Injuries to foreign visitors in Australia can be extremely stressful with a lack of familial support. Australia is home to many foreign nationals residing in Australia temporarily for a multitude of reasons, including work, study, as well as enjoyment of the lifestyle Australia has to offer.
Cultural and lingual barriers can make seeking medical attention intimidating, and the high medical fees associated with injuring yourself in Australia can result in financial hardship. In the instance that your injury incurred in Australia and is the result of someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim.
In Australia, two common types of accidents that often result in potential personal injury compensation claims among foreigners are publia liability accidents and car accidents.
Common types of motor vehicle accidents in Australia
- Rear-end Collisions
- Head-on Collisions
- T-bone or Side-impact Collisions
- Single-vehicle Accidents
- Multi-vehicle Pile-ups
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Campervan accidents
- Hit and Run
- Kangaroo Collisions
While this list covers some of the most common types of motor vehicle accidents in Australia, there are many variables and situations that can lead to people being injuried in motor vehicle accidents.
What are public liability claims?
Claims for public liability cover losses incurred when you are injured, and this injury is the result of another person’s negligence.
Public liability covers a wide range of accidents, including slips and falls, rental property injury compensation, animal injuries and defective products. All public places must have public liability insurance, which means that you may be able to claim against the insurer of the property.
If you suffer injuries as a foreign visitor, you may even have a right to receive compensation if the accident was partly your fault.
The compensation you could receive will depend on the individual circumstances of your case. Your claim can include compensation for medical costs, out-of-pocket expenses and lost past and future income.
Can I make a claim if I have left Australia?
It is possible to make a claim after you have left Australia and have been repatriated to your home country. We hold online video conferences with our overseas clients and have personally visited clients in their home countries to meet with individuals, including doctors and family, to obtain information that will further their claims.
Notifying the Department of Home Affairs
When in Australia on a visa, it is important that you comply with the conditions of the visa in order avoid it being cancelled if its conditions are breached.
In the instance that you are injured in Australia, this injury may make it difficult to meet the conditions of your visa. For example, if you are studying full-time in Australia, medical treatment may impact your ability to maintain enrolment in the course. It is therefore important that you take steps to ensure that your visa is not cancelled as a result. You may be able to temporarily suspend your studies through an agreement with your academic institution, or defer your studies.
To ensure that your visa does not get cancelled it is important to notify the Department of Home Affairs that your injury has temporarily hindered your ability to comply with the conditions of your visa. This includes compiling medical evidence that affirms your temporary disability.
Can I be treated in my home country for injuries that occurred in Australia?
Medical insurance can cover some or all of the costs of medical treatment while in Australia. It is important that you obtain appropriate and immediate medical assistance when you are injured in Australia, no matter the severity of the injury. However, seeking sustained medical treatment in a foreign country can be daunting, as it can involve lingual and cultural differences. A lack of familial support in Australia can also make continued medical treatment difficult. It is therefore understandable that a foreign national injured in Australia would prefer to return to their native country to continue treatment.
When claiming compensation for an injury that occurred in Australia, part of the claim includes compensation for past and continuing medical treatment. Therefore, it is immaterial whether this treatment is provided in Australia and you can be reimbursed for medical expenses incurred in your home country.
What can I do to assist the claim?
The following can be followed to assist the process of claiming compensation and improve the chances of your claim being successful:
- Obtain the contact details of any witnesses to the accident.
- Keep the receipts for any medical treatment incurred as a result of the injury, including cost of medication, hospital bills and all other expenses incurred.
- Take photos of your injuries and of the scene of the accident.
- Keep a record of any time taken off work as a result of the injuries.
- Take note of the care provided to you by friends and family as a result of the injury.
- Keep a record of the symptoms associated with the injury and their impact on your ability to continue living day-to-day and your enjoyment of life.
What we do
At Stacks Goudkamp, we specialise injuries to foreign visitors in Australia. We have public liability experts who can explain Australian law to you and help you obtain the compensation that you are entitled to. It can be a long and difficult process to obtain compensation, and working cross-jurisdiction can make these claims especially difficult.
Our public liability lawyers will conduct your claim on a no win, no fee basis. We will gather evidence from various medical practitioners, the police and other experts. We will also examine how your injuries have impacted your ability to participate in the activities your enjoyed prior to the accident and your ability to continue working. We conduct thorough negotiations with at-fault parties and insurers in order to obtain the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. In many cases, we are able to do this successfully without the need for litigation.
In the unfortunate event that you or anyone you know has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. To arrange a free, no obligation assessment of your claim, please call Stacks Goudkamp on (02) 4058 3114 or alternatively make an online enquiry. For more information go to https://stacksgoudkamp.com.au/services/travel-accidents/foreign-visitors-injured-in-australia/
Written by Karina Goodall