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The Complications of Cross-Border Personal Injury Claims: A Guide for Travelers

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Navigating a Claim for Injuries Suffered While Traveling Out of State

More Americans are traveling now than ever, whether for business, pleasure, or even medical care. When an injury happens on an out-of-state trip it can be complicated to sort out whether you have a personal injury claim, what laws will apply, and how to pursue a potential claim once back in Texas. An experienced and skilled personal injury attorney at Kahn Law Firm can help to explain your options and pursue compensation if a claim is warranted.

What Law Applies if an Accident or Injury Occurs Outside of Texas?

While a Texas resident would be most likely to file a personal injury claim in Texas, even if the injury happened elsewhere, Texas law may not always apply. Determining what laws will apply in a given case is known as “Choice of Law,” for which Texas follows Section 146 of the Second Restatement of Tort. That section states, “In an action for a personal injury, the local law of the state where the injury occurred determines the rights and liabilities of the parties, unless, with respect to the particular issue, some other state has a more significant relationship under the principles stated in § 6 to the occurrence and the parties, in which event the local law of the other state will be applied.” It is important to note here that “state” is used to include foreign countries, as well–not just states within the U.S. Determining choice of law is complex and may vary based on the kind of injury, the state or country involved, and other details particular to your situation. Consulting a personal injury attorney who has expansive knowledge of both personal injury and Texas law is your best move in understanding the complexities of cross-border personal injury claims. Call Kahn Law Firm today for a free initial consultation: 713-999-6549.

What Can I Do to Strengthen My Case?

Whether your injury occurs in Texas or elsewhere, the best thing you can do to strengthen your case, in addition to hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer, is to document everything you possibly can. Once your safety is ensured and you have sought any necessary medical attention, it is a good idea to begin gathering whatever evidence you can think of concerning the circumstances surrounding your injury. Maintaining written records, taking photos when applicable, and securing the contact information of possible witnesses can all be important to your potential case. Time is of the essence because evidence can often disappear, whether conditions change naturally or potential targets of the claim intentionally destroy or alter evidence. For example, if you are injured by falling on wet tile in a public place that should have had a warning but did not, taking a photo before the liquid is cleaned up or evaporates or a warning sign is placed can be important to establishing conditions at the time of the accident. Please do not prioritize evidence gathering over your own health and well-being, however. Seek medical attention immediately, most importantly to get the care you need and ensure your safety, and also to get documentation of your injuries from medical professionals.

What Kinds of Cross-Border Personal Injury Claims Typically Occur?

Common personal injuries that can happen anywhere involve accidents like slips and falls; dog bites; car, truck, motorcycle, rideshare, or pedestrian accidents; defective product injuries; or exposure to toxic substances, to name just a few. In addition, cross-border medical malpractice cases are on the rise, as many U.S. residents seek lower-cost or specialized medical and dental care in other states or countries. Sometimes, we let our guard down while traveling or engage in riskier behaviors than we would at home. Travel is often synonymous with adventure, and this can lead to an increase in injuries with more complex legal issues attached than those of injuries suffered in your home state or country. Most travelers don’t travel to play it safe–we want to experience sailboarding or visit an amusement park, for example, and that is great! But if an injury occurs that was the result of negligence, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim, even if you were in another state or country. Our skilled personal injury attorneys can help you through every step of the process.

How Can Kahn Law Firm Help in My Cross-Border Injury Case?

Texas residents are traveling out of state at high rates. Just in the holiday period from December 23 to January 2, 2023 AAA estimated that 8.9 million Texans would travel 50 or more miles away from home, many of them to other states or countries. As a border state, Texas sees many residents traveling to Mexico for medical or dental procedures. Sadly, the outcome is sometimes not what the traveler was hoping for. Whether a disappointing outcome is the result of malpractice and subject to a personal injury claim is certainly a question we are happy to assist you in answering. Call our office today at (713) 999-6549 to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about how we can best assist you with your potential cross-border injury claim. We look forward to your call.
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