Injured working outside the USA?

by Sepa
(Waimea, Hawaii, USA)

I was working for Club Med Hotels in Ixtapa, Mexico and was bit by a brown recluse spider. Initially I thought it was a bee because I didn't feel anything. Eventually after excruciating pain and nausea I told the nurse I had to go to the hospital.

Living in a small town, we had to wait till the next morning, when eventually I was flown by emergency jet to a larger hospital where I spent about 6 weeks getting surgeries and recovering. I was then flown home to Hawaii where I've been since February of this year, doing physical therapy and such.

I don't know if I should get a lawyer to look into this. Do I have a case? It happened out of the US, so where do I stand? Thanks!

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Injured working outside the USA?":

Sepa (Waimea Hawaii, USA):

Your presentation does not specify where you were bit by the spider. If you were bit at a location off Club Med's property, or bitten on property upon which Club Med does not exercise control, then you will not have a legal basis to support a viable personal injury claim.

Alternatively, if you were working during your customary work hours, and performing your normal work duties when you were bit, you may have the basis of a workers' compensation claim.

Presuming you were an employee on duty at the time of the injury, you will only entitled to workers' comp benefits. Those benefits should have included about two-thirds of your lost wages during the extended period you were hospitalized and during recovery, all your medical bills, and reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses (such as medicines, bandages, etc.).

Under workers' compensation laws, you do not have a right to be compensated for your pain and suffering.

If you feel you aren't being treated fairy by Club Med, contact a workers' compensation attorney in Hawaii. Because Club Med does business by advertising in all 50 States and U.S. territories, your workers' comp attorney in Hawaii should be able to handle your claim without your having to retain an attorney in Mexico.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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