- Solicitors For Business
- Solicitors For You
- Armed Forces Claims
- Clinical Negligence
- Court of Protection
- Criminal Defence
- Driving Offences
- Family Law Solicitors
- Media Law
- Personal Injury
- Personal Immigration Services
- Personal Insolvency
- Professional Regulation and Discipline
- Residential Real Estate
- Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning
- Will Disputes Solicitors
- About Us
- News & Events
A holiday in the USA is something that features high up on the bucket lists of many Britons. Whether taking in the sights of New York or enjoying the theme parks of Orlando, America has a wide range of destinations that offer something for everyone. Therefore, it is no surprise that thousands of Britons visit the USA each year for both work and leisure purposes.
While the vast majority of trips run with few or no hiccups, other people, unfortunately, find themselves involved in incidents that leave them with injuries. Unlike the UK, the US does not offer a free health service, which means that people who are involved in accidents may need to pay privately for any medical treatment they require.
If you have sustained an injury while in the US, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Here, the personal injury solicitors at JMW outline what you should do if you have been involved in an accident while in America.
Making a Personal Injury Claim in the US
Making a personal injury claim in the US can be particularly complex due to the vast differences between the American healthcare and legal systems and those within the UK. This is why it is of the utmost importance to seek advice from a specialist personal injury solicitor who can guide you through the complicated process from beginning to end.
Some of the most common incidents that affect Britons visiting the US include:
- Road traffic accidents
- Slips, trips and falls
- Food poisoning
- Skiing accidents
- Accidents at work
No matter how your injury was sustained, speaking to a solicitor will help you to understand whether or not you could be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries.
What Should I Do Immediately After an Accident?
The first and most important thing you should do after being involved in an accident is to seek medical attention for any injuries you have sustained. If you need to visit a hospital, you will need to provide proof of your medical insurance. To receive treatment in some hospitals, you may need to provide a payment to cover the cost of your medical care, which can later be claimed back from your travel insurance provider, whom you should also contact immediately after the incident.
If you are visiting the US on holiday and you booked your trip through a tour operator or package holiday company, you should also notify them of your accident. They may be able to offer support and assistance. In some cases, you may need to notify any relevant authorities.
Any evidence that you can collect that could help a solicitor to build a strong compensation case on your behalf is also useful. This could include photographic evidence of the scene where the incident took place, as well as your medical reports and any receipts of the cost of care you have received.
How to Arrange Medical Insurance when Visiting the USA
All healthcare in the US is private, which means that visitors must have access to an adequate healthcare policy to cover the cost of treatment. Before travelling to the US, you should seek out an insurance policy in case you require treatment for an accident, injury or illness. You may wish to seek specialist advice from an insurance broker.
The cost of medical treatment in the US should, in most cases, be covered by your insurance provider. However, some facilities may ask for this to be paid upfront. In such cases, you should refer all requests for payments to your travel insurance provider.
What are the Time Limits for Making USA Accident Claims?
There is usually a time limit in place within which you can make a compensation claim if you have suffered an illness or injury. These may vary from state to state, so it is recommended you get advice as soon as possible.
Making a Claim for a Package Holiday
If you have suffered an accident in the US while on a package holiday, we recommend informing the tour operator as soon as possible so they are aware, but also they may be able to offer you practical assistance. Some of the most commonly used package holidays include
- Thomas Cook
- British Airways
- Virgin Holidays
- First Choice
- Travel Republic
Customers who book package holidays have a series of additional rights that should protect them if they are affected by an accident while abroad.