Legal Tips To Help You if You Get into a Car Accident in Mexico| 30 May, 2019
The sheer variety of cultural events in Latin America make it a popular destinations for travelers from around the world. Music, art, history and more bring people in by planes, trains and even automobiles. If you are lucky enough to live close enough to venue cities like Mexicali, Ensenada and even Cabo San Lucas, you should know that driving and accidents are not always handled the same way there as they are in the U.S.
One potential worry that can make people concerned when they’re planning a trip to Latin America — especially to an outdoor music festival where people will be camping and the scene will be chaotic, is if an accident happened while they’re away from home. If the worst happens and there is a car crash that wasn’t caused by you, you’d be entitled to make a claim. So, what do you do? Here’s a quick look at a few tips.
Check for Insurance Coverage in Mexico Before You Leave
If you are across the border in Mexico and have an accident, chances are your American car insurance isn’t going to cover you. It MIGHT cover you if you get injured, but it might not. Check with your carrier to be sure. For liability and damages, consider purchasing a short-term Mexican auto insurance policy to cover you and others while you are there.
Secure the Scene and Get Help First
No matter what country you’re in, the first thing you need to do in the event of an accident is to stop. You should never leave the scene, even if the accident is a minor one. You also need to protect the scene of the crash. You can work to keep more accidents from happening by putting on your emergency lights or setting up a few flares. If it’s dark and your lights aren’t working correctly anymore, you should use a flashlight to make sure you stay safe while you wait either beside the road or in your car.
Still, even before you call a car accident attorney, you need to get medical help for yourself or anyone injured. You should ensure that you ask for an ambulance along with the police when you first call for help. Luckily, Mexico recently adopted 9-1-1 as it’s nationwide emergency number, so even if you are frazzled, you should be able to call this number simply out of reflex.
Remember, waiting to get medical attention can likely damage any claim you might have for compensation and potentially lessen your chances for a payout. Be sure to take pictures of any injuries if you can because this can only help your case.
Contact Your Mexican Hotel
No matter if you’re traveling to Tijuana for the food or Chihuahua for the history, if you get in touch with your hotel when an accident occurs, the event will be well documented, and assistance might be provided when you get in touch with an attorney. If you’re in doubt, contact a legal team that specializes in handling cases in Mexico. They’ll take control of the situation and allow for a better system of communication with the authorities in the area.
Make a Record
When the police get there, be sure that you tell them the events of the accident exactly as they happened. Do this to the very best of your ability, get a translator if necessary. If you don’t happen to know certain things, tell them. Don’t guess, speculate, or misstate any facts. If they ask you if you’re injured and you aren’t sure, tell them that. Don’t tell them no. Many times, injuries and pain from car accidents don’t make themselves known until many hours after the fact. You should also ensure that any statements made by other people who were involved in the crash are as accurate as possible.
If you feel like your medical treatment isn’t enough, or if you can’t afford the hospital costs, once you’ve gotten in touch with a local personal injury attorney, you might consider going home. If you’ve followed the tips above, you can base your claim from home and still have the local (to the crash) attorneys on the job for you. However, if there are any legal implications, consider extending your stay as needed.
You should always take out travel insurance because you never know what will happen. This is especially true if you’ll be involved in dangerous activities or extreme sports on your trip. All trips have their risk of accidents, and you should never hesitate to call an accident attorney if you’re injured through no fault of your own. Being fully prepared too, with travel insurance, can make the trip a bit less stressful. Also, most car insurance companies offer this protection, and many credit cards do too.
Finally, take the time you need to heal. Your attorneys will take care of anything that needs to be done, it’s their job. Just be sure to follow all your doctor’s orders and keep in touch with your lawyer.
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