What to do if while in Mexico a family member fell down the stairs and broke their hip?

UPDATED: Sep 12, 2014

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What to do if while in Mexico a family member fell down the stairs and broke their hip?

A representative from the resort came to the hospital and told is they would take care of everything (I have him on tape saying this). Later, after finding out she needed hip surgery, he stated that we would need to put a claim in with their insurance company. However, he failed to give me the name of the company. After paying 25K in cash for her surgery and returning to the states, they will no longer answer our emails. We can’t find an attorney in our area who will take the case because it happened in Mexico. Any suggestions?

Asked on September 12, 2014 under Personal Injury, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the resort is part of a U.S. chain, you may have recourse, because then there is a domestic entity to sue and collect against. If the resort is just in Mexico, however, you may have to write off recoving the money:

1) You'd almost certainly have to sue in Mexico (insufficient U.S. contacts for domestic jurisdication), which means a Mexican attorney, the Mexican legal system (widely considered corrupt and inefficient), and having, if it goes to trial, to spend money and time on travel to Mexico.

2) Great chance of losing: they have the home-field advantage and are a local employer.

3) Even if you win, it may be essentially impossible to collect.

Furthermore, it's not even clear that you'd be entitled to win, anyway. A resort is not the insurer of its guests; it is generally only liable (at least under U.S. and UK law, and I believe similar principals would apply in Mexico) if at fault in some way--e.g. an unsafe or broken set of stairs. If the resort had no fault in the fall (the family member just happened to fall, slip, or trip, as people sometimes do), they would not seem to be liable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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