment with your usual Doctor. Even if you were treated while you were away, your own Doctor should see you anyway to be sure that nothing was missed. If you need further treatment when you get home, they can arrange this for you too.
10. Consider hiring an attorney.
If your accident was caused by the negligence of a third party, consider whether you have a claim. This could be a fall caused by a wet floor surface with no signs in your hotel, or an injury caused by a poorly planned trip by your tour company. Contact an attorney to find out if you have a case. You may be able to claim compensation for medical costs, lost earnings or emotional distress. Use the evidence you gathered for your insurance company to prove fault.