Published on June 22nd, 2019
We all look forward to going on holiday throughout the year and eagerly anticipate the opportunity to get away from the stressors of life. However, it can be frustrating and even traumatizing when an accident occurs while you’re away.
But difficulty aside, if you do not handle the accident correctly and promptly, your troubles may continue to multiply until you address the issue. So, whether you or a family member have run into issues while on holiday, knowing what steps to take in the case of a medical accident are crucial to your safety.
1. First Things First
One of the most important things to do before you go on holiday is to make sure your EU Health Cards is with you and up to date. If you do not carry it day by day, make sure you bring it with you on holiday, and that it is up to date with accurate information.
If you check your card before you leave and realize it is out of date, order a replacement with updated information as soon as possible. The process of getting a replacement card mailed can take 7 to 10 days, so make sure to plan ahead to have adequate time to receive your card in the mail. Having all of your information for your care is essential to making sure you are safe, so do not skip this step.
2. How Does Being On Holiday Impact My Accident?
When you have an accident at home, although unfortunate, you are usually close to your personal doctor, emergency contacts, and people you know.
You may be more familiar with accident policies and procedures and already acquainted with facilities and the type of care they offer.
However, if you are abroad or away on holiday, those same resources may not be available to you in the case of an emergency.
3. I’ve Been In An Accident. What Do I Do?
Whether you are at home or away and you experience some medical accident, the beginning steps to take are the same. If there is a medical emergency, call 112 for immediate assistance of any kind.
If the accident involved another vehicle, like a car or a truck, collect the information of the other driver, including their insurance information.
The earlier you start this process, the better! There’s more of a likelihood of you having all of the information and details that you need when you have everything right in front of you.
4. What Is The Next Most Important Thing?
As with any accident, the more information you have, the safer you are. Any chance you have to document the situation, gather evidence, take pictures, collect names and details, you should take. If you have to file for some sort of compensation or sue for some reason, the more evidence you have, the better.
Although some of these procedures can seem awkward, especially if it was an accident, the more information you have, the more smoothly and quickly the claims process will be.
5. What Details Do I Need?
Other details may include writing down the details of the accident, sketching out the scene, taking photos of evidence or your surroundings, collecting various contact information from other parties or officials who are there to help, and especially keeping proof of any expenses that resulted from the accident.
Of course, gathering these details should not impede medical action. However, being responsible for yourself in an accident may mean you need to be a little more forthright than usual to collect all of the details you may need in the future.
6. Seek Medical Attention
Even if your accident didn’t cause a life-threatening injury, seeking medical attention as quickly as possible is very important.
As you talk to a local doctor or emergency personnel, let them know that you are not local to the area, and they should be able to help you collect and receive the appropriate documentation.
Even if you don’t feel like your injuries are that bad, making sure other things aren’t out of order are very important.
7. How Do I Decide If I Even Need Medical Attention?
No matter how small the accident, you should still seek medical attention, especially if you are away on Holiday.
The change of place and pace can sometimes aggravate an injury, and being in an unfamiliar setting can be disorienting as you process an injury.
Just because you don’t notice any pain immediately after an accident doesn’t mean that anything is wrong.
Sometimes, injuries can take days or even weeks to manifest, when they could have been treated immediately by a doctor who knows what to look for.
8. What If I Did Not Go To The Hospital Then, But I Am In Pain Now?
If you did not go to the hospital or seek medical attention for one reason or another, be careful and pay close attention to your body in the days and weeks to come. Some injuries, like cuts and broken bones, are easily noticed and can be treated and addressed quickly.
But other injuries may start out with symptoms like soreness or achiness and can indicate much bigger issues. Start documenting your pain and then visit a doctor to help verify that your pain is from the accident.
This is another part of gathering evidence about your accident. Keeping any and all documentation of medical treatments and following doctor’s orders, whether immediately following an injury or afterward, are wise things to do after being in an accident.
If you can, go one step further and talk to a local attorney about your incident — they may be able to point out other things that a doctor may have missed, because they are more familiar with the legal processes following an injury, and direct you to another doctor who has more experience when dealing with accident-related injuries.
Unfortunately, if you don’t go to a doctor at all, don’t keep any sort of medical documentation, or don’t follow through with the doctor’s orders regarding your accident, these can become factors that are held against you if the case is brought in front of a court. So it is definitely better to be safe than sorry when it comes to going to the doctor.
9. What About When I Get Back?
Okay, so you are back from holiday, and you have dealt with the immediate realities of your accident. But now what? Now that you are home, what do you do with all of these details and pieces of information?
Generally, the claims process for an out-of-state issue is similar to an in-state process, although it may be slightly more complicated. In addition, it may be difficult to know who exactly is held responsible, because there can be several different parties involved, especially if you’re on holiday at a specific location.
As always, there will be different regulations and rules depending on where your holiday was, how long it lasted, and many other factors and details. Don’t be dissuaded, though! Your health and safety are important, and regulations are in place to help aid the process.
10. What Kind Of Claims Are There?
Medical accidents and injuries particularly can be claimed and compensated for a variety of outcomes. These include:
- General damages: This may cover general pain and loss from the accident as a whole.
- Loss of income: If you have been unable to collect earnings or lost opportunity for income because you have not been able to work because of your injury, this is a huge opportunity that can be claimed.
- Care Claim: If you need help with the daily functions of life, or care for your house or household, the person who helped care for you can file a care claim.
- Medical Expenses: Perhaps one of the most obvious things, you can claim for prescriptions, hospital stays, or any other medical expenses that have been necessitated as a result of your injury.
- Travel-Related expenses: If you had to change your travel arrangements due to your injury, or experienced extra expenses because of your injury, you may be able to claim for this.
11. How And Where Do I File My Complaint?
The biggest difficulty to be aware of is figuring out where to file your complaint. There are often multiple jurisdictions involved, and different districts may have different policies on how they handle these kinds of accidents.
In addition, you may have to navigate regulations specific to the type of holiday you were on, depending on the location of your accident.
If you have travel insurance, make sure they are up-to-date with details and pertinent information as soon as possible, and keep your local contacts close, in case you need a local attorney to handle your case.
No matter where you go, medical accidents are unfortunate and can sometimes be tricky to recover from. However, being informed about the processes in place to help you and your family through these trying times is key to knowing what to do if you end up having an accident while on holiday.