Can I Sue If I Am Injured Abroad?
Published on:July 9, 2015

Can I Sue If I Am Injured AbroadWhether on your first trip out of the Staten Island, or like to enjoy your holidays abroad: accidents can happen any time. It can be either a serious injury sustained in a car accident, slip, trip and fall in a shopping mall or any other personal injury. If you are injured in an accident while traveling abroad, you may feel helpless and afraid.

Chances are, you may be in incredible pain, have a huge medical bill or going to miss out the rest of your trip. What can you do about it? What are your legal options when it comes to seeking compensation claim for your damages and injuries incurred?

Generally speaking, if you are injured due to the negligence of someone, you can sue. The only complicated part for you and your personal injury attorney is where to file the claim. Do you have to sue where you got injured or sue in the Staten Island?

The Jurisdiction

The court must have jurisdiction over the case and the defendant to render any type of judgment. So, your personal injury lawyer must ensure that the court you want to sue in is having the jurisdiction to avoid the case dismissal. In other words, the court must have both subject matter jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction to hear the case. However, only personal jurisdiction is pertinent in this case.

For a court to have personal jurisdiction over the defendant, it must prove that:

  • The defendant is physically present in the jurisdiction
  • The defendant lives and/or does the business within the jurisdiction
  • The defendant consents to the personal jurisdiction
  • Minimum contact is maintained with the jurisdiction

This means that the only way you can sue someone from abroad in Staten Island is if he/she traveled to home state at one time, conducted business, consent to personal jurisdiction in your state and had a minimum level of contact with your state. Therefore, if the defendant does not meet any of the above criteria, you will consider filing the court claim in the country where the injury occurred because the courts in Staten Island and the surrounding areas won’t have the jurisdiction.

The Contracts

If you were injured by somebody you signed terms of service contract, the contract may determine where you file suit if you want to sue. For instance, if you were working abroad at the time of the injury and the injury was the fault of your employer, you can sue for injury compensation, using an attorney based in that country provided you were employed by an organization or company based in that country at the time of the injury or the business you were conducting was based in that country or that employer has a registered office abroad. This claim is handled in the same manner as any other claim for injuries sustained at work.

If you were abroad on holiday at the time of the accident, a personal injury lawyer would only be able to deal with the claim against the holiday company, travel agent or other representatives, but only if the holiday was booked as part of the package deal. For instance, your injury was caused by a poorly maintained hotel walkway, you may be entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim against your travel agent. However, you will not be able to bring a claim against your travel agent if the injury was caused by poorly maintained pavement in the local town center.

For more information about accidents and injuries while abroad, please consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer for help.