Most people do not consider the possibility of being involved in car accidents as they travel around in British Columbia, knowing that their auto insurance is in place to take care of the financial consequences of such incidents. However, matters could become complicated when they suffer a cross-border personal injury while on a trip south of the border. Even a collision at a slow speed can cause serious injuries with long-term consequences.
The whiplash motion of the head and neck at the impact of a crash can cause traumatic brain injuries. Even without visible wounds, cuts or bruises, the jostling of the brain inside the skull can cause bruising, swelling or bleeding of the brain. That motion can also cause neck injuries such as muscle strain or even spinal disc injuries or cervical dislocation. Vertebrae and spinal discs in the lower back are often damaged in car accidents, and in severe cases, fractured vertebrae and damaged discs can cause injuries to the spinal cord. When these nerve cells can no longer carry signals to the brain and back to the rest of the body, loss of feeling or function can occur, and it might lead to paralysis.
Drivers and front-seat passengers often suffer facial injuries that could be caused by the dashboard, steering wheel, windshield, shattered glass, airbag and more. These injuries can range from bruises and scrapes to severe lacerations, fractures, jaw and dental damage. Internal injuries that are not identified promptly can be fatal. Rib fractures can puncture internal organs such as the lungs, and the kidneys, bowels, liver, spleen, heart and aorta can be damaged. Furthermore, the aftermath of accidents that caused catastrophic injuries or the deaths of loved ones can cause anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, emotional distress and other long or short-term psychological injuries.
Dealing with insurance companies and laws of two international jurisdictions can be overwhelming. This is when the skills of an experienced cross-border personal injury lawyer can be a valuable asset. Legal counsel can handle dealings with the British Columbia insurance providers and legal system while also dealing with the insurance and legalities across the border.