Resolving an accident that involves other US citizens is hard enough, but things can get even more complicated when the other party is from another country and only visiting America for a brief period of time. Here are two problems you will encounter when trying to collect compensation from tourists who live in another country.
Who's Going to Pay?
Like with any car accident case, the biggest issue will be figuring who's going to pay the bill. Since auto insurance is compulsory in the United States, this will typically be the tourist's insurance provider, but who that is will greatly impact your ability to collect.
If the tourist rented a vehicle and purchased the insurance offered by the company, then getting paid for your injuries and damages is a simple enough matter. You would file a claim with the insurer the rental company uses and let your attorney and the insurance adjuster hash out the details.
The same is true if the tourist was using a friend or relative's car who is a US citizen. Even though it was the tourist who caused the accident, the vehicle's owner is still responsible for what happens with the car when other people drive it. Thus, you could file a claim with their insurance company and get paid using that reasoning.
However, things become a bit problematic if the person was driving their own vehicle, thus requiring you to deal with a foreign insurer. Whether you'll get paid depends on if the person's insurance policy covers accidents in other countries. For instance, Canadian insurance is usually valid in the United States but Mexican insurance may not be.
You might have to sue the person directly, which may be challenging when dealing with laws in another country. In this situation, it's best to hire an attorney who has experience dealing with the legal system in other countries to help you recover what you're owed.
Who Has Jurisdiction?
As noted previously, you might have to sue the driver directly if you're not able to recover anything from the person's insurance provider. Unfortunately, you may be trading one can of worms for another, because you have to figure out which jurisdiction to file the case in.
Since the accident happened in this country, it'll be easier to sue in the United States. However, you may have trouble getting the liable party to return to the country for court dates if they leave. Additionally, collecting any money the court awards you may be challenging too since the legal avenues available in the US (e.g. wage garnishment) may not extend to other countries.
On the other hand, you can sue in the person's home country, but you will be subject to that country's laws. You'll also have to travel to that country for court dates, which may not be financially viable.
Your best option is to consult with an attorney who can advise you on what to do to get the outcome you seek.
For help with your auto accident case, contact a local law firm, such as Labine Law Firm.
Being injured in a car accident is never easy. You may find yourself struggling to do better, all while wondering what you can do to streamline your personal situation. However, when you make the decision to work with an attorney, things become a lot easier in the long run. From finding easier ways to move forward to understanding how to make the right steps towards getting the settlement you need, you can drastically improve your ability to move on after a car accident if you make a single call. Check out this website to learn how to identify a lawyer who can help you.