Having an accident while on holiday abroad can be a complicated affair, particularly if you are hospitalised. Keep reading to learn what to do if you ever have a holiday accident…
So, you’re on your holiday abroad and have gotten yourself in a scrape of trouble? If you’re enjoying your time away, the last thing you want to have to contend with is suffering an unfortunate accident. If, for example, you have an acquired brain injury whilst abroad, you may be concerned about what sort of healthcare you’ll receive, and where you will be treated for your injuries.
Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “I would never be so stupid as to get myself injured on holiday. Who does that!?” Well, you may be surprised to hear that it’s a much more common occurrence than we would expect. In fact, statistics show that Brits are a pretty clumsy crowd, and around 10 may be injured every day whilst abroad!
So, what should you do if you ever have a holiday accident? To help answer that question, read on to learn more about what you should do if you are injured while on holiday abroad. Better to be safe than sorry!
Top 10 Accidents to Happen Abroad
Okay, firstly, let’s interest you with a bit of trivia. Here’s a little list of the top 10 holiday accidents to occur abroad, to equip you for your next pub quiz:
- Slips and falls
- Sunburn or heatstroke
- Road traffic accidents
- Food poisoning
- Negligence, causing injuries, like lacerations and sprains
- Sporting injuries
- Excursion injuries
- Skiing accidents
- Swimming accidents
What Should You Do After an Accident?
Depending on the type of accident you suffer, there are a number of steps you should look to take. Here is a quick overview of the immediate steps you should consider in the event that you suffer a holiday accident.
1.) Contact the Emergency Services
The first step you should always make is to contact the local emergency services. In most countries, the emergency services can be contacted by either dialling 112 or 999.
2.) Contact the British Embassy
In every country there will be a British embassy, who will work to support you if you have suffered an accident. If you are admitted to hospital, or are unsure of where you can turn to for support while on holiday abroad, don’t hesitate to phone them.
3.) Let Someone Back Home Know
This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget the fact that your loved ones back home won’t know about your accident unless you get in touch with them. Once you are able to, providing them with an update is really important.
4.) Gather Evidence
If your accident involves someone other than yourself, then make sure you gather as much evidence as possible! Names, addresses, hospital bills and photographs can all be used to provide a clearer picture of how your holiday accident occurred.
5.) Report Your Accident
If you’ve gathered all the evidence concerning your accident, be sure to report it to the authorities where possible. Get in touch with your holiday provider, the owners of the accommodation and your travel insurance provider, who can all advise you on your next steps.
What Happens If I Have to go to Hospital Abroad?
In the worst-case scenarios, suffering an accident while on holiday abroad will result in a visit to the hospital. Unlike in the UK, this may not be a straightforward experience, and could result in unexpected medical bills. But, is this always the case?
Well no, not necessarily. For example, if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC for short), you will be able to state healthcare in a European Economic Country (EEC) and Switzerland at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free.
If you do not have an EHIC, or are visiting a country outside of Europe, you might have to pay for your medical bills upfront. In this case, you’ll have to rely on being reimbursed by your insurer when you return home.
5 Top Tips to Protect Yourself from a Holiday Accident
That last point leads us on nicely to my top tips for protecting yourself from the consequences of a holiday accident…
1.) Get Your Insurance Sorted
As I just mentioned, insurance is crucial. Travel health insurance not only covers things that could go wrong, such as cancellations or loss of possessions, but certain policies will also cover you for illnesses or injuries. Don’t be afraid to use comparison websites to decide what policy is best for you, taking the cost and what it covers into consideration.
2.) Have an Emergency Contact
If you suffer from an accident while on holiday abroad, having an emergency contact is incredibly useful. This is a good way to ensure that, if you are otherwise unable to make contact with them yourself, someone else will. For example, if, say, you are unconscious after an accident, someone may be able to get in touch with your emergency contact if you have their details stored securely in somewhere secure.
Your wallet or purse is a good place for this, so having these safeguards in place could help you out massively. Then, your loved one may be able to organise what might not be capable of sorting out, like contacting the British Embassy.
3.) Have Enough Money to Cover Any Immediate Costs
If you aren’t covered for medical bills and are forced to pay them upfront, then it pays to have money set aside for this difficult circumstance. Doing this will give you piece of mind; one less thing to worry about while you’re on holiday. Remember, you’re there to enjoy yourself!
4.) Learn a Few Local Phrases
If you’re on holiday abroad, then it could help to have a few local phrases stored in your locker. Even if it only means you are able to communicate a few basic phrases, this could be really helpful after an accident.
Remember, while it might not seem like it, not everyone speaks, or even understands English. It won’t take you long to learn a bit of the lingo, so why not give it a shot? If not, there are always plenty of translation apps you can make the most of.
5.) Consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Website
Before you travel abroad, it’s always a good idea to have a look at the Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office website. Here, you can check for any advice related to the country you are visiting. This will give you the chance to assess any potential risks before going on holiday, and give you a better understanding of what you might expect if you do have a holiday accident.
Had an Accident While on Holiday Abroad?
So, there we have it, my list of everything you need to do if you have a holiday accident. It’s never a nice thing to think about, but keep these pointers in mind when you’re planning any future trips.
All that being said, if you have any further pieces of advice, or have previously suffered from an accident while on holiday abroad, why not leave a comment below? Let’s get a discussion started!
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