What do I do if I've been Injured on Vacation?
Florida receives countless visitors and tourists every year from all over the world. Thousands of people from different states, and even different countries, select Florida as their vacation destination.
But what happens when you are injured from an accident while on vacation?
You don’t know which doctor to go to for your injuries, or the best repair shop if your car is damaged. On top of all this, the vacation that you were looking forward to may have been ruined. Being injured while traveling may leave you feeling lost and helpless.
How do Tourist Injuries Occur?
Many injuries while on a Florida vacation occur on another person’s property or at a place of business, such as an amusement park, hotel, grocery store, department store, recreational facility, restaurant, sports stadium, bar, or nightclub. These injuries can include:
- Slip and fall accident
- Being hit by falling merchandise
- Unsafe amusement park rides
- Complications from tattoos or piercings, cosmetic treatments, or athletic injuries
- Assault at a place of business due to negligent security
- Poor parking lot or sidewalk maintenance
- Unsafe stairways or handrails
- Accidents at construction sites
- Injuries or wrongful death occurring in or around swimming pools
- Dog bites or animal attacks
These types of tourist injuries may give rise to a premises liability claim.
Some claims a visitor to Florida may have against the owner or person in possession of the property include the following:
- Negligently maintaining the property
- Inadequate or negligent security
- Failure to warn of a dangerous condition
- Wrongful death or a death occurring on another’s property or place of business
- Strict liability for dog bites/animal attacks
- Spouse’s Loss of Consortium Claim (depending on the circumstances)
- Parent’s Filial Consortium Claim (depending on the circumstances)
Motor Vehicle Accidents While On Vacation
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, providing your insurance information could be helpful to minimize your losses. Even if your personal vehicle is at home, your insurance could apply to your accident. Therefore, you should let your insurance company know if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident and have suffered a loss.
However, with that being said, do not make the mistake of discussing the accident too much with an insurance adjuster unless it is absolutely necessary to get the claim open. Insurance adjusters look for any excuse to undermine the severity of your losses and they know that the best time to collect evidence against you is in the early days of an accident - when you are flustered, distraught and confused.
What is Tourist Injury Treatment like in Florida?
If you are visiting from another country, medical treatment can become very complicated and there is a high chance for mistakes to happen. For instance, if you are from a country where procedures such as MRI’s and CT scans are difficult to book, it is extremely important to ask your Floridian doctor if you will need these specific tests in the future. Several injured tourists may wait until they return to their home to receive medical care and treatment, and while it makes sense to wait for follow up care, “waiting” can damage your personal injury case.
Claims adjusters are used to seeing the volume of medical records and diagnostic tests that are routinely ordered and generated in the states.
If you submit a demand but your medical records don’t exist because your home country’s doctor never created them or only created minimal documents, then you will have substantial difficulty pursuing your case in the United States.
What Happens Once You're Back Home?
If you were injured in Florida but you have already left the state, a claim can be filed on your behalf without you being present. However, if suit is filed, you may be required to return to Florida. An experienced Florida tourist attorney will be able to discuss this possibility with you.