If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim. This may result in a settlement, but what happens if the injury happens when you are on vacation in the United States, and you are from Canada? Do you hire an attorney in the country you were injured in, or do you wait until you get home and hire an attorney in your home country? What you may find out is before it is over with, you may need to hire an attorney in both countries.
The Problems With Out Of Country Injuries
There are many different challenges that occur when injuries take place when you are on holiday. Not only can there be difficulties in deciding which court needs to hear the case, there can be significant differences in the laws, as well as contractual issues. There may even be questions pertaining to how you booked your travel that may have bearing on your case.
For example: If you booked your vacation through an online service, and you agreed to their terms and conditions, you may have waived your right to sue them under their waiver of liability. Most companies have these types of waivers built into the small print that very few people ever read. However, this does not mean that you cannot sue the hotel, restaurant, or other property that you were injured on.
Which Attorney To Hire
If you are going to be in the country where you were injured for an extended period of time, you may want to hire an attorney in that country. This is because if the location, or the person, who caused your injury is insured, their insurance company will probably start calling in an attempt to settle your case very soon after your injury occurs.
By hiring an attorney early on, you will be able to direct their calls to your attorney. This will reduce the chances that you will say, or do, something that will harm your case.
Local attorneys will also know the laws of their state. These will vary from state to state. A local injury lawyer will also have more knowledge, and experience with the local political dynamics that may have a significant impact on your personal injury lawsuit.
If you return home quickly, or do not even realize the extent of your injuries until you return home, you can hire an attorney in your home country. Although this attorney will act in your stead, that may be as much as they can do.
Because they are not licensed to practice law in the country that you are injured in, they may have difficulty maximizing your lawsuit's potential. They also will not be able to force your case to trial without retaining a counsel in the country you were injured in.
What Do You Need To Do If You Have Been Injured?
The first thing that you need to do, is to seek medical care for any injuries that you have incurred. While there may be payment required at the time of the treatment, this is money that you can be reimbursed for later.
Ensure that the owner of the property where you are injured is aware that your injury has taken place. If it is a public location, you will want to find out who manages the location so that you can file the proper forms to report your injury. These forms will not only serve as a notification to the owners, but will need to be forwarded to the insurance company of the property.
If your injury is a result of a car accident, you will want to make sure that there is a police report that documents that the accident has taken place. While in some no-fault locations, it may not show the negligent actions of the other driver, but it will be the basis on which you can establish your personal injury claim.
Collect any documentation that pertains to your injury. Take pictures, and collect the name and contact information of anyone that has witnessed your accident. This information will be critical to whichever attorney is preparing your case.