Chicago’s tourist tally hit a record 54.1 million visitors in 2016. According to the Illinois Office of Tourism, this industry supports more than 300,000 jobs and brings more than $36.6 billion to the state’s economy. Unfortunately, a small percentage of these people have an accident and suffer an injury while visiting. Some common types of vacation accidents include:
- Car Accidents;
- Slip and Falls;
- Medical Malpractice;
- Food Poisoning.
What to Do If Injured While on Vacation
The first fact to be aware of is that a visitor has the same rights to bring a lawsuit seeking compensation as a resident of Chicago. If you are injured while on vacation, regardless if it is close to home, out-of-state, or in another country, there are several things you should do to assure you get the compensation you are entitled. However, trying to remember what to do in an unfamiliar destination can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. If you have been injured in an accident while on vacation in Chicago, here’s what you need to know and do.
Seek Medical Attention
Don’t wait to get medical treatment for your injuries. Even if you feel okay and don’t have any obvious injuries, it’s worth playing it safe and getting checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Plus, this will document your injuries and help strengthen your personal injury case. Remember to request and retain copies of all medical records, documentation, medical bills and receipts.
Call 911/ Report Accident
Whether it was a fender bender or a serious accident that involved some obvious injuries, contacting the police when you’re involved in an out-of-town accident is a must. This will provide you with an accurate account of what happened, which will help you greatly down the line. Not to mention, since you’re vacationing, the chances of you locating nearby witnesses again is going to be tough.
If your accident involved a car accident, you should immediately report the accident to the police and request a copy of the police report. If you slipped and fell while on vacation, such as in a restaurant or at your hotel, you should file an incident report with the hotel or restaurant management and request a copy of the report.
If you can, while you wait for the authorities, it is a good idea to collect contact and insurance information from other drivers involved. When doing so, be sure not to admit fault or apologize as this can gravely impact your insurance claim. Simply exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance company contact details. You can either work with an experienced personal injury attorney or your insurance provider to file the claim with the information you’ve collected.
If there happen to be witnesses nearby, see if you can get them to give you their contact information. If you’re in a city as big as Chicago for instance, trying to locate them later can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. All you need is their name and a contact number.
Crucial evidence disappears quickly, so make sure you get photographs of the scene of the accident, your injuries and any damages. Pictures are pertinent to your insurance claim. They can help insurers to determine the extent of the damage, whether or not it’s covered, and how much it may cost to repair. Photos of your injuries will also be needed if you decide to file a personal injury suit against the driver. Also, as memory fades, try to keep detailed notes of anything you may remember about what happened before, during, and after the accident.
Inform Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company. They will be able to explain what kind of coverage you have and how it works when you are out of your home state. However, you should be careful when speaking to other parties involved in the accident. For instance, you should avoid giving a recorded statement to the insurance company of the hotel or other party involved in the accident.
Consult With an Experienced, Local Personal Injury Lawyer
A fact to be aware of is that a visitor has the same rights to bring a lawsuit seeking compensation as a resident of Chicago. If you or someone you know was injured while on vacation, your best option to ensure that your rights are being upheld is to secure a local personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A local personal injury lawyer will have better insight than one from out of town on Chicago’s laws and procedures. Below are some of the biggest mistakes out-of-state attorneys make when dealing with Chicago accident cases:
- The Statute of Limitations – The length of the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is generally two years in the state of Illinois. For most types of personal injury claims, the two-year limit begins on the date that the injury was sustained. A personal injury lawyer who is not familiar with this fact may delay filing to the point where your case will no longer be valid.
- Courts and Judiciary System – A local personal injury lawyer will most likely have dealt face-to-face with local courts, judges, and insurance companies. This type of familiarity cannot only prevent miscommunications but can also give you an edge if the local personal injury lawyer knows what techniques work and don’t work for presenting your case.
- Resources – A local personal injury lawyer will not only know how to secure necessary evidence from the scene of the accident, but he’ll also have his own local resources to make sure that evidence is preserved, as long as you secure his/her representation early.
Injured While Visiting Chicago? Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!
No one goes on vacation expecting to get into an accident, but the fact remains that accidents still happen all the time. If you’ve been injured in an accident while visiting Chicago, it is important to remain as calm as possible and follow the above-mentioned steps. An experienced warrior personal injury lawyer from Chicago Injury Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm will take the time to explain the merits of your case and provide you with advice you can trust. Even once you return home to heal, our staff ensures that your case properly proceeds in Chicago.
With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident while visiting Chicago, contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm to schedule a free consultation. If we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case! Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!