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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38784
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I studied at a non-sister school in China because my university

Customer Question

I studied at a non-sister school in China because my university could not make contact with their advertised sister schools. I was burned in the building of my classroom. I had to return to the US for treatment. My university did not make me aware of accident/travel/study abroad insurance and I incurred large financial loss. In addition to the physical injury and financial loss, I lost the opportunity to return to complete my study abroad dream and longterm goal. When I notified my university I returned early due to injury, they asked me to sign several forms they had not gone over with me prior to departure because they did not have them on file. Most are in regard to safety, injury, and insurance. I was not comfortable signing after the fact, so I did not.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you this afternoon.

I am sorry that you were injured. Ultimately, what do you seek to accomplish in this situation?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am seeking financial compensation. I am trying to find an attorney who specializes in this area or one that will help me. The injury happened on August 4, 2011, so I am in a bit of a time crunch. I would also like to know if I have a case for suit.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Megan,

Perhaps I am not understanding here. What are you seeking compensation for? Are you claiming that the school owed you a duty to disclose the insurance option, failed in that duty, and caused you to incur these damages? Or is there anything else I am missing at this time?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Due to the fact that there was no insurance purchased, I incurred many expenses for my early return home and I am still in debt. The university failed to inform me of the importance of accident insurance abroad. If I had insurance, I would not have had to go into debt paying emergency expenses. Furthermore there is a safety issue due to the false advertisement of sister schools in China. I had to attend a non-sister school even though I chose this university since they advertised established sister-school relationships. When I was injured, I had no advocate and had to wander on my own to try to find help and a hospital by myself.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Megan,

I will go ahead and opt out at this time as I do not see the school being liable for your expenses. Perhaps a different professional would see this differently and provide you with a more favorable response. Hold on, please.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

okay, thank you. Will they respond to me today?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

hello?


 

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
My apologies, I opened the question to other experts--it does not appear as anyone has assisted you as yet. While I can answer your question, as I stated I do not really see a basis here so I am assuming you are waiting for someone else to help. The lack of assistance may be based on the fact that other professionals share my evaluation that there is really no basis here to file for, but that is just speculation on my end.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Can you explain then, why they wanted me to sign liability waivers after I returned early, that are supposed to be signed prior to departure abroad?


Is this legal?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up.

Sure, I would be happy to explain what options may exist. First of all, it is wise that you did not sign the waivers. It may well be that since they picked the school, there is a very outside shot that they can be deemed liable for not assuring your safety. But the downside here is the fact that they cannot formally provide such assurances beyond their doors--if you chose to travel elsewhere, the risk of travel and the risk of medical insurance is yours to bear.

I do see one potentially unconventional argument here. Provided that the school was giving you full credit for your study abroad, you could claim that you were still a member of your current school. This is important because most schools require medical insurance as part of your attendance and matriculation. This insurance is either provided by the school or via your parents or spouse. If your school had this requirement, and you never took leave from the school, youc an then argue that the school insurance (If you had any) would be responsible for the costs and expenses that you incurred.

You also brought up another issue that I need to address pertaining to your inability to make contact with other schools. This may be actionable if the school was unable to accommodate and find an another school to take you in. If that took place, however, and they gave you full credit for studying abroad, then it is a non issue also.

Hope that helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Based on your reply, I am not sure if you completely understand the scenario that took place. I had to go to a non-sister school that was not affiliated with the university due to the fact they could not get a hold of any of their "established sister schools".


 


Do you know of a way to find an attorney that specializes in study abroad personal injuries? I've tried researching to no avail. If not do you know what my next best bet is? Most PI attnys in my city deal with car accidents or on the job injuries.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Megan,

For 'out of country' personal injuries, that is based on the law of the country where the injury took place. This isn't a study abroad law (as nothing like that exists), it is a Chinese law personal injury claim. That means you would need to retain a Chinese attorney and sue based on local law, not on US law. Consider browsing www.martindale.com as it does have international listings. A local US attorney would not be able to assist. A US attorney could assist with a potential argument for breach of contract and breach of duty, but that is separate as that is a contractual claim and not a personal injury claim. There you could possibly look at www.avvo.com for local counsel who specialize in contract, administrative, and education law.

Good luck.

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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq.
Attorney at Law
16647 Satisfied Customers
Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.