Vacation is a time to kick up one’s feet and relax- but if an unforeseen event dampers your getaway, it is important to be prepared. Should an injury occur in the midst of travel, Attorney Richard Levin of Levin, Riback Law Group notes you should take action with a few simple steps to protect yourself.
“All too often people don’t want to deal with the headache of documentation or treatment during their vacation and wait until they are home to report an incident,” says Levin. “However waiting too long to file a report can have detrimental consequences; it is imperative to move quickly because vacation vessels such as cruise ships operate on a different statue of limitations.”
If you become injured during a vacation, Attorney Richard Levin suggests the following:
- Document the Incident: Immediately document what happened. For example, if you slipped on the deck of your cruise ship, take photos of the floor and surrounding area immediately, as well as pictures of your injury. “Take note of your surroundings,” adds Levin. “Was the floor wet? Were there any signs alerting passengers to be careful? It may seem silly, but these photos can serve as evidence if crew negligence is to blame.”
- Get Proper Medical Treatment: Many people skip this step because they are on vacation and they would rather be sight-seeing or enjoying drinks by the pool. However, it is absolutely crucial that you see a doctor right away. “Your health should be your number one priority,” says Levin. “If a more serious injury is at hand, initial documentation is needed for any legal case you might consider in the future.”
- See Your Doctor: Once you have returned home from vacation, see your doctor at home right away. Keep documentation and monitor any issues that continue to arise (e.g. maybe your ankle is no longer swollen but it is still tender to the touch, or it starts aching when you return to your usual exercise program) as well as any issue that interferes with your normal daily activities.
- Speak To An Attorney As Soon As Possible: If you were injured in a foreign country or even on a cruise ship, it is important to remember you may have a shorter statute of limitations. “In many states, like Illinois, you may have up to two years to file,” says Levin. “Cruise ship companies bury lawsuit conditions on your ticket and those are generally followed by the courts. There may be a mandatory 180 day notice requirement, and only one year to file your case in court. If these conditions are not followed, cases can be dismissed no matter how badly you’re hurt.”