Vancouver Immigration And Cross-Border Injury Law Blog

How to deal with cross-border personal injury

Anyone in British Columbia who gets into a vehicle is at risk of being an accident victim. The consequences can affect people in various ways, and if it involves cross-border personal injury, it might be a good idea to seek legal counsel. Each car accident is unique, and so are the resulting injuries. Thus, the road to recovery for each crash victim is different.

The range of potential car accident injuries is endless. However, some injuries are more common than others. They include whiplash, fractures, soft tissue injuries, concussions and spinal injuries, and any one of these could have mental health effects in the aftermath of a crash.

US immigration: Canadians exempted from entry suspensions

With current travel restrictions between Canada and the United States, people in British Columbia and other provinces might be unsure about the latest regulations. An executive order was issued that prohibits entry to the United States of nonimmigrants through the end of this year. U.S. immigration laws and regulations are changing rapidly, and when news about the suspensions was published, questions were asked about how it will affect border crossings by Canadians travelling to the United States. 

The primary concern was for the impact this order would have on the established economic relationship between the two countries. A North Country congresswomen noted that the negative impact would be critical. Fortunately, the United States later clarified the order, announcing exemptions for Canadians.

Cross-border personal injury risks for commercial truck drivers

Since travel between Canada and the United States was limited in late March to essential border crossings, commercial vehicle traffic is picking up again. Reportedly, big rig traffic from the border into British Columbia and other Canadian provinces dropped by about 22% to almost 86,000 trucks in the last week of May, compared to the same period in 2019. As commercial traffic picks up again, cross-border personal injury risks will also increase.

A significant increase since Memorial Day weekend might indicate the slow return to previous numbers of big rigs crossing the border. However, authorities expect the trucking industry to remain challenged for an extended period. The situation creates more dangers because many truckers face financial challenges due to the limited opportunities during these times.

Canada shows appreciation for healthcare workers seeking asylum

The healthcare community has been under immense stress in recent months - in Canada and globally. Doctors, nurses, caregivers and orderlies are risking their lives caring for patients as we face a global health crisis, the likes of which we've never before seen.

In Canada, many of the orderlies and caregivers who care for our most vulnerable members of the community are asylum seekers. They gained entry to Canada because their lives were at risk in their home country. Now they are waiting - and hoping - to be able to stay here.

US immigration: Family members can cross the border to reunite

The temporary closing of the border between Canada and the United States will continue for some time. Although U. S. immigration continues the total travel ban for unnecessary travelling across the border, the Canadian government announced the loosening of the border crossing ban. Families in British Columbia and other provinces who had loved ones trapped on the other side of the border will be allowed to reunite.

The border closure came into effect in March, at which time many family members of Canadians who were in the United States at that time could not return home. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on June 8. Any immediate family members of permanent residents or Canadian citizens trapped in the United States can cross the border to reunite with their families. This means that spouses and children who were separated can come back to Canada.

US Immigration: Boaters -- beware not to cross Canada-US border

Recreational boaters might be unaware of the consequences of crossing into the waters of the United States. With all border crossings prohibited right now, boaters could face hefty fines if they crossed the water boundaries that form the border between Canada and the United States. Boat owners in British Columbia would be wise to be familiar with U.S. immigration laws related to crossing the water borderline.

The temporary ban on all optional or discretionary travel between Canada and the United States that was ordered on March 21 will be in place until June 21. This warning comes as a reminder for boaters who want to make the most of the warmer weather. Recreational boating is considered nonessential travel, which is currently prohibited. This includes touring, pleasure fishing and sightseeing trips on inland or coastal waters.

Cross-border personal injury: Are cannabis users better drivers?

A 2018 study showed that more than 50% of respondents nationwide, including British Columbia, admitted to driving vehicles while under the influence of cannabis. Moreover, most believed that, after using cannabis, their driving skills are better than that of sober, non-cannabis users. Recovering damages could be complicated when a cannabis-impaired driver causes a cross-border personal injury.

The Canadian Automobile Association says cannabis users believe they are safer drivers because the substance makes them more relaxed. Safety authorities say cannabis use can impair a driver's perception of time, distance and speed. Furthermore, it affects concentration ability and significantly slows down reaction times. Quick reactions are required when other drivers unexpectedly change lanes or a pedestrian steps into the roadway.

Road safety crucial to avoid cross-border personal injury

Of all the motorists that travel across the border between British Columbia and Washington state, a significant percentage are workers that travel as part of their jobs. These include professional drivers in large commercial trucks, courier vans or taxis. Sales representatives travel to and from clients, and construction company owners or employees travel between construction sites. They all face the risks of cross-border personal injury.

For all these workers, road safety is crucial, for themselves and those motorists who share the roads with them. Employers are responsible for the safety of their workers, and that responsibility includes making sure the vehicles the workers use are subject to regular maintenance to ensure they are in good working order. Reportedly, more than one-third of work-related deaths involve auto accidents.

Cross-border personal injury: Living with chronic pain

Millions of people in British Columbia and other provinces live with some level of chronic pain. Reportedly, 66% of Canadians live with moderate, severe or chronic pain. Car accidents often give rise to long-term pain, and when this happens during a trip south of the border, recovering damages could be complicated. Cross-border personal injury claims need an understanding of the applicable laws and insurance regulations of both countries.

Chronic pain results from pulled muscles, back sprains and other injuries in which nerve damage occurrs. A reaction to sudden pain indicates an injury after the nerve signals reach the brain via the spinal cord. While many painful conditions heal over time, chronic pain occurs when the nerves continue to send pain signals to the brain, even after the injury heals. Some victims suffer from this type of pain for weeks or years, with no injury to be treated to relieve the pain.

Living with a spinal cord injury could pose many challenges

Spinal cord injuries can affect the lives of victims in different ways, depending on the location and severity of the damage. Car accidents are often the cause of these injuries, and if the negligence of one or more drivers caused the crash, victims might have grounds to pursue damage recovery. However, if the victim is from British Columbia and was travelling in Washington state, the resulting cross-border personal injury claims could be a confusing mix of legal and insurance concerns.

Spinal cord injuries affect each victim in unique ways, and ensuing legal proceedings will be complicated because they may involve the laws of both countries. Depending on the location of the injury, some victims might learn to live with and adjust to the consequences of the injuries. Still, others might be unable to return to work and live independently. Some aspects of their lives could be permanently changed, such as working, driving, playing sports and even maintaining relationships with family and friends.

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