Personal injuries are no fun, wherever they happen. Accidents in the workplace, on the road, or in your own home can all result in long recoveries and plenty of additional issues that need resolving. That’s why the law firms that deal with claims and lawsuits are typically specialists. The legalities of personal injury mean that launching claims is hardly the fastest process, so the priority for claimants is to leave their lawyers to handle the majority of the administration and arbitration, leaving them to focus on what’s important. However, the circumstances of personal injury aren’t always as simple.
One of the most difficult and complex scenarios can be injuries sustained abroad, especially on temporary visits like holidays. While we can do certain things to safeguard against issues – travel insurance at the top of the list – it can still be a long process when dealing with regional and international laws that fall outside of the jurisdiction of a claimant’s home nation. Taking some legal cover and some basic precautions can do a world of good in the case of personal injury overseas.
In The Interim
Prior to traveling, travel insurance is pretty much the number one thing you can do, with this article from The Guardian pointing out some tips for saving money. Due diligence like researching hotels, countries, and general safety information is recommended, although don’t entirely remediate for risk of accidents. Immediately following an accident, you should treat an accident incurred abroad like any other. Local authorities and your national embassy are both important first ports of call, as covered in detail by the Post Office. You can report the incidents to them and keep in contact with both. Your insurer is next up.
Even if the case doesn’t end up going all the way to formal proceedings, you’ll want to make them aware in good time. During this stage, any friends, family, or representatives on your side can help consult with the collection of medical reports or incident reports from local authorities. At this point, some important legal decisions will need to be made.
Specialist firms often feature some very helpful resources on the specific things you’ll need to do – for example, firms like McGinley Solicitors run through some of the less-obvious legal basics of getting injured abroad – but one of the most relevant features that exists in most jurisdictions is known as ‘date of knowledge.’ This is in relation to the date an injury was received and the time it was deemed to be significant. While symptoms can manifest slowly in some cases, over weeks or months, the limit of two years is usually applied to a personal injury case, so balancing out raising a claim in good time is something to discuss closely with your legal representation.
It’s difficult to accurately gauge exact settlements before a legal suit begins but the main thing to remember is that relying on a trustworthy firm only increases in importance when the incident occurs abroad. Specialist lawyers are very experienced with the added layer of complexity that exists when dealing with foreign courts and laws. They’ll also be able to advise you on the strength of your case before you go ahead and spend a lot more pursuing a case.
One of the most important things to remember is that in the immediate aftermath, you should seek all the medical care you’re in need of – don’t worry about potential costs over the necessary assistance you might need. Because so many elements can be varied in these sorts of claims – right down to where precisely an accident happened – your priorities have to be: diligence to documentation, clear communications with your lawyer, and a focus on recovery. These rules are true wherever you hurt yourself, but abroad the stakes can feel a lot higher, so special attention is highly advised.
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