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.

Chronic pain typically reduces flexibility, mobility, endurance and strength. When this condition continues for years, it can reduce the victim's quality of life. Even daily activities and tasks become challenges, and many Canadian chronic pain patients are unable to return to work and earn an income.

Chronic pain has physical, mental and financial consequences for the victims and their families. Along with the ongoing medical costs, the pain could undermine the person's ability to continue functioning in workplaces, schools, sports and relationships. Although the victim might have grounds to pursue a claim for damage recovery, putting monetary values to the suffering caused by chronic pain is complicated, and even more complex if the injury happened south of the border. An experienced British Columbia cross-border personal injury lawyer would likely be the best person to document current and future losses and handle ensuing legal proceedings.

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