Vancouver Immigration And Cross-Border Injury Law Blog

US immigration extended border closure once again

With the possibility of border closures and travel restrictions changing at any time, British Columbia residents may be unsure of their rights to travel. U.S. immigration laws have specific entry requirements. In turn, Canadian officials discourage travelling across international borders. Thus, before planning a trip to the United States, British Columbia residents are advised to check whether their circumstances, the reason for travelling and itinerary are valid, and justify entry into the U.S.

Recent reports indicated that Canadian travellers who meet specific requirements would be able to enter if they travel from Canada to a U.S. destination by air. Conditions may include quarantine or self-isolation upon arriving in the U.S., depending on which state they visit. Furthermore, authorities in the destination state may impose additional or changed requirements without notice, which could disrupt the travel plans. The authorities of the state they visit may require documented serological tests, PCR tests and health certificates.

US immigration allows Canadian snowbird to enter by air

Canadians in British Columbia and other provinces and territories have found a loophole that allows them to continue their familiar ways to swap the cold winters in Canada for warmer conditions in the United States. Both Canada and U.S. immigration laws prevent non-essential land border crossings in both directions. However, flying from Canada to destinations in the U.S. is allowed. This is not a reciprocal arrangement, and U.S. residents may not enter Canada by road or air.

Snowbirds who thought they would have to bear the brunt of this year's winter learned that there is a way to escape it. A company that offers charter flights in small aircraft provides a service that gets Canadians to the U.S. sunbelt. They fly their clients to airports in the United States. However, that is not the limit of the service they offer. The company also transports their clients' vehicles to meet them at the airports upon their arrival.

Winter tires could prevent cross-border personal injury claims

According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, 65% of drivers nationwide, including British Columbia, fit their vehicles with winter tires. They do this regardless of whether they drive in areas with or without snow. A survey showed that more and more drivers realize that winter tires' tread patterns allow better control while driving and reduce crash risks. It might even prevent accidents that could lead to cross-border personal injury claims.

The survey also showed an increase in winter tires use in all provinces and territories, except Quebec, where fitting winter tires are not optional but compulsory under law. Of all the survey participants who use winter tires, 81% indicated that their tires saved them when they faced a loss of control or collision threats. The Association believes this to be the reason for the increase in winter tire use.

Distractions can lead to cross-border personal injury claims

Road accident statistics show that one in four fatal car accidents in Canada involved driver distractions. While crashes in British Columbia could lead to complicated lawsuits and insurance claims, distracted driving accidents that happen during trips south of the border could prove to be even more challenging to navigate. Cross-border personal injury claims require knowledge and experience in dealing with both countries' laws and insurance providers.

Driving a motor vehicle requires the driver to divide his or her attention among visual and auditory activities as well as manual and cognitive tasks. Drivers must scan the road ahead and behind and look out for potential risks entering from either side. Road signs, brake lights of vehicles ahead and a host of other environmental cues must be noticed and processed to determine danger, and drivers must then take the necessary manual actions to avoid accidents.

Cross-border personal injury caused by car accidents

According to research, automobile crashes cause most of the accidental deaths in British Columbia across all age groups. Along with the emotional trauma suffered by surviving family members and injured crash victims comes significant unanticipated financial consequences. This could be more complicated if it involves cross-border personal injury.

Looking at specific statistics shows why drivers need to take more care. Accidents across British Columbia involving vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists occur at an approximate rate of 175 per day. Furthermore, these accidents result in an average of one fatality and 10 hospitalizations for severe injuries each day. Primary contributing factors of accidents include speeding, distractions and impairment.

Cross-border personal injury: Living with spinal cord damage

Spinal cord injuries could be catastrophic, and navigating insurance and legal proceedings if another party's negligence caused it could exacerbate the trauma. Suppose the victim is a Vancouver resident who travelled to Seattle, where a negligent driver caused a crash. Under such circumstances, any subsequent efforts to seek financial relief for cross-border personal injury would involve the laws of British Columbia and the United States.

US Immigration: Travel outside Canada not encouraged

Officials in British Columbia and other provinces continue to advise Canadians to avoid nonessential travel south of the border. Most countries have restrictions on travel in place due to the ongoing pandemic. The travel advisories include trips by road and air, and even cruise ship travels. Although U.S. immigration authorities have extended the border closure, they do allow essential trips between Canada and the United States.

Before travelling to destinations in the United States, Vancouver residents should know that sudden changes to travel restrictions could occur at any time. If international travel options are suddenly reduced, any Canadians in the United States might find returning to Canada complicated. If that happens, those affected may have to remain south of the border for much longer than they anticipated.

Cross-border personal injury risks higher in winter months

British Columbia residents in Vancouver are not used to extreme weather conditions. Snowfalls occur only on an average of 10 days per year and seldom more than 1 cm deep. In contrast, Vancouver is the foggiest, wettest city in Canada. Although it rains throughout the year, during the winter, it could rain incessantly. Driving and maintaining control of a vehicle could be challenging, and drivers who venture south of the border risk cross-border personal injury.

Because snowfalls are scarce, drivers may be unprepared, but rainy conditions could also be challenging and force drivers to adjust their driving to accommodate prevailing conditions. Staying off the roads during snowy, rainy days and taking only essential trips could be the best defence. When venturing out in inclement weather is unavoidable, it is crucial to be alert and focused.

Cross-border personal injury: Look out for drunk drivers

Studies have shown that people are not good at judging their own levels of impairment. The fact that they have consumed alcohol is enough reason not to drive a vehicle. Many British Columbia residents have been victims of accidents caused by drunk drivers. When such accidents occur while driving south of the border, recovering damages could be complicated.

There are many reasons for underestimating the level of impairment, one of which is the fact that the person feels less impaired after an hour or more has elapsed since the last drink. However, they are still not sober enough to drive. Other factors include not only the number of drinks consumed but also the size of each drink. Larger wine glass sizes or larger beer cans can add to the conception of the level of impairment.

Be alert to avoid cross-border personal injury claims

Motorists in Vancouver can assume that they will have to deal with others participating in high-risk driving whenever they take to the roads. Accidents happen anytime and anywhere, and they are typically traumatic, but when involved in a crash while travelling south of the border, everything becomes more complicated. Being alert for the driving errors of others can help avoid the complications of cross-border personal injury claims.

The best line of defence is looking out for drivers who show high-risk behaviour. Hot spots include intersections because many vehicles travel in different directions, while there may also be pedestrians to consider. Failing to yield is often the cause of intersection collisions. Another red flag is a driver ignoring road signs and traffic control measures. Tailgating is another high-risk behaviour for which to look out because following too closely can cause a rear-end crash in the blink of an eye.

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