Going on a vacation can be very refreshing and energizing, especially when you’ve mapped out a plan to travel the world. , However, you should be prepared for potential incidents, such as getting injured due to a foreigner’s negligence. While personal injury cases can be difficult to handle back in your country, they may be even harder to handle in a foreign country, since there will be unfamiliar laws and regulations.
Although there is minimal chance of you getting injured while on a vacation, one must always err on the safe side, especially in a foreign country with foreign laws. Below, we explain what you can do if you’re injured abroad.
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
Once an accident occurs, wrapping your mind around what’s going on can be a bit difficult, so knowing the right steps will give you a head start. In most countries, emergency services are 112, 999, or 911, which are programmed into most smartphones. Once help reaches you, you must ensure that you’re admitted to a hospital, even if you’re feeling relatively fine. Adrenaline and shock might mask your injuries, so getting a thorough check-up by a doctor will ensure that you are healthy and injury-free. While you’re at the hospital, the embassy will most likely contact you and even send someone to visit you within 48 hours. There might be a possibility that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) will liaise with your insurance company and contact one of your family members.
You might pay for your healthcare costs depending on which country you’re visiting. For example, if you’re in Europe, you’re likely to receive healthcare for free or pay minimal costs with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Otherwise, you may have to pay part of your treatment in other countries, like the US, for instance.
Once you have sought medical attention, your focus should be on the amount of evidence you have. Most personal injury cases start with gathering evidence. The Roanoke-based personal injury lawyers at Lichtenstein Law Group PLC explain that it is imperative that you collect evidence as soon as possible, irrespective of where you sustained your injury. So, make sure that you write down your account of the accident in as much detail as possible. Take photographs of the scene of the incident; if you can’t physically do so, ask an eyewitness to do it for you. You must also obtain the names and contact details of eyewitnesses and get their statements. If possible, ask your doctor for the written report of your injury and make sure that you’ve written down all the dates related to the accident, like the date of the accident, when you were admitted to the hospital, and so on.
KNOW WHO TO CONTACT
This can be a difficult time for you, especially if you’re traveling alone, which is why you’ll need to make some calls to ensure you don’t go through this predicament on your own. First off, you will need to contact your insurance provider. Provided that you’ve made contact with a travel insurance company before leaving your country, you should make contact with them as soon as you get the chance. If that’s not the case, you can contact your private health insurance provider, but keep in mind that they’ll likely have limited coverage for injuries abroad.
Your next step would be to contact a personal injury attorney, preferably one that is well versed in handling claims in foreign countries, which will be a major factor in helping you get the compensation you need. However, if the other party is cooperating, then you might only need legal consultation and not a full-on legal representation. Luckily, most attorneys offer free consultation first before you hire them.
FILE A LAWSUIT
If worse comes to worst, your best course of action would be to file a lawsuit in the US. While this solution can work for some people, there might be some problems ahead if you go down that road. For example, “forum-non conveniens” is a concept that gives foreign citizens the liberty to argue that it’s not convenient for them to be sued in the US, which means that you’ll have to file a lawsuit in their country and abide by their laws. In both cases, you’ll need to hire a lawyer with a solid background in these types of cases.
Although the chance of you getting injured while traveling is very slim, contacting a travel insurance company before going abroad is a wise step to take. This will help you avoid paying ridiculous amounts of medical fees. It might be a long while before you get the compensation you deserve, but with the help of a seasoned personal injury attorney, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.