Opportunities for outdoor adventures are abundant on an Alaska vacation. Beyond the edge of every village, port and city is a new experience but you need to choose carefully among many of the tours and do-it-yourself attractions since some are more complex and dangerous than others.
In choosing an adventure on your Alaska vacation your primary concern must be safety first. Like many trips, no matter your age, physical ability or level of skill, you should choose which is appropriate for you.
• What is the nature of the activity?
• If you have no experience in the activity, what sort of training will you need and what training will you receive?
• What gear will you need and what will be provided, if any?
Honestly explaining your experience and your abilities will give tour guides and professionals a good idea about your qualifications for certain activities; fudging your own qualifications can lead to a miserable trip and expose you to uncertain risk. Asking questions ahead of time will make your adventure safer, comfortable and more fulfilling.
Planning, equipment and quality gear is essential when vacationing in Alaska. Unfortunately, this doesn’t guarantee an adventure without injury.
Many times we take every precaution to protect ourselves and still become injured. Could someone else be liable for negligence? Injuries can affect your wallet, especially when you’re away from home, on vacation; but if you know the rules before the game begins, you’re more likely to avoid a bad situation.
Injured vacationers usually think of consulting a lawyer last and the negligent party will almost certainly help you get back home in a hurry. This is to try and avoid responsibility for your injury, but that’s the last thing you want to do.
If you become injured during your vacation immediately tell someone what has happened and ask them to call for help. Next you should:
• Seek any additional medical attention that is needed
• Document what happened, when and where
• If possible, take pictures where the accident occurred
• Get any statements, names and contact information from witnesses
• Gather your medical information
• Call a lawyer immediately
If you’re badly injured you probably won’t be in a position to collect pertinent information; if an accompanying spouse or friend can collect the information for you that will help. However, a lawyer will be able to do most of the legwork for you as well as contacting the negligent party.
Why is it important to contact a lawyer immediately? Negligent parties want to keep problems hushed. Not only does it keep costs down but bad publicity is bad for business. Once you’re out of the picture they are able to discard items and simply clean up the problems.
You may find the negligent party trying to provide a “peace offering” in exchange for you agreeing not to sue and not to publicize your injury. If you agree while in the moment, you could be settling your damages right then without understanding your rights. If you don’t consult with a lawyer you won’t be aware of all your rights as a victim. You’ll be at a disadvantage.
What if you’ve suffered permanent damage and need future medical care? What about the pain and suffering and lost income? These are reasons you’ll need a lawyer’s experience in dealing with negligent parties to make sure you’re compensated.
No one would ever wish an injury to befall you during your Alaska vacation, however, who can predict the future? If you become injured, seek help and it’s in your best interest to consult a lawyer as soon as possible.
George Souza is a content contributor for pentlargelaw.com, a personal injury attorney Anchorage based firm, specializing in liability accidents.