An injury is probably the last thing you would expect to get on vacation. Unfortunately, accidents do not wait for a convenient time or place for victims. You may suffer a slip and fall, elevator or escalator accident, animal attack, sexual assault, food poisoning, or many other injury types while vacationing in Fort Lauderdale. If you do get into a personal injury accident on vacation, take these six steps to help your future.
Report the Accident
Never keep your accident or injuries to yourself. Find a business owner, manager, supervisor, or other authority and report your accident. Explain what happened and request medical assistance, if necessary. Get the name and contact information of the person who helps you. Say that you would like to file an official accident report. If you suffered serious injuries, someone died, you were in a hit-and-run, or you simply want the police to document what happened, call 911. Be honest with the responding officers, but do not admit fault.
Do Not Admit Fault
When speaking to a manager, the police, or insurance companies, never admit fault. Even if you were doing something you should not have been, such as accessing a restricted part of an amusement park, do not apologize or say you caused your own injuries. This could immediately relieve the property owner from liability, even if he or she was partially responsible. Instead, wait for an official investigation to identify what caused the injuries.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Do not wait to get medical care for your personal injuries. Waiting could show an insurance company that you were not badly injured. It could also make your injuries worse. Call 911 and request an ambulance, if necessary. Otherwise, visit a hospital in Fort Lauderdale for immediate medical care.
- Holy Cross Hospital
4725 North Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
- Kindred Hospital South Florida
1516 East Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
- Broward Health Imperial Point: ER
6401 North Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Explain what happened and request an exam to diagnose any potential injuries. Listen to your doctor’s instructions exactly during recovery. Keep copies of your medical records, bills, and treatment plans. If you are not sure which doctor is right to treat and document your injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer first to ask.
Get Photos and Other Information
Document your accident, if you can. You may not be familiar with the area, but take photos and get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses. Also take photos of your injuries and/or any property damage. Request copies of any accident reports, police reports, and medical records. Keep all your information in one organized folder.
Learn Your Statute of Limitations
Once you have received medical care for your injuries, start building your case. You may have a claim against a property owner or someone else for negligently causing or failing to prevent your injuries. In Florida, the statute of limitations on most personal injury claims is four years from the date of your accident. This can seem like a long time, but you do not want to miss your deadline. Missing the statute of limitations typically means losing any right to compensation.
Discuss Your Accident With an Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
Suffering an accident on vacation does not have to mean you pay for your damages yourself. A negligent party could be liable. Whether you tripped and fell at a nature center or your child suffered a drowning accident at a hotel swimming pool, a lawyer can help. A premises liability attorney can review the circumstances of your vacation accident, help you gather evidence, and file a claim on your behalf, if applicable. You and your family could be eligible for financial recovery from the at-fault party.