What Should I Do If I Get Injured on Vacation (Car Accidents, Slip and Fall, Cruise Ship Injuries, Etc.)?
Florida attracts millions of visitors annually. And although the pandemic put many travel plans on pause, there are people who are still booking flights to enjoy the Sunshine State.
But what happens if you are injured while vacationing in Florida? Do you still have the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries? The short answer is yes, even if you only visit Florida, your rights are still protected and you can collect damages.
Here, the SteinLaw team discusses the most common travel injuries and their causes as well as what you should do if you or a loved one is injured while on vacation.
Common Accidents While Vacationing
Florida ranks high in the number of traffic fatalities annually, from distracted driving to driving under the influence. When visiting Florida, it is possible to be injured in a car accident in your own vehicle or while in a rental vehicle. In the event of an accident of this nature, you would follow procedures just like in your home state following an accident. In the event of a car accident, you should seek medical attention, notify the local authorities, and seek out the guidance of a trustworthy car accident lawyer. If your accident occurred in a rental car, the procedure is similar.
While on vacation, there is also the chance for accidental injury due to a transit accident in which you are a passenger on a bus, ferry, train, or other public transit. In these cases, the owner or operator of the vehicle may be liable for the accident due to driver negligence or an improperly maintained vehicle. Another type of traffic-related accident is a pedestrian accident. Vacationers out and about seeing the sights are often walking, which puts them at a higher risk for pedestrian accidents. In fact, Florida has nearly twice more pedestrian deaths when compared to the national average.
Accidents Involving Bikes, Scooters, Golf Carts, and more
Vacationers often rent bikes, e-bikes, scooters, e-scooters, and other modes of transportation to explore all that Florida has to offer. This can result in accidental injuries including broken bones and head injuries.
In most cases, you have to sign a liability waiver before embarking on your adventure, but the rental company is still liable should the equipment you rented be faulty, defective, or not properly maintained. When renting vehicles or other equipment ask about safety inspections and ask for instructions on safe use of your rental. If you are injured due to the rental company’s negligence, you may be entitled for compensation.
Slip, Fall, or Trip Accidents
Slip, fall, or trip accidents are common occurrences that happen when businesses or recreational facilities fail to adequately maintain their property. Slip and fall accidents can happen in restaurants, hotels, rental properties, amusement parks, and even pools and beaches. From wet floors to unmarked steps, uneven surfaces to damaged flooring, hazards can be anywhere, particularly for those unfamiliar with the property. If you suffer injury from a slip, fall, or trip accident in a hotel or resort, the business is liable. These properties are required by law to keep premises (including transportation and amenities) free from hazards and safe for guests. The law requires owners/managers to properly maintain premises, making repairs as needed and cleaning up potential hazards (spills and such) as they occur.
Areas which are awaiting repair (like damaged floors or walkways) or pose other hazards (such as pools without lifeguards on duty) must have warning signs clearly posted. When renting a vacation home, ensure the owner has adequate insurance with guest liability coverage. If you suffer from a slip, fall, or trip or other accident injury in a vacation home, seek medical attention, and document the accident including the cause of the injury. Depending on the contract or lease agreement you signed, the homeowner may be liable for your injuries.
Other Common Accidents
Other common injuries while on vacation include recreational-related injuries, injuries related to insufficient security, and even food poisoning. Recreational injuries can occur at amusement parks, recreational facilities, and state or local parks and often involve boating, jet skiing, and paragliding. Injuries related to insufficient security involve assaults or other security-related injuries in which property owners failed to provide a safe environment.
Common Injuries While Vacationing
Any of these accidents can cause a variety of injuries from broken bones to head trauma. Among the most common injuries sustained by individuals on vacation are:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissues and internal injuries
- Head, neck, and spinal injuries
If you or a loved one were injured while on vacation, please contact our experienced lawyers at SteinLaw today!
Will Travel Insurance Provide Additional Protection if I Am Injured on Vacation?
Some cautious individuals may consider purchasing traveler’s insurance prior to leaving on a long-awaited vacation. This can provide valuable peace of mind, but is it actually worth the cost? Will traveler’s insurance truly provide additional protection while you’re on vacation? There’s no simple answer, as your benefits will be commensurate with your level of coverage. However, there are a few benefits to traveler’s insurance that might surprise you, like:
Emergency Dental Insurance
Say you’re on a cruise and slip and fall on the deck, breaking your tooth. With traveler’s insurance, you won’t have to worry about pain interrupting your travels. As soon as you make it to port, you can have your emergency dental work taken care of in full, if you choose the right traveler’s insurance policy.
Travel Insurance Bedside Visits
In a worst-case scenario, a dream vacation can take an unexpected turn that leaves you in a hospital bed. In the event you become confined to a hospital bed for a life-threatening illness or injury, your traveler’s insurance company may authorize a relative to visit, paying all the transportation costs (up to a certain dollar amount, as outlined in your policy.)
Injuries Incurred Playing Sports or Participating in Leisure Activities
If you are injured while participating in a leisure activity, such as visiting an amusement park, travel medical policies usually cover injuries that you might sustain during activities that you participate in for leisure or fitness purposes. However, they don’t cover non-amateur activities or activities listed in the General Exclusions. Talk to your insurer for more details.
What Traveler’s Insurance Will NOT Cover
There are certain things your traveler’s insurance will not cover. You might face a claim denial if any of the following apply to your situation:
- You became injured while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- You’re experiencing complications from a late-stage pregnancy.
- You were participating in a high-risk or otherwise excluded activity.
- Your insurer did not provide prior authorization for a particular treatment.
- You failed to disclose a pre-existing medical condition, or any other information required on the medical questionnaire.
- You did not check with a doctor before cancelling a trip and filing a claim.
- Your trip lasted longer than the duration of the policy.
In other cases, you might find that some of your injuries are covered under your traveler’s insurance policy, while the insurer will deny others. Examples of partial coverage may include:
- Seeking a benefit amount beyond the limitations of your policy.
- Staying in the hospital beyond the allotted time for medically-necessary emergency treatment.
- You failed to provide adequate supporting documentation to demonstrate the veracity of your claim.
Fortunately, in many instances, you can remedy the situation, but it may require the help of a personal injury attorney. Review the correspondence from your insurer and determine the reason for your claim denial, then contact an attorney at SteinLaw Miami with experience handling bad faith traveler’s insurance claims. Traveler’s insurance can provide additional protection while you’re on vacation, but you might need to fight for it.
Information for Out-of-State Attorneys and Clients
SteinLaw handles many cruise ship personal injury lawsuits on behalf of out-of-state clients and attorneys for two critical reasons:
The first is that personal injury claims against a cruise line company usually require passengers to file them in the same state of the company’s headquarters. This can be an issue for people that live elsewhere, and with many major cruise lines based in Florida—such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Norwegian, and Virgin Voyages Cruise Lines—SteinLaw is well-positioned to help litigate these claims.
The second is that cruise ship accident lawsuits carry a one-year statute of limitations. This—combined with the need to file in the same state of the company’s headquarters—can create an incredibly tight, inconvenient, and often expensive litigation process for out-of-state passengers injured in a cruise ship accident.
With such a narrow window of opportunity for victims to process their claims, SteinLaw takes great care to get victims beyond Florida the compensation they deserve.
In the links below, we are happy to provide additional information for out-of-state victims and attorneys seeking a Florida-based firm to handle a client’s cruise ship personal injury claim on their behalf:
- Cruise Ship Personal Injury FAQ
- Understanding Admiralty and Maritime Law: How to Pursue Damages as a Worker at Sea
- Cruise Ships Facing Lawsuits Over COVID-19 Outbreaks
- Common Cruise Ship Accidents and Understanding Your Rights
- How to File a Claim Against:
Contact SteinLaw today to see what we can do to help you or your client get the compensation they deserve for their cruise ship personal injury.