While everyone loves the idea of taking a relaxing vacation, it is always better when that wonderful vacation is given to you free with all expenses paid. In most cases, whether you are heading off to an exotic beach, on a cruise, or having a great time in a mountain cabin, everything goes just as planned. However, since life sometimes has a way of bringing along a surprise or two along the way, you may find yourself injured during your trip. Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, you may decide to seek financial compensation for your injuries. If you find yourself in this situation and have questions about your ability to seek compensation for your injuries, here are some details that will play a major role in your decision-making process.
Multiple States and Countries
When you are injured on a vacation, one of the biggest legal obstacles you will encounter will be trying to figure out the various laws within states and countries. For the most part, states and nations have different laws when it comes to contracts and injuries. This is especially true of areas where tourism is a major industry, since they usually have laws in place aimed at protecting them from these very situations. In these instances, you will need to rely on personal injury lawyers who have experience handling cases of this specific nature. Since the outcome of your case will probably come down to factors such as how you arranged for your vacation and where and how the injury occurred, it will be crucial for your attorney to be familiar with the laws of different states and nations, if applicable.
In many cases where people are injured while on vacation, they are often able to only sue based on specific responsibility. For example, if you win a trip and are given airline travel and hotel accommodations but are then injured at a local restaurant, you will likely be able to only sue the restaurant itself for your injuries. However, in cases where the company that awarded you the trip reached out to you initially with a coupon, advertisement, or other type of invitation, it may be possible to sue them as well. However, the question of whether you will be able to sue them in the state or nation where your injury occurred, or if you can only sue them in your home state where you received the offer, is best left to your attorney.
Read the Fine Print
As with any type of business relationship in today’s world, contracts and other documents have more and more fine print. Unfortunately, most of these documents are set up on the assumption that most people signing the papers will not take the time to read the details. As a result, when something happens and people try to gain compensation for injuries or damages, they are often disappointed to learn they signed away most, if not all, of their rights. To keep this from happening to you, always take the time to read the fine print of any contract before signing. For best results, let an attorney review it prior to your signing, since there may be clauses in it you may have difficulty understanding. With most contracts related to prizes that are won in contests or other ways, companies often create contracts that include waivers of liability, clauses related to arbitration agreements, and more. However, even if you do sign a contract with these limitations, that does not necessarily mean you are strictly bound to the terms of the contract. To learn your options, always consult a personal injury attorney.
Negotiations and Settlements
If there is one thing you have going for you in these situations, it is the possibility of a company getting very bad publicity about one of their prize winners failing to be treated in a respectable manner when a problem occurred while on their trip. Whether you won a trip from a game show or a local business or organization, the last thing most companies want is a problem that can quickly turn into a public relations disaster. Therefore, even if you signed a contract with strict waivers of liability and other clauses, chances are, if you have experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers working for you, they will be able to conduct negotiations that result in a fair and equitable settlement. While a defendant in these matters is certainly not obligated to provide you with a fair offer, most businesses and companies related to the tourism industry never want bad publicity. Thus, if you need an attorney to handle these matters for you, always seek out the services of those who are known for their negotiation skills and ability to get satisfactory settlements for their clients.
Beware of Insurance Companies
If you are injured while on a vacation you won, be prepared to have insurance companies working against you from day one. In many cases, the defendant’s insurance company will initially deny liability for your injuries, dispute the seriousness of your injuries, or try to prove your injuries were caused by negligent or careless behavior on your part – such as alcohol playing a factor. Along with this, an insurance company may also contact you in an effort to learn more about your situation. If this happens, do not believe the insurance company is on your side. Although it may appear to be this way, the fact is, the insurance representative is looking for things that can be used against you. Whether you meet with a representative in person or speak on the telephone, they will likely try to get you to admit fault for the accident, or instead, offer you an immediate cash settlement that is far less than what you need or deserve. Due to the many things that can go wrong for you in these situations, it is best to never speak directly to the insurance company yourself. Instead, hire a skilled personal injury attorney and refer all communication to them. By doing so, you not only eliminate the chances of you making a mistake along the way, but also put the insurance company on notice that you are serious about getting the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Rather than let circumstances that happen on a free vacation make life difficult for you and your family financially, physically, and emotionally, always rely on personal injury lawyers who have experience in handling these cases. By doing so, you will know your legal rights will be protected in these complex matters, giving you the peace of mind needed to ensure you receive equitable compensation.