This is a guest post courtesy of Marc Yonker, a personal injury attorney at Winters & Yonker, a law firm in Tampa, Florida.
Miami, Florida is one of the premier vacation destinations in the world for those who treasure white sand beaches, balmy weather and access to all the sights and sport that the western Atlantic Ocean has to offer. Every year, thousands of global travelers touch down in Miami, but very few of them understand what might happen if they are injured.
Unlike many countries, the United States does not have a national public health system. Instead, insurance companies form relationships with networks of hospitals to manage care. Those who are not insured in the U.S. may face costs into the tens of thousands of dollars. VZP may cover some injuries sustained during travel, but not necessarily all of them. The best chance of recovering the cost of an injury, and some extra, may be with the US court system.
Can Non-US Citizens Make Injury Claims in US Court?
Yes. Those who are visiting the US from Prague can make personal injury claims in US courts under many circumstances. National status does not restrict access to the US court system, and it is not necessary to be a U.S. citizen or to be married to one, to file a claim.
That said, claims filed through the court are rarely resolved there. When a claim is filed against an American or business, their insurance company will most likely negotiate on their behalf. US court costs can be very high, so local lawyers will likely recommend negotiating a settlement (an amount both parties agree to) overtaking the claim in front of a judge.
How Can a Lawyer Assist with a Claim?
Lawyers are recommended for navigating the complex US legal system. Lawyers provide a number of services while pursuing an injury claim, including gathering evidence for claims, making necessary court filings and coordinating the negotiations. In Miami, most law firms have experience working with international clients and have resources to provide Czech language support when necessary.
Is it Necessary to Remain in the US?
It is not necessary to remain in the US when a lawyer is handling the claim. In most cases, the claim can be brought to a complete resolution without another visit to the US. However, for this to be the case, it is necessary to make arrangements and provide information to a lawyer before leaving.
If in Doubt, Contact the Czech Embassy in DC
Injuries that happen in the US, and the charges that can come with them, should be resolved carefully. It is best not to sign any documents or make any agreements without speaking to a lawyer first. Most lawyers will not charge for the first consultation when discussing a personal injury. If working with a US lawyer isn’t possible, first contact the Czech embassy in DC for official information at (202) 274-9100.
Even injuries in the United States may be covered by VZP, and the embassy can connect travelers to that information and those options.
About the Author:
Marc Yonker is a personal injury attorney in Tampa, Florida. He has a great passion for serving the public and providing justice for those in need through his position at the Winters and Yonker law firm. He believes that teamwork is a key element for great success. This is one of the beliefs that helped form the law firm, with his partner Bill Winters. When someone is wrongfully injured, they deserve just compensation for the hardships they have been put through. Winters and Yonker help clients in their fight for justice. They strictly handle personal injury cases which mostly comprises of auto accidents and slip and fall accidents, among many other types of vehicle-related accidents, death cases, and even electrocutions.