Vacationing after a car accident – What to do

Car Accident out of State on Vacation
Vacationing During Recovery

School is out and the season for summer getaways is here. If you have been injured in an car accident in Alberta, you may have questions about travelling during your recovery, or wonder if going on vacation will affect your personal injury claim.

It may be the case that you have made travel arrangements or booked flights far in advance before being involved in an accident, or you are going to visit family living abroad. Travelling then could be unavoidable, but whatever your reasons are for vacationing, the following tips will help minimize the impact of any interruptions to your treatment regimen. After reading our tips, talk to your Edmonton car accident lawyer for more information. Moustarah & Company is here to help guide you through the complex legal process of a personal injury claim.

Visit your doctor as soon as possible before you are supposed to go on vacation. Refill your prescriptions and give them a status report on all your symptoms. Ask them to document your medications and any travel accommodations you will require. Schedule a follow up appointment a few days after you are supposed to return. That way, you won’t miss the appointment if your flights get delayed or wait a long time to see them again if you wait to re-book.

Similarly, see your other treatment providers before you leave. Tell your physiotherapist how long you expect to be away, so they can arrange for a treatment extension with your insurance company if needed. Ask for their recommendations regarding what you can do to manage your symptoms on the go. Schedule your treatments to begin again after you are supposed to return, and let them know how travelling impacted your injuries, i.e. whether you had any flare ups from sustained periods of sitting, standing, or walking.

Plan ahead and pack accordingly. Bring enough prescription medication and any over the counter pain relievers that you may need, as well as any aids that you regularly wear or could anticipate needing, like a brace, TMJ splint, cervical pillow, heating pad, or ice pack.

If you are going to be away for an extended period (more than a month), you may want to consider obtaining treatments temporarily when you reach your destination. This could be an option worth considering if you are returning to your home country or staying with family, as applicable. If you do seek treatment abroad from a massage or physiotherapist, ensure you obtain physical copies of the medical documentation and all records from the clinic before you leave.

Depending on the nature of the records, they could be used to supplement the body of Canadian medical evidence from your doctors and treatment providers. At the very least, foreign medical evidence demonstrates that despite the gap in time, your injuries persist, and you were committed to mitigating even while you were on vacation.

If this is not an option, visiting your medical practitioners before you leave and after you return is perfectly acceptable. Doing so is important, because from the point of view of the medical evidence, notes to this effect will explain what would otherwise be considered a gap in your treatments. If there is a lengthy break in between your treatments, in the absence of medical documentation to the contrary, this could be used by the other side to their advantage.

The other insurance company may argue that you were not keeping up with the medical advice your treatment providers made to ensure the best outcome. Therefore, they could claim that you were not properly mitigating your injuries, so you are responsible for your own continued suffering – instead of their insured who caused the accident – and reduce your monetary damages accordingly.

Further, although you were not treating because you were away, your doctor’s notes provide context to help explain the gap. Seeing your doctor before and after your travels shows that although you were gone, your injuries did not resolve for the duration of your trip, and you were still suffering from your symptoms even on vacation.

Apart from documenting the start of your trip, seeing your doctor and physiotherapist before you leave is critical so they can suggest how to best manage your symptoms while away from home. For example, your physiotherapist can provide a stretching and exercise program tailored to your needs and in response to your anticipated activities. They may also suggest lower impact alternatives, or therapeutic aids to bring along with you.

It may also be a good idea to record your symptoms in a travel journal or on your phone, so you can recall how things progressed when you report back to see your doctor. Other noteworthy factory could include things like the weather conditions, your activities, and compliance with the exercise regimen.

If you have questions about travelling and how this will affect your recovery from a motor vehicle accident, contact the experienced lawyers at Moustarah and Company to discuss your personal injury claim.