What to Do if You’re Paralyzed on Vacation in Chicago: Chicago is a hot destination at all times of the year, but especially in the summer, when the beaches along Lake Michigan are filled to the brim with happy vacationers taking in the sights of this marvelous Midwestern city.
However, there are numerous hazards awaiting you here, many of which could result in severe, life-changing disasters like paralysis.
With so much traffic on the roads – more than 1 million passenger vehicles in total – there are countless accidents in the Windy City every day, some of which lead to devastating consequences for victims.
However, roadways aren’t the only danger: boating accidents, sports accidents, and slips and falls can all result in paralysis for either a tourist or a resident of Chicago.
Should you be befallen by a tragic accident in Chicago, Illinois, here’s what you need to do right away.
The sooner that you can get medical help, the more likely it is that you can recover. Never leave the site of an accident, especially if you feel numbness or tingling in your legs: try to move as little as necessary until a medical professional can assist you, as you may cause further damage to your spinal cord.
Ask to be taken to a Level One trauma center, where they have the necessary tools to assess your condition and prepare you for surgery.
In Chicago, Level One trauma centers include Northwestern Memorial Hospital on the North Side and University of Chicago Medicine on the South Side.
If you know of a specific hospital you would like to go to, you can ask the ambulance to take you there, but the EMT will use their best judgment on where you should go based on your injuries and how soon you need help.
When you call for emergency medical services for an accident, they will likely send the Chicago Police Department as well.
As you shouldn’t move any more than necessary, ask for the details of the responding officer rather than trying to get up and record the names of everyone else involved. You will need their report later should you file a lawsuit.
Contact Loved Ones at Home
This is particularly important if you’re a solo traveler, as you need to be sure that someone can handle your affairs while you recuperate. Make sure that you have all your emergency contacts available and provide them to the doctors and nurses.
Most hospitals have patient care advocates who can assist with phone calls and keep your family updated on what’s happening with you while you recuperate.
For those visiting Chicago from a foreign country, you should also get in touch with the consulate from your country, as they can facilitate things like transfers of funds to pay your hospital bills, coordinating between you and your family, and assisting with paperwork related to visas.
If your condition has stabilized and you would like to receive continuing care in your home country, they can also get you in contact with international air ambulance services so that you are transported safely.
Call a Local Lawyer
If you’re in a serious accident and paralyzed, one of the first things on your mind, after letting your loved ones know where you are and what happened, should be contacting Chicago paralysis lawyers who can help explore your options for justice and give you practical advice on what to do next.
It’s important to work with a local lawyer rather than one in your home state or country, as laws vary; what may be great advice for one jurisdiction isn’t so helpful elsewhere.
For example, statutes of limitations on personal injury lawsuits differ between states, so you need to get started on the process as soon as possible.
Contact Your Travel Insurance Agency
If you purchased travel insurance before going on your trip, call your insurance agent and discuss what happened to you so that you can identify whether it’s possible to make a claim, as well as how the claims process will work in this circumstance.
Your Chicago attorney can also assist you with this and communicate with the insurance agency on your behalf.
No one wants to be injured at any time, but it’s especially devastating during vacation, a time meant for fun and relaxation.
Should it happen, though, know that you have plenty of support: medical professionals, lawyers, and your loved ones are all there for you, even if only by phone or video chat.
If you’re visiting from outside of the country, you can also rely upon your consulate to get you the help that you need.
Calling for help immediately and getting in touch with the right professionals can make all the difference in your recovery.