Are you preparing for a vacation or other type of travel? You’re probably excited about your destination and planning everything you’ll do. One thing you might not be planning for is the possibility of an injury during your trip. Failing to plan for a potential medical emergency during your trip is a big mistake. Getting injured while traveling can do more than derail your ideal itinerary.

When asked, a hotel injury lawyer said, “Most travelers are completely unprepared for what to do if they are injured. Most of us expect everything to go as planned. To start, buying travel insurance is a good idea. It can help you in many ways if you have an injury while traveling. Beyond that, you should try to have an emergency fund available during your trip. Travelers should also research local health guidelines and the healthcare system of their destination.”

While preparation is good advice, you should also have a plan for handling the injury. This post will provide tips for what to do after being injured while traveling.

Assess the Situation

The first step is for you and your travel companions to evaluate the situation. Have you all been injured, or is it just one of you? If you’re in a situation with an additional risk of injury, you should try to move somewhere safe if possible. If it is a critical injury, call emergency services immediately. If the injury is minor, assess whether you can administer basic first aid while considering options for medical help. That is why you should have a plan for getting healthcare during travel.

Seek Medical Attention

As mentioned in the previous section, you’ll want to call emergency services for serious injuries. If you’re in the US, it’s as simple as calling 911. However, the emergency service numbers might be different overseas. Some countries even have different emergency numbers depending on the purpose. Make sure to research the emergency numbers before traveling abroad. You should also research ways you can use your phone overseas.

Even if the injury seems minor, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention. What seems like a minor injury could turn out to be more serious later. Seeing a doctor can help with a better outcome. It can also ensure documentation if you need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit. In the case of a minor injury, you can probably do a simple Google search to find a local doctor.

Document the Injury and Evidence

Be prepared to collect and keep all evidence concerning the injury and how it happened. That means keeping all the medical records from the doctor or hospital that provides treatment. You should also keep receipts concerning medical care or prescriptions. It might also be a good idea to collect evidence from the scene. For example, if you fell because of poorly maintained stairs at the hotel, you should take pictures to document that fact. It is also a good idea to talk to any witnesses who may have seen the accident. Ask them for statements and to provide their contact details.

Report the Incident

It is also a good idea to report the injury to a number of organizations. If the injury happened at a hotel, resort, or attraction, you should report it to management. You might also need to report the accident to local authorities. This is especially true if the injury occurred in a car accident. If you’re traveling abroad, it is also a good idea to report the injury to the local embassy. This is especially important if you need to stay in the hospital for an extended time.

Contact Your Insurer

Contact your travel insurance provider as soon as you can to report your injury. Beyond starting the claim to cover medical expenses, they might be able to help you arrange new flights or other accommodations if your care disrupts your travel plans. Provide them with all necessary details, including your policy number, a description of the incident, and any documentation you’ve gathered. Follow their instructions for filing a claim and keep a record of all communications.

After that, it is a good idea to notify your regular health insurer. They might be able to help coordinate care both at the location and when you return home. Some health insurance plans might also cover care while traveling. Share all relevant information, including medical records and treatment details. Keeping both insurers informed ensures you receive the necessary support and coverage for your medical expenses.

Follow the Doctor’s Recommendations

It is also important to stick to the doctor’s recommendations. Their advice might disrupt your trip, but it is essential for achieving a better outcome. That means taking all medications, staying in the hospital as long as needed, and attending any follow-up visits. If you can travel home before you fully recover, ask the doctor for advice on travel and what to do when you return home. Following medical advice not only aids your recovery but also provides documentation for insurance claims or legal actions.

Following these tips can help you navigate the aftermath of an injury while traveling. However, preparation and planning are key. Make sure to account for the possibility of injury when making your travel checklist.