Traveling is one of life’s little joys. It can open your world up to new and exciting experiences, push you far out of your comfort zone (this is much more exciting than it sounds!), and even force you to change your thoughts about specific topics.
However, while there are a myriad of positives, there is always the looming issue of what happens if you become injured during your trip of a lifetime.
While many people fail to consider the negative points, injury can strike anytime, from when you get a taxi to the airport to the more exotic issues like your tuk-tuk driver crashing into another vehicle. Consequently, the question ultimately arises, what are the impacts of sustaining an injury while traveling?
Medical Expenses Can Be Exorbitant
Let’s start off with the immediate problem… regardless of where you are in the world, medical care is directly proportional to cost. Therefore, you either receive highly inadequate care or have to pay through the nose to ensure your injury is dealt with professionally. While the quality of hospitals and medical staff will vary depending on your travel destination, the costs can begin racking up pretty fast.
Furthermore, if you sustain personal injuries abroad, you might have to contend with hefty out-of-pocket expenses before your insurance kicks in (if it ever does, as per the following point). Nonetheless, if you travel to a nation with a respectable legal system and are sure your injuries resulted from a negligent third party, you might be able to hire a lawyer to act on your behalf.
This could result in lower medical fees or even the costs being waived entirely. The best course of action is to ensure you have excellent travel insurance that caters to all eventualities. However, as you read in the next point, this might not always pan out as you imagine.
Travel Insurance May Be Inadequate
Not only is it recommended to invest in travel insurance from a reputable company, but it’s also highly advised to spend time reading through the small print before signing on the dotted line.
Insurance companies are notoriously reluctant to pay out, often employing all kinds of sneaky tricks and loopholes to avoid having to part with what should be rightfully yours. Moreover, in some cases, even if they pay out, it may not be enough to cover your financial losses fully.
If you have done everything correctly but still find yourself at the mercy of an insurance pencil pusher, you might find restitution by contacting a law firm that is capable of dealing with the company on your behalf. In some cases, the mere threat of legal action could be enough to jolt them into action and get them to start refilling your bank account.
Disruption Of Travel Plans
Suppose you happen to be in a nation with high-quality medical care, and your insurance is willing to recompense you for your monetary losses; the fact remains that your vacation will still be disrupted, causing you to lose out on the weather of experiences you and your family planned for.
Although not as devastating as, say, receiving a long-term, chronic injury, it can still put a downer on events, causing you to lament how your holiday of a lifetime could turn sour so quickly.
Possible Need For Long-Term Care
Perhaps the worst-case scenario (barring the penultimate point) is the chance that your injuries will require some form of long-term care. This might range from requiring strong pain meds, which cause damage to your liver over time, to a permanent impediment that substantially reduces your quality of life.
Long-term care isn’t just about medical aid; it’s a comprehensive package aimed at helping you get by with your daily routine over an extended period. Whether you need help with day-to-day tasks such as getting dressed or eating meals or more intense rehabilitation services due to spinal cord damage from a car crash or fall, for example.
Difficulty Finding Quality Medical Care
As alluded to earlier, depending on your holiday destination, finding hospitals capable of dealing with anything more than the most cursory of injuries could be challenging. For instance, if you find yourself in less developed countries, it’s far less likely they can treat anything more than a broken bone.
While many countries are equipped to handle basic problems that frequently affect their environments (like dengue and malaria), they might be unable to handle situations like spinal cord injury or issues that need careful examination and diagnosis, like eye injuries, etc.
This also extends to transportation. For example, if you are injured out in a remote village, you may find yourself having to be transported via a local truck or taxi to the local hospital, which, suffice it say, will be arguably one of the most uncomfortable experiences of your lifetime.
Risk Of Permanent Disability
Perhaps the most catastrophic scenario would be if you became permanently handicapped due to an accident. This could range from losing a limb or becoming paraplegic to a full-blown brain injury that causes you to fall into a vegetative state. Spinal cord damage, severe fractures, or traumatic brain injuries can trigger enduring disabilities.
These medical conditions necessitate extended care and potentially a lifetime of support, as they significantly curtail an individual’s mobility and independence. The day-to-day tasks we often take for granted may become insurmountable challenges.
Such drastic alterations in lifestyle don’t only cause physical restrictions but also deep emotional turmoil. It demands considerable adjustment from both the injured person and their family as they grapple with frustration along their journey toward acceptance.
Moreover, financial burdens are likely to follow these life-changing injuries due to exorbitant healthcare costs such as treatments, rehabilitation programs, or assistive devices needed for daily living assistance – not forgetting continuous caregiver services if required.
Lost Wages From Missed Work
Finally, it’s worth noting that even if you were injured during a vacation, it’s still likely to result in lost wages when you get back home and if the injury is severe enough.
While your insurance may pay for this cost, you must take extra precautions and contact the company to ensure they have a lost wages stipulation in the contract. If not, it could be worthwhile looking at alternative or additional options that cover this. It will inevitably cost extra, but the peace of mind you will receive is unquantifiable.
Traveling should be about having fun with your family and exploring new and intriguing locations. However, you should always understand that disaster is typically just lurking around the corner, and if you fail to take precautions, ignore the need for travel insurance, or fail to read the fine print, you are taking your life into your own hands.