One of the greatest gifts of the holiday season is the opportunity to visit family and friends or take a winter vacation. If you have plans, be aware that holiday travel increases your risk of injuries and related costs, from medical expenses to lost wages.
Don’t let holiday travel injuries caused by others create financial obligations you should never have faced. Learn how to protect your rights and get fair compensation with the help of a personal injury firm with these important insights. Whether you’ll be driving to visit nearby loved ones or hopping on a plane to a vacation destination, you shouldn’t have to worry about injuries.
Holiday Travel Risks
Every mode of transportation—car, public transportation, air travel, ridesharing services, etc.—has risks. That’s true throughout the year, but the busy holiday season increases your chance of injury.
According to the National Safety Council, holiday car travel has the highest fatality rate. Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are particularly risky. Adding to the fact that many people are hurrying to family gatherings is the reality that celebrations often involve alcohol. If you’re in a collision, an auto accident attorney can help ensure you don’t pay for someone else’s mistake or bad decision.
Vehicle crashes aren’t the only risk, of course. Slip-and-fall accidents on icy sidewalks and stairs at cold-weather destinations are common.
A significant number of people also suffer injuries at crowded airports during the holidays. The volume of incidents continues to rise as the percentage of travelers flying to holiday destinations increases. Something as simple as tripping over damaged carpet while boarding or exiting a plane can cause a fall. The resulting sprain, broken bone, laceration, or other injury can be costly to treat.
To avoid taking on those expenses or settling for less than you deserve, you should contact a personal injury attorney promptly. Larger personal injury firms may be unwilling to take your case, but our team at Ginnis, Krathen, & Zelnick will stand up for you.
What To Do if You’ve Been Injured in an Accident
If you’ve never suffered a travel-related injury before, you may wonder what to do when one occurs. Knowing what actions to take is crucial since your response can affect your personal injury claim and compensation.
In the case of a vehicle accident, the first step is always to call the police—even if others involved say that’s not necessary. You should also:
- Get the contact and insurance information for the other driver or drivers.
- Take pictures of the scene when it’s safe to do so.
- Get the contact information for witnesses and first responders.
- Make notes about key facts. This includes the date and time of the accident, the actions of other drivers, how many cars were involved, damage to vehicles, injuries, etc.
- Refrain from pursuing hit-and-run drivers, instead writing down a detailed description of the vehicle.
- Note information about treatment you received, including the name of the hospital, doctor, etc.
- Remember that you should be evaluated by a physician even if you don’t immediately experience injury symptoms.
If you suffer an injury on a plane or while boarding or deplaning, you should:
- Report the injury to a crew member.
- Request that they create a written report.
- Be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible, even if you don’t experience pain or other issues.
It is also important to contact an aviation accident lawyer. They can guide you through dealing with the airlines and help protect your right to fair compensation.
Travel Safety Tips
The holidays are much happier if you don’t suffer a travel-related injury. Use these travel safety tips to reduce your risk:
- Ensure your car is in good working order before hitting the road.
- Avoid driving in bad weather.
- Wear your seatbelt and require everyone in your vehicle to do the same.
- Don’t drive while impaired.
- Stay focused on the road, and ignore distractions.
- If you experience car trouble and have to pull over, get as far from the road as possible.
- If using Lyft, Uber, or another ridesharing service, wait for the ride inside and share information on your trip with family and friends. Also check the driver’s rating and confirm the car’s details (make, model, license plate number, etc.) match what’s in the app.
- When flying, avoid the busiest travel days if possible (consider earlier flights), and take direct flights to avoid connections. Board and exit before or after crowds if possible, and plan your travels with ample spare time, so you don’t have to hurry through airports.
Protect Yourself and Your Holiday Travel Companions
No time is a good time for a travel-related injury, but incidents around the holidays can be particularly frustrating and costly. Follow the tips above to reduce your risk and get to your destination safely.
If you do suffer an injury, contact Ginnis, Krathen, & Zelnick right away. Our experienced, attentive personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale will provide the guidance you need to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.