Every year, millions of people visit Texas to check out famed attractions like the San Antonio River Walk, the Alamo, and Space Center Houston. While most vacations result in days of enjoyment and a lifetime of memories, leisure travel can sometimes be ruined by serious injury.
When you’re visiting Texas from out of state or even another country, an accident can end your vacation early and leave you unsure of what to do next. To compound the issue, travel-related injuries can be more challenging to resolve. In this blog, the experienced car accident lawyers at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS outline the steps you should take if you’re injured on vacation.
How Can You Be Injured in Texas on Vacation?
Being able to travel can be exhilarating, especially if you’ve never visited the destination before. Unfortunately, no matter how enjoyable a trip might be, it can be interrupted at any time by a serious accident.
Every year, approximately half a million car accidents occur in Texas. Many of them doubtlessly involve visitors from out of state. Accident rates often spike during vacation periods, such as the days leading to the Fourth, Labor Day, Memorial Day, or the December holidays. Drinking and driving, distracted driving, speeding, and road rage have all been factors in catastrophic vacation accidents.
In terms of commercial truck drivers, Texas leads the nation with almost 200,000. When they’re combined with out-of-state truckers either traveling through Texas or delivering goods to a state destination, it means that commercial motor vehicles are on Texas roads and highways 24-7. Truck accidents are especially devastating due to the size and weight of most big rigs, with occupants of smaller vehicles often suffering life-changing injuries.
Amusement Park Accidents
Tourists from all over the country and abroad visit Texas theme parks every year. These destinations include but are not limited to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, SeaWorld San Antonio, and Morgan’s Wonderland.
It is the responsibility of amusement park owners and managers to provide an environment that is safe for park patrons. Specifically, they are required to:
- Keeping the grounds well-maintained
- Confirming that rides and equipment are safe
- Addressing hazards as soon as they become known
- Making sure that employees and ride operators are properly trained
When they fail to do so, it can lead to ride malfunctions, drownings, slips and falls, electrocution, and other incidents causing injury or death. A Saferparks Database report says that 1,368 amusement park accidents have occurred in Texas since 1987.
Injuries can occur at hotels, especially if owners and managers fail to address hazards in rooms, common areas, and outside areas such as parking lots. Among the most common hotel accidents are:
- Slipping and falling due to loose stairs, damaged railing, bunched-up carpets, and unmopped spills
- Impact or crush injuries due to poorly maintained gym equipment
- Car accidents in parking lots that lack proper lighting or space designations
- Getting food poisoning due to poor food preparation
- Assaults and attacks due to insufficient or negligent security
Hotel owners and managers should ensure that their properties are safe for guests by detecting unsafe conditions, replacing or repairing as necessary, and providing adequate warning when conditions are likely to cause harm or injury. If they don’t, they can be liable for any resulting accidents.
Water Park Accidents
When Texas summers are at their height, visitors flock to water parks like Lubbock Water Rampage and Aquatica San Antonio. Most water park visitors have a good time, but accidents are still possible, especially if the management does not maintain equipment or have enough staff to ensure safety. Common accidents include:
- Pool Accidents: The risk of drowning or near-drowning injuries increases in crowded pools without enough lifeguards.
- Ride Accidents: Some rides at water parks can lack sufficient restraints to keep guests secure, causing them to fall off or become trapped underneath.
- Water Slide Accidents: When water slides aren’t properly designed or maintained, guests can fall off the sides, get stuck, or collide with steel structural components.
- Wet Surfaces: When the floors are wet in the ride areas, they can become slippery, causing guests to slip, fall, and suffer serious injuries.
What To Do If You’re Injured in Texas on Vacation
If you suffer a serious injury during your vacation, your next steps will largely depend on where the accident happened and who was responsible.
If you’re involved in a car or truck accident, your first step should be checking yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone appears to be hurt, call 911 and request an ambulance. While you’re waiting for help to arrive, exchange license and insurance information with the other driver(s), use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene, and get contact information for any witnesses. When the police show up, get the contact information for the responding officers so that you can request an accident report later on.
For accidents at hotels, amusement parks, or water parks, report them to management or whoever appears to be in charge, such as a senior staff member. As with a car or truck collision, you should also take pictures of the accident scene and ask witnesses for their contact details. Ask the person in charge to create an incident report and provide you with a copy.
It’s important to get treatment as soon as possible, or your insurance company may reduce or deny your claim. Don’t wait until you go home- if you don’t need to go to the hospital in an ambulance, go to the ER or see a doctor as soon as possible. If a medical examination confirms that you’ve been injured, you should contact a Texas personal injury lawyer who can help you identify the best avenues for compensation.
Why Do You Need a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer?
Texas injury victims should seek legal counsel from a local attorney for several reasons. To begin with, personal injury claims typically fall under state law, so you need someone who is licensed to practice here and is familiar with the local laws that may apply to your claim. If you experience a car accident injury out of state in Texas, for example, you want a lawyer who understands the state’s at-fault rules, especially if you come from a no-fault state.
Having a local personal injury lawyer on your side will also ensure that:
- Your case is investigated thoroughly
- Your claim is filed in the appropriate courthouse before the Texas statute of limitations expires
- You have access to local experts who can attest to the medical and financial impact of your injuries
Your attorney will also deal directly with the insurance company responsible for compensating you, which will likely be a state entity, and take your case to trial if a fair settlement is not forthcoming.
Injured in Texas on Vacation? Get a Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer.
Thinking about a worst-case scenario is not as enjoyable as scrolling through attraction websites online or imagining yourself sitting beside a pool sipping a cold drink. Unfortunately, accidents do happen on vacation, and it’s best to be prepared if you suffer a car accident injury out of state in Texas (or any other injury).
At the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, we have helped many out-of-state visitors recover compensation after a catastrophic injury in Texas. We will investigate your case, come up with an accurate settlement amount, and negotiate for the money you need to recover from your injuries. To schedule your free consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call (512) 800-0000 or contact us online. We have offices in San Antonio, Austin, McAllen, and Laredo to better serve you.