No traveler anticipates suffering a serious injury while traveling abroad. Yet accidents do not wait until it is convenient for the victim. You could suffer an injury abroad in an auto accident, slip and fall, boat accident or an act of violence. After a serious accident overseas, remain calm and take care of your personal health. Then, explore your rights as an accident victim with help from an injury lawyer near your hometown in the U.S.
Find a Hospital
If you purchased traveler’s insurance, contact your insurance agent and ask for a list of suitable hospitals or health care centers near where you suffered the injury. If you do not know where you are, look at your phone’s mapping system to locate the nearest city or your exact coordinates. The insurance agent should be able to direct you to a hospital that takes your insurance or at least has positive reviews to take care of you.
If you do not have traveler’s insurance, try to search online for a suitable hospital instead. You can also contact a reliable resource such as the International Society of Travel Medicine for assistance. This organization can help you find a doctor who will take proper care of you and who may accept your insurance. Go to the hospital immediately after suffering an injury, especially if you believe it might be serious.
Arrange to Pay for Health Care
Try to figure out how you will pay for health care before accepting any medical treatments. In an emergency, however, figuring out medical debts can wait until after treatment. Contact the hospital you plan on visiting and ask if it accepts your type of American health insurance. In most situations, you will need travel insurance to help you pay for health services overseas. Otherwise, you may locate the U.S. Embassy nearest you for a hospital that accepts international insurance. If you need a medical evacuation back to the States, the U.S. Embassy can also help you arrange this service. You may need to pay the price of a medical evacuation out of pocket, however.
Consider Workers’ Compensation
If you were traveling abroad for work, you may qualify for workers’ compensation through your employer. Workers’ compensation in your state will most likely cover any injuries or illnesses that arise during the course of your employment. If you tripped and fell at a building in China before a work-related meeting, for example, the laws in your home state in the U.S. may obligate your employer to pay for expenses such as overseas medical care, rehabilitation and two-thirds your missed gross weekly wages. Retain a workers’ compensation attorney for help with complex overseas cases.
Document Your Injury
According to the Louisville injury lawyers at Meinhart, Smith & Manning, It is always a good idea to document your accident and injury, especially if you are in an unfamiliar place. Keeping track of where you were, how the accident happened, who witnessed the accident and whether you received prompt medical care could help you file an injury claim later. If you plan on filing for workers’ compensation, for example, your employer’s insurance company may ask for proof of your injuries, such as medical records. Documenting your accident and subsequent injuries can help you obtain compensation for your damages later.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Accidents abroad can make it difficult to understand and protect your rights. You may have to struggle with a language barrier, lack of proper health care or the inability to return to your home country due to the costs of medical evacuation. It is important to protect yourself by hiring a personal injury attorney, especially if you believe someone else is liable for your injuries. Hire an attorney from your home state in the U.S. for assistance. Explain your situation and ask for advice moving forward. Your lawyer can counsel you on where to get medical care and how to bring a claim against one or more at-fault parties abroad.