Injuries don’t always happen close to home. They can also occur when we’re traveling for work or pleasure. There’s something about being injured abroad that is especially unsettling. We’re miles from home and possibly dealing with different standards of medical care and even laws that apply to your accident.
If you’re planning to go abroad for spring break, then here are a few things you need to know.
Car accident liability might not be the same
Depending on where you are at the time of injury, car accident liability may be different than it is in the U.S. While your present car insurance or any coverage acquired with a rental car may cover your damages, it might not be enough if you suffered catastrophic injuries. Your ability to sue the at-fault driver will depend on the laws of the country or jurisdiction where the collision occurred.
Who you sue may depend on a contract
If you fall down the stairs of your hotel in Cancun or are injured during a guided tour that you signed up for in advance, then the terms of your vacation or service contract may dictate where you are required to file a personal injury lawsuit. Some contracts have an arbitration agreement, meaning that you are required to arbitrate the matter instead of going to court, while others state that you may only sue in a particular location.
Medical injuries are a gray area
Although they may not always admit it, American celebrities and other individuals will often go abroad for certain surgeries (often cosmetic) that are illegal or restricted here. What they forget is that these restrictions are usually in place to protect patients. Anyone injured by an act of medical malpractice will have to do some investigating to determine how a claim is pursued in the country where the accident happened.
Wrongful death overseas can be challenging
If someone you love is killed while enjoying their spring vacation abroad, in most cases, then you will be able to file a wrongful death claim. If the party responsible for your loved one’s death has ties to the U.S., then you may be able to sue them in a New York court. If a foreign court has jurisdiction, then a New York personal injury attorney can advise you on how to proceed.
Fortunately, many foreign countries, especially those that have opened themselves up to the tourist trade, have passed laws that allow injured visitors to recover damages. The process of recovery, however, will vary from one jurisdiction to the next. If you are a New York resident faced with the need to sue a negligent party abroad, then a personal injury attorney can advise you on what court has jurisdiction and represent you if your case must be heard by a U.S. court.
Jayson Lutzky is a wrongful death and personal injury attorney. He has an office in the Bronx, New York. If you or a loved one were injured, then you may be entitled to a cash settlement. Call 718-329-9500 to set up a free in-person initial consultation. Home and hospital visits may be available. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn more.