It’s common for European company executives to travel to the U.S. on business, but more often than not it’ll be a personal trip. Either traveling solo, going with a group of friends or as a family – should you, unfortunately, get injured while over there, it’s heart-breaking and upsetting at the same time. It would certainly affect your time away and cause pain and suffering having to deal with a hospital to hopefully get fixed up while still in the States.
Here are a few considerations to bear in mind should you or someone in your party sustain a personal injury.
Don’t Discount the Initial High Cost of Medical Expenses
The cost of medical care in the U.S. is not inconsequential. It usually costs considerably more than in Europe where much of the medical expenses are often borne by the state. For a European visiting the States, that’s not the situation.
You’ll need travel insurance to cover the initial costs of medical care and repatriation, if necessary, back to Europe too. This may only be the start of the medical expenses depending on how severe the injury is and how urgent it is to be seen, diagnosed and possibly, operated on by a board-certified surgeon the United States.
Have an Accident? Get Legal Representation Right Away
It’s fair to say that you do not know the legal system within the U.S. and don’t know what your responsibilities are.
By hiring a personal injury attorney, they can advise you based on what state you’re in what you should do next (like reporting the accident to the local authorities or swapping insurance details). The requirements are often subtly different from state to state. Most attorneys that deal with these kinds of cases are specialists within their state and know what their clients’ responsibilities are within the state lines.
This avoids you getting into a legal problem due to failing to do what was required at the time and subsequently. That’s one less problem to deal with later on.
Don’t Try to Represent Yourself
It’s tempting to think that you can save money by being your own attorney. The idea is that you can get on the phone with the other party’s insurer and negotiate a reasonable settlement. Such a settlement might cover your initial hospital bills but probably won’t consider your pain and suffering.
Also, it’s difficult at that early stage to appreciate whether something like a fractured hip will heal properly or could prevent you from subsequently continuing in your normal business role month and years later.
In the U.S., representatives who specialize in these cases tend to achieve several times the level of payout that someone does when trying to negotiate on their own. With a lawyer, you’re getting a highly knowledgeable individual who knows your rights and can represent your interests unemotionally to push for the best settlement possible.
Bear in mind that after an accident, when you are upset and wanting someone to blame, it’s very difficult to be detached emotionally. Any discussion with a tough insurance negotiator is likely to trigger high emotions that could get the better of you. This is another reason why a personal injury lawyer San Diego is going to be a better option. Remember that when you’re in a foreign country, it’s best to seek help to check what’s the right thing to do. And when traveling abroad, get travel insurance to cover initial medical expenses.