Accidents happen, but they can be incredibly scary when they happen far away from home. Even if you’re on a short weekend getaway, being in a place you’re not totally familiar with can make an accident or injury much more stressful.

So when you know how to respond to a travel-based injury, it’ll be easier to stay in control.

You already take precautions to stay safe while traveling. To make sure you’re even better prepared, here’s what you should do if you experience an injury on the road.

Get Medical Attention

Assuming it’s a serious medical issue, you must seek medical care ASAP. Visiting the hospital or a walk-in clinic may feel daunting when you’re in new surroundings—but nothing is more important than your health.

Whether you’ve experienced an animal bite, a broken bone, or whiplash from a car accident doesn’t matter. A medical professional will ensure that any immediate danger is removed and put you on the first steps to recovery. You may find that further rehab or support is required once you return home, but getting medical attention right away will help you in the longer term.

By having the right medical insurance in place before you start your travels, the financial blow will be far smaller.

Seek Legal Advice

If the injury was caused by someone else’s neglect, you’ve got to fight for justice. Their negligence has already ruined your vacation, and it may have caused ongoing problems that impact your physical and mental health, as well as your career.

A surprisingly common travel injury is dog bites. Whether from petting seemingly friendly street dogs (editor’s note: I adopted a street dog while traveling, so no judgment here) or from a case of owner neglect—say, a dog breaks free of its leash and attacks you—it can happen in an instant and be infuriating and terrifying. Finding someone to help your case, like a local dog bite lawyer, will make sure that you have the best shot of legal and financial compensation. They can advise you about the local laws and help you understand what to expect from the process ahead. It goes a long way to keeping your mind at ease.

Even if the Statute of Limitations for making a claim won’t expire for years, it’s best to act while you’re at the destination.

Gain As Much Info As Possible

Even before you seek legal advice, it’s best to start collecting evidence to build your case. This could mean taking photographs of the injury, getting eyewitness accounts, or taking photos of the accident scene. Likewise, you should keep any receipts for medical bills and related expenses. The more info you have, the easier it will be to build a case. Aside from showing the other party’s negligence, it will prove your innocence against any counterclaims. Therefore, it is essential that you do this as soon as possible, and continue to gather evidence throughout.

Inform Loved Ones Back Home

If you have had a serious accident, it’s vital that you call people back home. You can let loved ones know that you’re safe through video chat or other tech means. If you are forced to stay in your destination for longer, you can also let employers know about the situation. Even if they are not happy, they will appreciate the transparency. Moreover, the knowledge that you’ve tied things up back home will allow you to focus on your recovery. So, you should do this even when the accident won’t stop you from returning home.

Finally, you must remember that it’s not your fault and that things could have been a lot worse. At times like this, a little perspective goes a long way.

Featured image by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Frayed Passport is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to