How to get legal help if you run into trouble while abroad

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It is great to be able to travel widely, especially as a family. Usually, you return home with happy memories, feeling refreshed. But, occasionally, things go wrong. When they do, it is important to seek help if you need it.

Sometimes that means calling your travel insurance provider. Other times you may need to consult a lawyer. For example, if you have been involved in an accident and your travel insurance does not fully cover you. Fortunately, personal injury lawyers from Tampa to London are used to working for tourists who are having problems. But you need to go about hiring one in the right way.

Look for someone who speaks your language well

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Ideally, you want a lawyer that speaks your native language fluently. If you cannot find one, it would be wise to hire a translator as well. Most embassies maintain a list of both lawyers and translators. The US does, you only need to click here to see it.

Check that you are hiring a good lawyer

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Usually, the embassy staff have not checked out or used these legal professionals themselves. These lists are just there to enable you to quickly start your search. So, before hiring one of them, you need to do your due diligence. That means using the website of the bar association or other similar organisations to check that they are properly qualified.

It is also worth seeing if you can find them on review websites. Doing a basic search for their name and the area they work in can sometimes bring back useful information. You can use Google translate to help you with this task.

Try to meet them in person

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There is no harm in checking lawyers out over the phone and using email. But if possible, meet them face-to-face before you hire them. This gives you the chance to establish whether you feel comfortable with them and hand over any evidence you have.

Get as much sorted as possible before you go home

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In all likelihood, you will not be in the country for long. So, you need to make the most of the time that you and your lawyer have available to work on your case together. It is particularly important that you share as much information and documents as you can while you are there. The less you need to send them when you get back to your home country the better.

Of course, you can use email and send larger files using services like this free one. But sometimes the original documents will be needed. Or your lawyer will need notarised copies. If you do not sort these things out while you are there. You may have to get this done in your home country, which can work out to be quite expensive. Plus, in some parts of the world, the postal system is still not very good. It is all too easy for items to get lost or arrive very late.

We’re very proud to bring you this feature in association with Distasio Personal Injury Law. For more features, please pay a visit to our lifestyle page.

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