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How to handle being injured while travelling in the USA

Written by Fiona

November 13 2019

Travel is exciting. It’s great to be able to explore and experience new things in a different country. Usually, everything goes well, you enjoy your trip and you return home with great memories and fantastic photos. But, every now and again, things go wrong. Perhaps you fall sick or are involved in an accident and end up being injured. In that situation, it is important to know how to handle things.

Get treatment

The first step is to get your injuries treated. Your medical travel insurance should cover the cost of your initial treatment.

Injuries do happen, although you will always hope not. Credit: Maarten Duineveld

Seek out a lawyer

If you are very badly injured you may need to also employ the services of a personal injury lawyer like the ones you can find via sevenishlaw.com. This is because all travel insurance policies have a cap on how much they will pay out for any single claim.

If your policy is capped at $50,000 and treating your injuries costs $70,000, you will need to use a lawyer to sue for the balance. Should your injury leave you with disabilities you will almost certainly need a specialist lawyer to be able to secure the right level of compensation. Most travel insurance policy limits mean that the amount they cover is just not high enough.

Report the incident to the right people

As soon as you are able to do so, you need to report the accident to the relevant people. In virtually every case, that means contacting your travel insurance provider.

Most of them provide a 24/7 helpline. So, that is not difficult to do. The best companies offer good advice and support to their clients. They appreciate that you are under a lot of stress and will do their very best to help you through the situation.

In America, if someone is injured or killed as a result of a vehicle accident, the police must be called to the scene. If this does not happen, you should report the accident, as soon as possible.

Even if you are the driver and are the only person who is hurt, the police must still be notified. In that situation, you should also notify the car hire company. They should then let the DMV know too. If you’re unsure about where to start, some injury lawyers offer free complimentary consultations.

Plan ahead – and keep notes. Credit: John Matychuk

Keep good records

The chances are you will be making a claim against your insurance or be using a lawyer to sue for damages. This means that you will need to gather evidence. You need to be able to prove what happened during the incident and to provide proof of the expenses that you incurred as a result of your accident.

If you are able to take photos and the contact details of witnesses and those involved at the scene of the accident, do so. Make sure you keep receipts for any medical treatment, additional accommodation costs, taxis and that sort of thing.

It is also a good idea to journal everything. Making a note of where the ambulance took you, how you were admitted and the tests you had done can all prove helpful later. You are going to be under a lot of stress, so remembering what happened when, months down the line, is going to be difficult. Keeping a journal will really help with this.

Take care with travel insurance

Regardless of the nature of your injuries, your travel insurance provider is going to be playing a significant role in helping you to get through things, at least initially. So, it is very important to buy a good policy. You can find guidance about doing this by clicking the link.

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