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Australian tourist stuck in Thai hospital after head-on collision, owing $56,000 in medical bills


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Australian tourist stuck in Thai hospital after head-on collision, owing $56,000 in medical bills

By Marion Ives

 

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PHOTO: Dawn Weldon's friend Donna Saalfeld flew to Thailand to assist her return to Australia. (Supplied: Weldon family)

 

Family and friends are reaching out for help to bring home an Australian woman who remains in a Thai hospital 10 days after a motorcycle accident that left her fighting for life and struggling to pay thousands of dollars in medical bills.

 

Australian tourist Dawn Weldon was riding a moped with her 14-year-old son on January 15, when she collided head-on with a truck in the Thai resort district of Ko Lanta.

 

The 53-year-old nurse from Valla on the New South Wales Mid North Coast suffered a brain injury, a fractured skull and broke 15 separate bones, but the severe injuries were only the beginning of her ordeal.

 

Full story: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-27/injured-australian-woman-dawn-weldon--stuck-in-thai-hospital/8218036

 

ABC 2017-01-28

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5 minutes ago, JohnMiller70 said:

Where was her insurance?  A nurse with her son driving a motorcycle in another country. Surely she thought of the insurance before traveling. Or not? Not very responsible for a nurse. And can't her friends and family manage to gather 60k???? 

If you would have read the whole story, you would know that she had insurance but it did not cover her for driving a moped.  So her only mistake was to rent a moped without reading the fine print on her travel insurance policy

 

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6 minutes ago, JohnMiller70 said:

Where was her insurance?  A nurse with her son driving a motorcycle in another country. Surely she thought of the insurance before traveling. Or not? Not very responsible for a nurse. And can't her friends and family manage to gather 60k???? 

Gofundme another customer. Yes your right insurance is the last thing they think of if at all. 

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5 minutes ago, JohnMiller70 said:

Where was her insurance?  A nurse with her son driving a motorcycle in another country. Surely she thought of the insurance before traveling. Or not? Not very responsible for a nurse. And can't her friends and family manage to gather 60k???? 

I think that even if one has travel/medical insurance, some companies will not pay out on motorcycle accidents. Probably needs to be stated to the company that one will be riding motorcycles when taking out the policy, it would then be reflected in the premium. Maybe skiing etc is the same?

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5 minutes ago, JohnMiller70 said:

Where was her insurance?  A nurse with her son driving a motorcycle in another country. Surely she thought of the insurance before traveling. Or not? Not very responsible for a nurse. And can't her friends and family manage to gather 60k???? 

Riding a motorcycle Is generally not covered by travel Insurance , classified as a hazardous activity.

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Just now, BarnicaleBob said:

If you would have read the whole story, you would know that she had insurance but it did not cover her for driving a moped.  So her only mistake was to rent a moped without reading the fine print on her travel insurance policy

 

Methinks they should make the fine print a little bigger and especially "not cover when riding a motorbike part" It is such a big feature that insurance sellers should really take a sec and point this out to prospective policy buyers and travelers.

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2 minutes ago, BarnicaleBob said:

If you would have read the whole story, you would know that she had insurance but it did not cover her for driving a moped.  So her only mistake was to rent a moped without reading the fine print on her travel insurance policy

 

Indeed. Corrected

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1 minute ago, F4UCorsair said:

classified as a hazardous activity.

Really and it should come to the attention of any intelligent person that it is really is. You might be a safe driver but here spin the cylinder pull the trigger. 

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How sad how the insurance companies deprives a person who is insured. And strongly agree that the first thing they should clearly state are the things which are not covered in bold and big fonts. 

Mikkions if people buys insurance and hardly few clams and then the insurance companies are always trying to find tricks to avoid payments upon genuine claims , it's sad.

hooe the victims friends and family could raise the money and mostly she gets well. 

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27 minutes ago, JohnMiller70 said:

2 Lessons to be learned: read the small print of your insurance and try to avoid riding motorcycles. And can't her friends and family manage all together to gather 60k???? 

Don't forget, drive on the correct side of the road. Not much sympathy for this case I'm afraid.

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Her Gofundme campaign has raised over A $50,000 as of this moment, so it looks like she'll be okay after some negotiation with the hospital. I sympathize with her in this case. My guess is that most people who post on Thaivisa know several foreigners who ride / have ridden motorbikes in Thailand without a license, or done so themselves, while having insurance. I've also seen some exceptionally reckless driving among locals on Ko Lanta, which is obviously saying something in the context of Thailand in general. 

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The insurance companies WANT YOU TO SCREW UP.....That's why the small print is small print. If you don't read it, which they pray you don't, then it relieves them of any responsibility for payment. Your policy is negated. The End.

 

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19 minutes ago, BlindMagician said:

Don't forget, drive on the correct side of the road. Not much sympathy for this case I'm afraid.

Your compassion is noted and obviously you have never, ever, put yourself in a situation that can lead to the unexpected.

 

I come from near where she lives in Australia and have been impressed with the support of the local media and the community who are are rallying to support her.

 

We can only wish her a speedy recovery

 

 

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43 minutes ago, BarnicaleBob said:

If you would have read the whole story, you would know that she had insurance but it did not cover her for driving a moped.  So her only mistake was to rent a moped without reading the fine print on her travel insurance policy

 

That`s the equivalent of driving any vehicle without a license, have an accident and then expect the insurance company will pay. 

 

This is totally irresponsible on behalf of woman and quote Oliver Hardy on this one; this is another fine mess I`ve got myself into.

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We have out of control on a motorcycle

 

- a fifty year old woman who has possibly not even ridden a bicycle in years

 

- her teenage son on the back, making it even more difficult to conrol the vehicle

 

- no licence in Australia, and certainly illegal in Thailand

 

- riding on the notoriously hazardous roads of Samui

 

And still people are saying the insurance company should pay up?????

 

I guess they all want to pay even higher premiums to pay for this behaviour?

 

But the suggestion above is good.

 

All motorcycle hire places should prominently display in Englaish and Chinese (bright red, two feet high).

 

Bike hire does not include any insurance. Check your insurance policy.

 

I doubt if any Thai company will offer insurance to cover unlicenced inexperienced tourists. They are not that stupid.

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2 minutes ago, Generalchaos said:

What is the law regarding moped licenses in Australia? Is it different to the UK? Depending on your age you can automatically and legally use your car licence for motorcycles under a certain CC. 

50 cc

 

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37 minutes ago, zorro1 said:

Punters come to Thailand thinking if they can ride a bicycle then a scooter is the same

Yeh and who needs a license.  Oh, wait a minute, aren't they really strict about this stuff in Australia?

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5 minutes ago, Sparkles said:

I come from near where she lives in Australia and have been impressed with the support of the local media and the community who are are rallying to support her.

Yep, she looks like making a profit.

 

So far crowd funding  has reached $50,403 of $100k goal

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3 minutes ago, Sparkles said:

Your compassion is noted and obviously you have never, ever, put yourself in a situation that can lead to the unexpected.

 

I come from near where she lives in Australia and have been impressed with the support of the local media and the community who are are rallying to support her.

 

We can only wish her a speedy recovery

 

 

Unexpected?

 

The travel insurance stated she was not covered. So what is unexpected about that?

 

Driving on the wrong side of the road, and faces oncoming traffic head on. What is unexpected about that?

 

Choosing to use that mode if transport in a country that has the second highest road death rate, worse only in a war torn nation. It's easy to check this kind of state before planning your transport. So what's unexpected about that?

 

How much does it take before the injured are expected to take responsibility for their injuries, and not expect the readership to be sympathetic? A tourist ran off a cliff and broke both his legs...Sympathy? Bob was freely playing Russian roulette and blew his brains out...Sympathy? A tourist has no insurance for driving a motorbike, hires a motorbike in a country that has the 2nd highest rate of road deaths, goes onto the wrong side of the road and.....Sympathy?

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This would be so easy to remedy if the government mandated compulsory insurance for all riders and negotiated with a major carrier to provide the policy. The bikes companies would have to collect the fees and remit weekly through 7-11. No insurance. No motorbike rental.

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Gee, that's the first indigent farang I've read about in at least 12 hours.  Notice the article is very critical of the hospital that likely performed neurosurgery on her and saved her life for 56,000 AUD.  But 36,000 to simply fly her home is reasonable.  Those Allianz policies are cheap, and her being a nurse...well...Notice the guy in her pre crash photo has a couple of nice gold chains...might be a good place to start.  They could hire her as a foreign nurse to pay off her bill.  17,000 per month, might be able to save 5K per month, if they only charge her 3.75% interest on 1.5 million she would be able to pay it off in a little over 200 years.  Aren't "Debtor's Prison" and "Indentured Servant" terms familiar to the Aussies?  Oh, and thank god the Australian Consulate is providing "consular services."  Doesn't that usually consist of some vitamins and a tooth brush?  

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$56,000?  Sounds a lot, 56,000 baht or maybe $16,000 but $56,000???  This is Thailand not America!

 

Hope she makes a full recovery. I thought she would at least be covered for THb c30,000 as part of the motorbike tax that is paid by the rental company and available for hospital expenses. I have used that myself and wasn't asked for my driving license but I was wearing a helmet.

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