Family Travel Safety

April 24, 2020 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Family Travel Safety

Protecting Your Family From Possible Harm

Traveling as a family is a great way to spend time together. Family vacations result in an often much-needed change of scenery and a chance to reconnect with one another away from the demand of everyday life. Whether you head to the mountains or to the beach, planning for your family's safety is essential for a successful and worry-free experience. By using the helpful tips listed below, you can start your dream vacation list knowing you are implementing some of the most cautious methods possible from the experienced auto accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA.

Search for Travel Warnings

The global pandemic COVID-19 serves as an important signal to everyone that travel warnings are important. As you plan your next family vacation, knowing where and how to search for travel warnings can help you better prepare for your trip. Planning your dream vacation as you self-isolate in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus—as mandated by many state leaders—is one way to minimize the boredom. When you do decide where to take your family on the next vacation, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides health alert information. There are three levels of warnings that alert you to possible health dangers:
  • Warning Level 1 (Green) - Practice usual precautions.
  • Warning Level 2 (Orange) - Practice enhanced precautions.
  • Warning Level 3 (Red) - Avoid nonessential travel.
Abiding by limits on travel can protect your family from harm. Another type of travel warnings involve places known for potential terrorist attacks, civil war, and government unrest. The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs is the best source for checking if your destination has a travel warning for these types of dangerous situations. Additionally, you might want to consider checking businesses in the travel destinations area that are being currently impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The closure could be temporary or long term regardless of when the quarantine gets lifted and could impact your trip in a negative way.  for more information about pandemic business closures and the laws around business interruption insurance talk to a covid-19 business interruption insurance lawyer.

Make Copies of Important Documents

While you can never imagine needing important documents for your trip, you may need them. Travel experts suggest making copies of important documents and saving them digitally. They also recommend two printed copies of the following types of identification and documents:
  • Driver's license
  • Passport
  • Visas
  • Airline tickets
These are just a few examples of what you may need in a travel emergency. Never take official documents unless required (i.e. a passport for international travel), and always keep your printed copies secure, preferably in a hotel safe.

Choose Safe Lodging Accommodations

Where you stay when you travel is an important decision. The location and type of accommodation can greatly influence the quality of your trip. A good night's rest is important for a busy day of sightseeing, shopping, or other vacation activities. Lodging costs can quickly mount depending upon the length of your stay. Saving money while traveling is possible; however, lodging is one area of travel that is often worth spending more. This is especially true when traveling with children. An inexpensive hotel in a high-crime area of a city isn't worth risking your family's safety. Contacting a hotel that piques your interest and inquiring about their safety measures is your right as a consumer. Other tips for staying safe once you check-in include:
  • Cover the peephole on your hotel door.
  • Confirm your in-room phone connects to the front desk.
  • Confirm that someone claiming to represent the hotel is, in fact, a hotel employee by contacting the front desk.
  • Place the “do not disturb sign” on your hotel room door when exiting the room to indicate someone is inside.
Maintaining an awareness of your surroundings is especially important when you are in a hotel. In addition to your room security, inquire about parking options and conditions. Hotel parking should have proper lighting, be within a safe distance of the hotel, or the hotel should offer valet parking services.

Stay Connected

Vacationing with your children requires extra safety measures. Depending upon the age of your child, they may want to explore a theme park or other type of attraction without adult supervision. Staying connected via smartphones is a great way for them to report in at designated times. If your child isn't ready for exploring on their own or the conditions are too unsafe, staying connected is still essential for safety. It is easy to become separated in a crowd. Designating a certain area of the attraction as a central meeting space in the event of separation is also a good idea. Be sure that younger children understand how to identify a police officer if they become lost. Require them to memorize your phone number. These and other tips for protecting your child on vacation can help to reunite you faster in the event of an emergency.

Limit What You Share

A family vacation is a fun and exciting time. The excitement of your trip may lead you to post pictures on social media. However, there is no better announcement that no one is in your home than posting your daily vacation pictures. While the purpose of posting your pictures is to share your experience with friends, they may share the pictures with their friends or the public, causing the images to spread quickly across social media. It is also never a good idea to tag others who are vacationing with you. The best course of action is to wait until you are safely home to share your vacation photos. This prevents possible thieves from stealing your valuables, resulting in a devastating return home. Keeping your travel plans to yourself is imperative from the moment you begin planning your trip until you return safely home. Never assume that what you share on social media remains among your friends. Be safe and just wait to share your vacation pictures.

Consider Travel Insurance

Travel insurance provides extra coverage that your standard insurance may not provide. For example, adventurous vacations involving extreme activities may result in serious injuries that require medical transport by helicopter. If you must cut your vacation short, travel insurance can sometimes cover the costs of your financial losses. Travel insurance is generally suggested for the following reasons:
  • International trips
  • Cruises
  • Medical reasons
Travel insurance is an option worth considering if you plan to have an extreme adventure or travel to a foreign country.

Select the Best Mode of Transportation for Your Family

Once you decide upon a destination, deciding how to get there is an important next step. If your travel is within the United States, you may choose to take a road trip. Traveling by car is a great way to see the country, and depending on the distance, it is often the most economical choice. Traveling by car is not, however, without serious risks. The most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that within one year, there were more than 7 million traffic accidents in the United States. Of the 7 million accidents, more than 37,000 people died and an estimated 3 million were seriously injured. Traveling by train is another great way to see the country. Amtrak transports an estimated 31 million travelers a year. The system is not without flaws nor it is accident-free, however. Derailments, fires, and accidents at crossings resulted in a slight increase in train-related injuries and deaths. For many Americans, flying is a preferred choice of travel. Many travelers are willing to undergo strict security regulations and to obey rules regarding the size of their luggage to reach their destination sooner. Those with a fear of flying may feel better knowing that the chances of dying in a car crash far outweigh an airplane crash. No matter how you decide to travel, you deserve to reach your destination without fear of serious injury. A serious car accident, a train derailment, or airplane crash that is the result of negligence may qualify you for a personal injury claim. Discussing your case with a personal injury lawyer is imperative for protecting your best interests. No one plans a family vacation expecting the worst. When tragedy strikes due to a distracted driver, a drunk train engineer, or a faulty airplane part, you deserve justice. Most personal injury lawyers offer free case evaluations, leaving you nothing to lose by contacting one today.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

Experiencing a serious injury during your travels is especially traumatizing. Your injuries may make you dependent upon others for help with daily tasks such as bathing and eating. From a slip-and-fall in a hotel lobby to a serious car accident, you may experience one or more of the following injuries during your travels: Always seek immediate medical attention when you experience an accident while traveling. Internal injuries are among the most dangerous types of injuries due to their silent nature. There are often no visible signs or symptoms indicating internal bleeding or organ damage. When left untreated, an internal injury can result in death.
Car Accident Attorney, Matt Dolman
Matthew Dolman, Auto Accident Attorney
Accepting medical transport while on vacation can serve as valuable documentation should you pursue legal action. If your accident occurs in a location like that of a hotel, ask for a copy of the incident report. If police respond to your accident, provide the most accurate account of what occurred possible. In either situation, do ask for the contact information from witnesses and do not speak with anyone responsible for your accident. Contact a personal injury lawyer without delay. While insurance companies may pressure you to accept a settlement, do not sign anything before seeking counsel. By doing so, you may lose your right to pursue litigation in the future. You may also lose the opportunity to secure possible compensation if you miss the deadline set by the statute of limitations. This important deadline limits the amount of time you have for filing a civil action.

Don't Hesitate to Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney

Time is of the essence when it comes to civil claims. Preparing to negotiate your case takes time. Most personal injury lawyers offer free case evaluations and many do not collect a fee unless they secure compensation for you. The right personal injury lawyer will aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve. If they can't secure a fair settlement out of court, they are ready and willing to go to trial. If your dream vacation turned into a nightmare due to no fault of your own, a personal injury lawyer can help you. They have the experience you need during this tragic and most vulnerable time of your life. If you lost a loved one during your travels due to the negligent actions or behavior of another person, a personal injury lawyer can help you with a wrongful death claim. No amount of money can replace your loved one, but it can help to ease your financial burden. Examples of possible compensation in a wrongful death claim include the final medical costs for the decedent, funeral and burial costs, and loss of income. There are additional types of possible compensation. Wrongful death claims are quite complex, and best left to a licensed and experienced personal injury attorney.

Don't Delay When Travel Goes Wrong

When you experience serious injuries or suffer a loss from what should have been a fantastic travel experience, it is hard to think clearly. You may feel overwhelmed by your injuries and your financial future. A traumatic injury may prevent you from returning to a career you once loved. A catastrophic injury may require 24/7 care for your loved one. The expenses that result due to the negligent actions of another person or company are not your fault. You should not have to pay out-of-pocket for your medical bills due to a serious accident on your vacation. If your vacation turned tragic, take steps toward possible justice by contacting a personal injury lawyer today. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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