Tourist accidents abroad: how to act legally?
Tourist accidents abroad are relatively frequent. From unforeseen events of little importance, such as the breach of a vehicle rental or accommodation contract, to more serious events such as an illness or an accident on the road. Any of these setbacks can ruin a vacation. So it is important to be proactive.
Faced with this kind of accident, our options are mainly two.
- From a preventive point of view, we can take out travel insurance. We must read the insurance policy carefully to know the details of your coverage, but in any case, you can minimize the impact of a mishap, especially in health matters.
- From a reactive point of view, we can hire a lawyer specialized in tourist accidents abroad. Whether from the moment we return home or from a distance, from wherever we are, a lawyer specialized in tourist accidents abroad can help us reestablish our rights.
Let’s see what mishaps can threaten a vacation trip and how a specialized lawyer can help us solve them.
Traffic accidents abroad
The way to deal with a traffic accident abroad will depend on where we are. For example, if the accident occurred in the European Union, the procedures to be carried out will be very similar to those that we would follow in Spain.
Outside the European Union, the complexity of handling the accident will depend on the agreements signed between the State where the accident occurs and Spain. This will make the procedures are, in general, more complex.
In both cases, it would be advisable to seek specialized legal assistance. And, of course, the first thing we will have to do is go to the doctor.
Immediately after the accident, we should contact the competent authority and, if the scope has been serious, with the Consulate. You will also have to contact the insurance company and, if possible, our lawyer.
The first steps in the process will be carried out at the scene of the accident. Basically, it is about gathering information (identification of those involved, medical documentation, circumstances of the accident …) and communicating it to the insurance companies of those involved in the accident.
We can generally terminate claims in Spain. However, it is best to have a legal office that has branches abroad, since in that case, we will be able to receive your advice without having to travel or wait.
The claim procedure for traffic accidents abroad
The different countries’ claim procedures may vary. In many cases, there are harmonized provisions, as is the case in the European Union or in the signatory countries of the Multilateral Guarantee Agreement. But in other cases, we can find divergent procedures.
Generally, these countries will need a green card and/or the International Driving Permit. It is advisable to consult the applicable regime in the destination country before starting the journey, for which we will need to make an appointment with our trusted lawyer.
It must also be borne in mind that the procedure and responsibilities derived from a traffic accident will largely depend on the circumstances of the same. We will not be facing the same scenario if we are drivers, companions, passengers, responsible for the accident or not … Ultimately, knowing our rights and the steps to follow will depend on the situation in which we find ourselves.
In any case, the most common thing is that the insurance itself takes care of the medical expenses, so, in any case, the most urgent thing is to go to the doctor. Especially in the case of injuries.
Other tourist accidents abroad: injuries and illnesses
The main problem with suffering an injury or illness during the holidays is that we will need health care. And depending on where we are, it will be more or less easy to access it.
Generally, receiving medical assistance will represent high costs. In addition, we will have to face the language barrier and find suitable facilities, which may not be easy.
Contracting travel insurance and finding out about the health system of the country of destination before leaving can be key to face this type of situation. But it will also be important to explore the cause of the injury after receiving medical attention.
Ultimately, a fall due to environmental conditions, an accident during leisure activities or an illness resulting from food poisoning (for example), can give rise to compensation. The same will happen if the insurance ignores us and does not give us the assistance guaranteed by your policy.
In all these cases, it will be convenient to study the case with the help of a lawyer specialized in tourist accidents abroad, who will analyze the concurrent irregularities and, where appropriate, will claim our compensation.
Contract breaches and other vacation mishaps
Less serious than personal injuries are property injuries. And the truth is that these types of mishaps are usually more common. We speak, for example, of:
- The cancellation of a trip or part of it.
- Breach of contracts. For example, when the contracted tourist accommodation does not exist or does not meet the expectations offered through its advertising.
- Failure to comply with pre-scheduled travel packages or cancellation of visits and other activities.
In these cases, in general, the regulations in defense of consumers and users will come into play. The European Union has more or less harmonized rules that, depending on the breach in question, will offer us one or the other solutions.
A lawyer specialized in tourist accidents abroad will be able to claim the corresponding compensation, which will generally cover the amount paid and the resulting damages.
Do you need a lawyer specialized in tourist accidents abroad?
In short, tourist accidents abroad are common and can be a setback for our holidays. Fortunately, the tourism sector is regulated with a certain level of detail.
Therefore, in the event of any mishap (be it personal or contractual) we can go to a lawyer specialized in tourist accidents abroad to request advice and assistance. Although the specific answer in each case will depend on many factors (country in which the setback occurs, hiring or not of previous insurance, type, and severity of the injury …), our lawyer will be in charge of finding the best way to repair the damage.
Contact us if you need advice on the matter. Our lawyers specialized in tourist accidents abroad will be able to assist you remotely and in person, so that you are not in a situation of helplessness even at your destination.