Holiday From Hell: What To Do If You Are Injured Abroad
In a perfect world, a holiday would be a couple of weeks in paradise with warm weather and stunning views.
In reality, it can be a holiday that haunts you in your nightmares. There is no way to guarantee it is going to be the ultimate experience, especially in a foreign country. Because of the unpredictability, anything can happen and it will if you’re not careful.
So, you’ve suffered an injury and are in the hospital waiting for treatment. This isn’t the vacation you planned but it’s the one you got. There is no point worrying about it now because it’s over.
The only thing worth thinking about is the next move. After all, there are plenty of bases to cover to ensure you get home safely and in one piece.
For those who are concerned, here are a few bits of advice and guidance which will come in handy. You never know when misfortune will strike.
Find Your Insurance Documents
Firstly, it’s essential that you are covered in case of an accident. The odds are high that it won’t happen, which is why holiday-goers see it as a waste but think of it as a backup.
The last thing anybody wants to do is pick up the cheque because it might be a big, fat one. A comparison website can help if you don’t know how to find the best and cheapest deals.
You may not need to worry about contacting the insurer personally because the hospital or surgery will do it once they have your documents (do double check your paper work as different companies have different requirements). The insurance company will get in touch with you after a short while so make sure your phone is on and charged.
What you need to do is hand over the certificate of insurance which proves you’re covered. Once they have that, then you won’t be personally liable.
Some people like to print them off but it’s perfectly fine to save them on your phone. The email app makes them easy to access in seconds.
There are two reasons for this: a second opinion and a compensation claim. It’s human nature not to trust the level of care in a foreign country or to think it’s below-par.
As soon as you land on the tarmac at home, the first thing you’ll do is see your doctor and ask for a second opinion. They can’t provide a proper follow-up without the details of the injury. Ask for copies of your medical records and get the hospital and GP to sign off on them.
Claiming for compensation isn’t a nice feeling because it’s almost as if you’re screwing someone over. However, there might be negligence on another person’s behalf and that means you deserve compensating. The medical records will strengthen your case, as will anything else which corroborates your story.
Was it more than a slip and fall? If so, the police report will come in handy as will CCTV footage.
Speak To A Solicitor
Talking to a legal professional isn’t an ironclad contract. To sit down and to walk him or her through the case doesn’t mean it has to go beyond the office.
What it suggests is that you’re savvy by speaking to a personal injury solicitor. After all, they understand what constitutes a solid claim and what is frivolous. Why shouldn’t you ask them for your opinion?
It’s important to do it as soon as possible in case there is a claim and they encourage you to pursue it. Not only are there time limits but leaving it too long muddies the waters and harms your chances of winning. Solicitors like to do their business while the facts are fresh.
If you don’t know where to start, the internet is as good as any. Be sure to do your research and check their background before hiring their services. No one wants a cowboy in their corner.
Let Everyone Know
Okay, not everyone needs to know the situation, but a couple of people will be on the hit list. Any family who isn’t on holiday with you deserve a phone call or else they risk finding out through other sources.
Insurance companies have been known to call a next of kin to verify the information and it doesn’t look good if they’re clueless.
Also, don’t forget to speak to your boss. Depending on the injury, you might not be able to work for a while and it’s courtesy (and self-preservation) to tell them in advance.
Have you ever suffered an injury abroad? Did you do any of the things above?
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