What To Do When You're Injured Overseas

Drowning is the #1 cause of injuries for Americans abroad, but several Americans are also injured by crime, boating accidents, and car accidents. Becoming injured while on vacation in another country can be very frustrating. You are in an unfamiliar environment and your injury will bring the fun you were having to a halt. Even worse is when your injury was the result of a tourist car accident. Then, you'll need to navigate international legal waters when seeking the compensation you deserve. 


One of the challenges of an overseas injury is determining jurisdiction. You might assume that the country where you suffered an injury will have jurisdiction over your case. However, this is not always the case and you may be able to have jurisdiction transferred to the United States.

To have the jurisdiction transferred to the United States 

  • You must be living and working in the United States
  • The defendant must have contact with the United States 
  • The US courts must persuade the other nation to relinquish jurisdiction

The defendant might argue that coming to the United States to defend against a lawsuit is inconvenient. However, if the defendant had minimum contact with the United States, such as if the defendant ran a tour company and took the plaintiff for a ride briefly in the United States, he may be forced to defend himself in court. 

Common Defenses

The defendant might argue that you assumed some risk when choosing to take a trip with him. However, agreements do not necessarily protect a defendant in a case involving negligence. Even with a waiver, companies must still follow the law and must also reasonably keep their employees safe. You will likely be eligible for damages even if you sign the waiver. 

Some defendants might argue that you must not be that injured because you did not seek medical attention immediately after the accident. For this reason, it's essential to seek medical care as soon as possible. You must also notify someone at the scene about the incident and you will want to document the scene as much as you can. Take photographs and write down anything that you experienced at the scene of the accident. Fortunately, it's easier to document the accident if you have a smartphone.

Contact a tourist car accident attorney as soon as possible. She will have experience with these types of accidents and will be able to help you prove your case and reach the highest settlement possible. An attorney experienced with international incidents, like those at Cok Kinzler PLLP and other firms, will also know the common pitfalls you might face.