People in the U.S. rely heavily on the civil court system to receive compensation for harms they have unfairly suffered. This is in contrast to many countries where wrongly injured people are left without legal recourse. The situational difference leaves many foreign tourists unaware or misinformed about their rights to compensation.
One recent tourist accident at 30 Rock shows how cultural differences can lead to confusion and anger.
A family from Dubai was in NYC on a four-day trip, trying to see as many sights as possible during their short trip. In a freak accident, the family was hit by burning embers that fell from a NBC camera mounted 70 stories above.
The camera experienced an electrical malfunction and burst into flames, causing the debris to fall to the walkway 750 feet below.
A 3-year-old boy was taken to the New York Presbyterian for burn injuries. Afterward, his parents felt confused and angered about the electrical fire accident. The father was upset that NBC did not send a representative with them to the hospital to help them deal with their unfamiliar situation.
In his native Dubai, this may be the obvious custom to follow. Because his family was rushed to a hospital with no further assistance, they feel they were passed off with no genuine regard for the health of their toddler.
If the boy’s injuries prove serious, the Dubai family may not even be aware that they can sue NBC – it does not matter that they were tourists or that they are no longer in New York.
The accident reveals that cultural differences can increase confusion for tourists after they have suffered injuries.
Source: Wall Street Journal, “Tourists Injured In Electrical Fire At 30 Rock,” Tom Wilson, July 14, 2014