If the tourist does not cooperate with you, you can still do something about it by hiring an attorney.
The US sees numerous visitors every year. Many people choose California for their vacation after seeing or hearing about this state on TV or in news articles. Los Angeles and San Francisco are two cities that tourists prefer to spend their time in.
However, visitors should be careful about various risks such as car accidents. For example, in California, there were 3,606 car accident deaths in 2019, with a 1.06 rate of fatalities per 100 million traveled miles. An even larger number of people get injured in car crashes in the state, forcing people to seek a San Francisco car accident lawyer who can help them claim compensation.
But what do you do if you are injured in a car accident that was caused by a foreign tourist? Can you sue this person? Let’s find out.
Suing a Foreign National Responsible for a Car Crash
You can sue someone for a car accident, regardless of their citizenship status. Just because an individual is a foreign tourist, it doesn’t mean they cannot be held responsible for their actions. Any person that visits the United States must obey all laws of the country, and the same goes for any place they visit.
While you can sue a foreign tourist for a car accident, you should know that they have the right to defend themselves. They might hire a lawyer to help them navigate this case, and they can remain silent until they find a criminal defense attorney.
Now, while you can sue this individual if they injured you or damaged your car during the incident, there are a few things you should know in case the culprit leaves the United States.
Now, even if you know the one who caused a car accident is a foreign tourist and you are planning to sue them, this person might leave the country. This puts you in a tough spot as now you cannot get legal jurisdiction over the individual. What can you do when the traditional lawsuit route is no longer available?
Fortunately, there are alternatives:
- Medpay or Personal Injury Protection – If you were lucky enough to get Medpay or Personal Injury Protection, you can recover money for some of the damages suffered during an accident. These protections can pay you up to a particular amount of money. PIP can pay for your medical bills following the accident, as well as pain and suffering, and lost time from your job. Medpay, on the other hand, will only take care of the medical bills.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – Another thing you can take advantage of if you are injured in a car crash by a foreign tourist and they leave the country is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This coverage was made to pay for car crash damages in situations where another insurance coverage is unavailable.
- Foreign National Insurance – Sometimes, a foreign national will pay for insurance when they visit the country and want to drive a vehicle. If the tourist who injured you in a car crash has this insurance, then you can claim compensation and it will be paid from the foreigner’s insurance.
- Suing the American Company – In some instances, an American company might be responsible for the foreign tourist’s actions. Other times, the corporation might be responsible for the car crash in some way. For example, a rental car from a certain firm had issues that led to a car accident. Another situation in which a company can be sued is when the tourist works for an American company.
It can be quite difficult for an American court to judge someone for a car accident if they are in a different country during the case. The country must have jurisdiction over the individual while they live in the other country – otherwise, the situation is a bit tricky.
Now, there are a few instances where a national who has fled the country can be judged in court thanks to treaties between countries. However, you need to hire a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer to make things work.
Steps to Take
Have you been injured in a car crash by a foreign tourist? This can become quite stressful, and you might think that you will never be compensated.
If the tourist does not cooperate with you, you can still do something about it by hiring an attorney. They will know how to deal with insurance coverage and jurisdiction issues so you can get coverage for your damages and suffering.