Florida is, without doubt, a popular vacationing spot. Every year, millions of people visit to bathe in the city’s breathtaking beaches. However, even if you’re on break, it doesn’t mean that accidents are taking a break too.
During vacation, people are less alert and don’t give much thought to bad things that could happen to them or other people.
If you get injured outside of your state, you might think that there’s nothing you can do to get compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damage you’ve suffered. However, the legal recourse for injuries suffered during a Miami vacation is no different than in your own state.
1. Get Medical Help as Soon as Possible
Whether it’s a car accident, a slip-and-fall, or food poisoning, it’s in your best interest to seek medical attention immediately. Don’t wait until you feel dizzy or can’t move on your own. Head and spinal injuries or bone fractures might not be apparent immediately and can only be determined with an MRI or a CT scan. But moving around will worsen them. If you’re vacationing alone, it might be difficult to get help once you’re seconds from passing out or can’t reach the phone.
Once you get admitted to a hospital, don’t forget to tell the staff that you’re on vacation and need to return at some point. That’ll help them assign you adequate treatment and determine the length of your hospital stay.
In addition to health concerns, seeking medical help also helps your claim and chances of getting compensation for the damages suffered. If you fail to report your injury immediately after it happens, the insurance company might deem it unrelated to the incident and refuse to compensate your medical bills, hospital stay, etc.
2. Report the Incident to the Authorities
If your accident is the result of another person’s negligence, you should contact the police right away. Most of the time, these accidents involve cars and reckless drivers. In 2021, there were 3,451 fatal car crashes in Florida, resulting in 3,738 deaths.
In the event of a car crash, you’ll have so many things to worry about, including the possibility of being severely injured. A police officer can help you assess the situation. They can do a better job at detaining the party at fault, interviewing the witnesses, gathering evidence, creating a scene diagram, and recording the details of the accident in an official report. They’re also much more familiar with Miami laws.
3. Gather the Evidence
Although you shouldn’t move too much before getting medical assistance, gathering some evidence before the police arrive can speed up the legal process afterward. That’s especially beneficial when you’re on vacation and can’t afford to extend your stay to resolve the matter.
Take photos of your injuries, the scene, and anything that may’ve injured you. Write down the accident’s time, date, and location, even if it happened in your hotel room. All these details are relevant to your claim.
4. Get Witness Statements
Witness statements are an important part of every legal proceeding. Often, they can make or break your case.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, getting witnesses is easier than when you’ve suffered from a slip-and-fall in an empty hotel corridor. Write down their names, contact information, and their perspective on the accident. If no one witnessed your accident, those who can vouch for your physical or mental state before and after the accident (medical staff and police officers) are your best bet.
5. Reach Out to a Personal Injury Attorney
Once you’ve gathered everything you can and started your recovery, it’s time to seek legal representation. The statute of limitations for bodily injury in Florida is four years, but it’s best to contact a personal injury attorney and start compiling your claim before you return home. Even if you have a trusted attorney in your state, local Florida attorneys know state law better and will guide you through the entire legal process with no issues.
Moreover, most lawyers allow you to follow up with your case even while you’re miles away. They’ll maintain communication with you and your doctor and ensure a favorable outcome.
Still, like in any state, it’ll be your job to thoroughly research possible attorney options. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and meet with them one-on-one before finalizing your choice.
Be Careful Even When You’re Resting
Miami was the United States’ second largest entry point in 2022, with 3.8 million people visiting the city. It’s no surprise that accidents occur. As a traveler looking to relax and stave off your worries, potential injuries are the last thing on your mind. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry and inform yourself on what you need to do in case of an accident.