I Had an Accident on a Public Road While I Was Traveling Overseas. What Are My Rights?
Different countries have different laws, but biology does not change its rules from one country to another. If you get hurt in America, you will need medical attention. You will also need the same kind of medical attention if you sustain the same kinds of injuries in Canada, Europe, Asia, or Africa. The only difference is that injuries in foreign countries can be more grievous because of the unfamiliarity and the uncertainty that trauma in foreign lands can cause. The United States is also a first world country with the most comprehensive healthcare imaginable, and maybe you will wish that you got hurt at home rather than away if the worst case scenario ever transpires. Therefore, you should always pay very careful attention to your traveling insurance coverage and employment terms and conditions, if any apply at all.
If you were traveling on behalf of an employer’s businesses or self-interest, you may have some very exclusive rights that could adequately cover your travel accident losses. However, as an appellate court in Texas once decided, an employee can only be compensated for injuries that he or she incurred while in furtherance of the employer’s interests and activities. Therefore, if you were out of the country on an official job travel and got injured while you were partying away from your provided accommodation, then your employer won’t be liable for your losses. If perhaps you were injured while inside the accommodation arranged for you through your employer’s financing, you would be well covered by American law for your travel accident losses. The same would apply if you got injured while on the field and when actively dispensing your employment duties.
The following are some of the things that you must do to protect your rights if you have an accident on a public road while traveling overseas.
Must-Do Things at the Scene
Immediately after the accident occurs, you could be traumatized. In fact, most people are always too traumatized to react or take appropriate action, and that is how they often lose out on any legal leverage and due compensation rights. You lose out on a lot of case-building details, facts, and evidence that could prove the other party’s fault and consequential liability if you freak out. Therefore, if you can, do some of the following things promptly after the accident and while still at the scene if your mental and physical frameworks can allow it:
- Take detailed notes so that you don’t forget and make your case difficult to build in the future due to hazy memories.
- Take as many photos as you can of the accident and its entire component. Never forget to capture the exact positioning of all the cars caught up in the accident and their number plates.
- Exchange insurance details with all those who were involved in the accident.
- Write down the names and contact details of as many witnesses as possible.
- Deny any liability and fault while refusing to apologize or owning up.
1. Get Medical Attention
Now that you have been in an accident, first focus on yourself. Go to the hospital and make sure you are fully examined to verify that you will be okay. It is critical that you seek medical attention whether you can detect any injuries or not. While apparent injuries freak us into rushed and flawed decision making, the hidden injuries are particularly terrible because they mislead people into dismissing them. When they do, it is usually at their own peril. Perhaps you could have suffered internal injuries that could lead to eventual organ failure and probable death. Even if you feel okay after the accident, you should go to a hospital to get checked for any spinal cord injuries, head or brain trauma, or soft tissue damage.
Insurance companies always specify the duration within which you should report an accident and seek medical attention. By going to the hospital immediately for a full checkup, you reduce the risk of incurring medical bills for problems that can be predicted, documented, treated, and prevented at the insurer’s expense.
2. Understand the Law of That Area of Jurisdiction
In any court of law all over the world, ignorance has never been used as a defense. If you find yourself operating in an area that you are unfamiliar with, at least research about its common laws on accidents and foreigners. Some countries just aren’t very welcoming to foreigners, and they could have healthcare policies that do not accommodate the expense of the poor majorities. The law of any place dictates how accidents are settled. And if you have a basic understanding of that, you stand to negotiate better than if you did not.
3. Understand Your Insurance Coverage
This is really a problem that causes many people to leak out large sums of money every passing month due to over-insurance and financial inefficiency. Your regular personal insurance and accident coverage just won’t cut it for such a trip. However, when you traveled, you most probably purchased a traveling insurance policy together with some of your traveling expenses. If you did not, there must have been some sort of oversight or the law is egregiously erred. Whatever the case might be, you should be able to predict outcomes.
4. Make Arrangements to Get Back Home
You should not overstay your welcome when foreign traveling. Furthermore, you should be instinctively always aware of your surroundings. If you are hurt, you should leave for home as soon as you can so that you can recover and heal from the comfort of home. Maybe the healthcare of that country in which you got hurt is not as good as the one you have at home. Or maybe you do not like mixing doctors, and you have private arrangements for your healthcare.
Remember to always remain a good sport whenever you are traveling. Take the pain and bother of trying to learn the basics of local languages in foreign places that you visit. It could save your life one day.