By Michael H. Rosenzweig
Imagine this scenario: You and your spouse (also a Boomer) pack up the car and start driving to your family’s summer beach house two states away. A few hours into the drive, a pickup truck rear-ends your car. You’re banged up enough that you need to go to the hospital, and immediately questions start to enter into your mind. I was injured in another state – will my car insurance cover my medical bills? Will I have any troubles dealing with the other person’s insurance company? Are their laws different?
You and your loved ones can suffer all types of injuries while you’re on vacation – and not just in car accidents. The key is to know the laws you need to follow, your legal rights, and ways to prevent accidents from ever happening in the first place.
Do Your Homework – Know the Laws
Traveling Boomers need to know the state-by-state laws that will affect them while on vacation. These laws include:
- Traffic laws
- Motorcycle helmet laws
- Seat belt laws
- Drunk driving laws
- Cell phone and texting laws
- Dog leash laws
- Dog bite laws
- Laws for other motor vehicles, such as boats, ATVs, etc.
- And more
Familiarizing yourself with the laws that will help you protect your right to collect compensation if you’re injured, and avoid fines and legal troubles.
Boomers, Review Your Insurance Policy
Next, review your insurance policy and understand your rights if you’re involved in an out-of-state car accident. Your Pennsylvania auto insurance policy will almost always determine your rights, and your first-party medical benefits should cover you if you travel to another state.
However, every state has its own set of conditions that could affect your claim. If you’re seriously injured in an accident, you should consider contacting a Pennsylvania attorney for help.
Remember, you can ask your insurance agent how your coverage applies when you’re out of state.
Also, if you plan on taking a boat, ATV, motorcycle, or another type of motor vehicle with you on vacation, make sure you review those policies as well. You should have other health insurance, because these policies may not include medical coverage.
Summer Vacation Safety Reminders
Here are just a few vacation safety tips to keep in mind:
- Drive defensively. Highways are often congested during holiday weekends, when many people are on vacation, and there are many drunk drivers on the road. Keep in mind that your vehicle won’t stop as quickly if you’re towing a boat or ATVs, or driving an RV.
- Never drive drunk. If your summer vacation plans include alcohol, celebrate when you won’t have to drive afterward.
- As a Boomer, you may have kids or grandkids on vacation with you. Never allow them to swim without adult supervision. Never dive into shallow water or venture into water when you don’t know its depth.
- If you plan on grilling and cooking out during vacation, remember to follow proper food safety guidelines.
- Always keep a phone with you as a precaution. You never know when you may need to call for an ambulance or get in touch with other members of your group.
Know What to Do if an Accident Happens
If you or a member of your group is involved in an accident, seek medical attention immediately. Next, file an accident report with the police. In the case of a slip and fall accident, file an incident report with management and ask for a copy of the report. Keep any papers, bills, or reports you receive that pertain to your accident.
Collecting evidence is the next step. Take photos of your injuries and anything that relates to the accident. If you can’t, get another member of your group to do it before evidence disappears.
Get contact information from any other parties involved in the accident, including witnesses. Lastly, be careful when dealing with insurance companies. Be careful what you say and sign, and don’t accept a settlement offer unless you know it’s fair.
Boomers and their families and friends deserve to have fun while on vacation. By following these tips, you will protect your legal rights and help ensure that your summer trip is injury-free.
Attorney Michael H. Rosenzweig has over 23 years of experience helping people injured in all types of accidents. He is a partner and litigation manager at Edgar Snyder & Associates, a Pittsburgh-based law firm that has helped over 40,000 people. For more information, visit EdgarSnyder.com.