Getting hurt is bad enough, but what happens when you don’t speak English fluently? It can be hard to show exactly what hurts when you have to wait for a translator, and you could even have what you say misunderstood.
That’s part of the problem for victims of injuries who speak Spanish in America. While English is typically spoken everywhere, not everyone in Miami can speak both English and Spanish. The good news is that there are many bilingual people who work at hospitals and with the authorities, so even if you can’t make yourself understood with the person who caused your accident, you can call 911 and be connected to those who can help you in your language.
Dealing with a personal injury in Spanish requires specialized assistance
If you need to make a claim for an injury, you may not be able to submit it in Spanish. Needing that kind of medical terminology and information translated to you and to an insurance agent requires specialized help. If you decide to work with an attorney, it’s important to find someone who is bilingual and able to communicate easily with you. You want them to understand what you’ve been through and to be able to fully express the extent of your injuries to insurance agents and the courts, where English may be the primary language.
What should you do if you’re hurt and the other parties don’t speak Spanish?
If you can, ask a witness who is bilingual to assist. If there is no one around you who can translate, use your phone to call 911 and ask for an operator who speaks Spanish. When you have someone on the line who can understand you, let them know that you need help for an accident and that you are not fluent in English. They should be able to inform the police and have someone who is bilingual sent out to the scene to help. That way, there will be no confusion about the things you say or do.
Next, make sure you go to the hospital. Since you let 911 know that you speak Spanish, the emergency medical team may have a Spanish-speaking provider on board. If not, they have access to translation software that can help you communicate your injuries clearly.
It is not always easy for people who don’t speak English to get through a personal injury or car crash case, but with help, it’s possible.