When you’re traveling on business, the last thing on your mind is being injured in an accident. You may be covered under Workers Compensation in something that personal injury attorneys call “portal to portal coverage.” This means that you are covered if you are injured performing the principal activities for which you are employed and while you are staying in a hotel. However, the Worker’s Compensation state laws where the accident happened will apply to your case, rather than the laws in your home state, unless, of course, you traveled within the same state. This can complicate your situation, which is why you should hire an attorney as soon as possible to assist you and inform you of your legal rights.
After you have been involved in an accident, there are important steps you should take.
Report the accident, whether it occurred in a car or on the premises of a hotel.
- If you were involved in a car accident, then you should call 911 immediately and inform the operator of any injuries and where the accident occurred.
- If you were injured at a hotel, then you should notify the manager or supervisor on duty. The hotel should have a procedure for documenting injuries, such as slip and fall accidents.
Pictures and videos are the best evidence you can provide in an accident case. If you cannot take pictures yourself, then ask a witness to take them for you.
- If you have been involved in a car accident, then you should take close-up shots of the damage and wide shots of where the accident occurred, traffic signs or signals, and shots that include both cars’ license plates.
- If your injury occurred in a hotel lobby, hotel room, or other location, then take pictures of the circumstances and conditions of the location.
You should collect contact information from witnesses of the event. Suppose you were involved in a car accident while traveling on business. In that case, you should get the name, address, email address, phone number, driver’s license number, and auto insurance information of the other driver. In any other type of accident, you should at least get the at-fault party’s contact information so that your attorney can reach out to them for a statement.
Seek medical attention from a physician at the closest emergency room. Doctors can order diagnostic testing to rule out life-threatening injuries and to see the extent of your injuries. Even if you do not believe that you have serious injuries, you should get checked out by a doctor because some injuries have delayed-onset symptoms. That means you won’t feel pain and other symptoms until several hours or even days after the accident.
Economic damages are one type of damages that you can recover after an accident. They include all of your monetary losses ,including:
- All of your medical expenses, from your hospital stay to your follow-up care to medications
- Assistive medical devices and renovations to your home to make it more accommodating, such as a ramp to make your front door accessible by wheelchair
- Lost wages from missed work
- Future lost earning potential if you cannot return to work
- Property damage, such as if a cell phone, computer, or vehicle damaged in the accident
Non-economic damages are the second type of damages that you can recover in a personal injury case and typically include pain and suffering. An accident and the resulting injuries can cause physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress. You can recover these damages to compensate you for the subjective, not pecuniary losses.
Any time you have been involved in an accident and have suffered financial and non-financial losses, you should hire a personal injury attorney to represent your best interest, fight for you, and inform you of your rights under state personal injury laws. When insurance companies notice that a claimant is representing themselves in their personal injury case, they take advantage of the fact that the claimant is not a legal expert.
As mentioned earlier, Worker’s Compensation cases can get complicated easily if you’re traveling from out of state. An attorney can review the applicable laws with you, tell you how much your case is worth, and fight for you to receive a fair and just settlement.