Vancouver Immigration And Cross-Border Injury Law Blog

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.

Cross-border personal injury could happen without warning

Travelling between British Columbia and destinations south of the border is restricted right now, and this might continue for a while longer. Travelling from Vancouver to any destination runs the risk of ending in an accident. When this happens in Seattle or another place south of the border, recovering damages for cross-border personal injury could prove to be challenging.

A recent accident claimed the life of a woman when an SUV from the local county sheriff's office rear-ended the vehicle in which she was a passenger. The report does not include information about the victim's place of residence. However, if she was from Vancouver, her surviving family members will have the daunting task of dealing with insurance and laws of both jurisdictions on opposite sides of the border.

Cross-border personal injury risks as winter approaches

Drivers in British Columbia will soon have to deal with early morning frost on their vehicles' windshields. Those whose vehicles are kept in garages overnight are fortunate not to have to scrape and brush their windshields. However, many drivers will take to the roads with only a small opening through which to see. Those are the drivers who could cause accidents with injuries and deaths, and when this happens south of the border, complicated cross-border personal injury claims might follow.

According to the Motor Vehicle Act, drivers must ensure no frost is present to obstruct their views to the sides and the front. Furthermore, if they drive off before the rear window is clear of ice, their rear-view mirrors will be of no use. However, despite fines and penalty point risks, many drivers put other motorists and pedestrians at risk because they do not want to wait until the windows are clear of frost.

Navigating the complexity of a cross-border car accident

Travel between Seattle and Vancouver is common. Many American and Canadian residents cross the border regularly for work and travel. If you’re spending a considerable amount of time outside of your home country, the chances of being involved in a traffic accident abroad are naturally higher.

If you’re in a crash while across the border, you may be concerned about the legal process for seeking damages. Do you need to file a claim in the U.S., Canada or both? Do you need to remain in the country until the issue is resolved?

Distractions could cause cross-border personal injuries

Even with fewer vehicles crossing the border between Canada and the United States, motorists are at risk of being victims of road accidents. Safety authorities say distractions remain the cause of a significant number of crashes. When a British Columbia resident suffers a cross-border personal injury, pursuing damage recovery can be complicated.

Reportedly, one in four fatal crashes across most of Canada involve distractions. Fatal crashes caused by distractions now exceed the number of alcohol-related fatalities in some Canadian jurisdictions. Data from one provincial police department suggests a distracted driving accident occurs every 30 minutes. Few drivers believe that a few seconds of distraction to read a cellphone message could be fatal, but that is the sad truth.

Living with spinal cord damage after cross-border personal injury

British Columbia residents who cross the southern border will always be at risk of being involved in auto accidents. Some cross-border personal injury victims have to endure many difficulties if they suffered catastrophic injuries. For example, anyone whose injuries include damage to the spinal cord could be left with some level of paralysis.

Severed or crushed spinal cords are life-changing injuries, and after extended hospitalization, there are usually long rehabilitation periods. Spinal cord damage in the neck area can cause quadriplegia, and damage lower down the spinal cord typically causes paraplegia. The outcome also depends on whether it is a complete or incomplete injury.

US immigration: Drastic increase in citizenship applications

British Columbia residents who were planning applications for naturalization or citizenship in the United States may want to reconsider. U.S. immigration announced massive increases in the fees charged for such applications. Reportedly, this was another step in limiting low-income foreign applications for legal immigration to the U.S.

Along with the new immigration fees, asylum seekers will have to pay a fee. In the future, the Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal will no longer be free. A fee of $50 must accompany such applications. This makes the United States the fourth country in the world not to offer free humanitarian protection.

Cross-border personal injury and insurance coverage

Most British Columbia motorists buy insurance through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. However, when they are involved in accidents, they often have many questions. When accidents happen while they are travelling south of the border, things become even more complicated. Cross-border personal injury claims involve the laws and insurance regulations of both countries.

Matters can be significantly more complicated when the other driver is uninsured. If the at-fault person is uninsured, and the other driver has insurance, he or she will have coverage for vehicle damage. This also applies if the at-fault driver is unidentified. Hit-and-run accident victims with ICBC collision coverage will be covered, and the deductible would be waived.

Canada deems U.S. to be unsafe country for asylum seekers

All people deserve to live a safe life - free from the threat of violence or persecution. This is one of the founding principles of international human rights law. Canada has a longstanding history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers. However, one piece of legislation has raised concern among refugee advocacy groups.

The Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) is an agreement between the U.S. and Canada, signed in 2002. The agreement states that if a refugee enters Canada to seek asylum, but has already travelled through another 'safe' country - i.e., the United States - then they are ineligible from seeking asylum in Canada. In such cases, the refugee must be returned to the U.S.

Cross-border personal injury risks for commercial truck drivers

Although traveling across the border between British Columbia and and the United States is limited during the lockdown, commercial truck drivers continue to risk their lives as they haul merchandise and other loads between the two countries. Employers must protect workers from occupational hazards, including those who drive for the company. When drivers suffer cross-border personal injury while on duty, recovering damages could be complicated.

Safety authorities report that the primary cause of work-related deaths in British Columbia is vehicle accidents. Furthermore, statistics show that almost 20 lives are lost in work-related road accidents each year, and more than 1,300 injuries and lost work time are reported annually. The average lost workdays for all British Columbia work-related injuries is 55 days, except for crash-related injuries, which was 84 days on average in 2018.

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