What to Do If You Are Injured on Vacation: 2 Years Since the Branson, Missouri Duck Boat Tragedy

This summer marks two years since the Branson, Missouri duck boat tragedy that claimed the lives of 17 people. The boat sank on July 19, 2018, during a severe storm. The captain of the duck boat, Kenneth Scott McKee, was indicted on 17 counts of misconduct and negligence. Following the accident, the National Transportation Safety Board urged the U.S. Coast Guard to take up recommendations on making the amphibious vehicles safer. As of July 2020, the Coast Guard has not implemented any of these measures.

Vacations are supposed to be fun times for families and friends. We gather in unique locations to enjoy each other’s company, eat good food, relax, and to escape the confines and stresses of everyday life. However, a serious injury while on vacation has the capability of putting all that on hold. According to the CDC, one in five Americans is injured while on vacation. We often do things that are out of the ordinary while on vacation. Scuba diving, eating unique foods, and bungee jumping are things that may be available to us on vacation, but not in everyday life, and may cause us to run the risk of injury or death.

The law requires hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, amusement parks, and other destinations popular on vacation to provide a safe environment for patrons and to post warnings of any known hazards. After all, not only do these injuries have the capability to ruin your vacation, they can also severely impact your life.

Common Vacation Injuries

  • Slip and falls caused by unsafe conditions at a hotel or restaurant
  • Escalator or elevator injuries
  • Swimming pool slip and falls
  • Food poisoning
  • Robberies or assaults caused by improper lighting or lack of security
  • Assaults by hotel or theme park employees
  • Amusement park ride injuries
  • Hotel gym accidents
  • Injuries from overcrowding
  • Boat or cruise ship accidents
  • Scuba diving or parasailing accidents
  • Car, truck, and bus accidents
  • Allergic reactions.

Four Steps to Take After a Vacation Injury

  • Get medical treatment for your injury. You should seek immediate medical treatment. Waiting until you get home to visit your own doctor could worsen your physical condition and/or jeopardize your legal standing. Many injuries get worse without immediate treatment. Furthermore, a medical exam provides you with documentation that the accident occurred.
  • Collect evidence. Pictures are a great way to document the scene and any injuries. If any clothing was torn or ruined, place it into a plastic bag to give to an attorney later—it may be valuable evidence to your case.
  • Get the names and contact information of any witnesses. Just as you would after a car accident, get the names and contact information of anyone involved or anyone who was a witness to the incident.
  • File a report. Contact the manager of the hotel, restaurant, or business and ask to file an injury report. If your injury was caused by a motor vehicle incident, call the police and they will file a report for you.

If another individual’s negligence caused you to get injured on vacation, contact a personal injury attorney in Columbia to explore the possibility of being eligible for compensation. After an injury on vacation, the medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income can present a paralyzing situation—contact a personal injury lawyer so that they can do the hard work for you.