What to Look For When Hiring an Injury Lawyer for a Cross-Border Injury Claim
If you are injured in an accident across the border, you may be looking for the assistance of a cross-border injury lawyer to help with your cross-border claim. As with any case, finding a good fit can be pivotal to getting you favourable results.
There are a few things you can look for when hiring an injury lawyer for a cross-border injury claim. For a more detailed discussion, and insights tailored to your particular circumstances, contact us today to book an initial consultation with our team of cross-border injury lawyers.
How is a Cross-Border Injury Claim Different from a Domestic Claim?
If you are injured in an accident caused by somebody else’s negligent action or inaction, you may be eligible for financial compensation. This money may offset the costs of medical bills, lost income, and more. If you are a resident of British Columbia and are injured in a car accident, you likely have coverage under ICBC, and would file a claim with them. If you are injured across the border in Washington State, however, the process is a little more complicated.
Because a cross-border injury claim deals with two different jurisdictions with their own sets of laws, you first file a claim in the place where the accident occurred. For example, a driver not at fault for an accident in Washington State may file a tort claim in Washington, to pursue compensation for damages they have incurred because of the collision. While there is no cap on damages in Washington, most drivers only carry basic insurance, which covers up to $25,000. This means that the maximum an injured accident survivor may receive in some cases is $25,000.
Fortunately for BC residents, Underinsured Motorist Protection Claims through ICBC are designed to reconcile the difference between the at-fault driver’s available insurance and the cost of your damages, up to $1 million. This means that in a cross-border injury claim, you may first file a Washington State claim, and then seek to cover the difference in BC.
There are many moving pieces within this process, which a cross-border injury lawyer may be able to help you navigate. Contact our team at Border Solutions Law Group today to discuss your options.
What a Cross-Border Injury Lawyer Should Know
In addition to understanding how the law works regarding personal injury within each jurisdiction, a cross-border injury lawyer should understand how to navigate differences in the way legal costs are handled.
In Washington, costs and disbursements (legal and out-of-pocket expenses incurred over the course of a lawsuit) are not recoverable. This means that it may be in your best interests to keep costs lower while in Washington, and then spend money to work up a file when back in BC, where you may be reimbursed through a successful claim.
There are nuances to what expenses incurred in Washington may be covered by ICBC as part of your settlement. A cross-border injury lawyer should be able to explain what may arise in your particular case, and suggest strategies for keeping your costs low.
Questions to Ask Your Cross-Border Injury Lawyer
When choosing an injury lawyer for a cross-border injury claim, it is important that you understand how they may be able to best serve your needs. Here are some questions you may wish to ask during your free initial consultation:
- Are you licensed to practice law in both jurisdictions relevant to my case?
- Have you handled cases like mine before?
- How long does a case like mine usually take?
- How many cases are you handling right now, and how much time could you devote to mine?
- Can you connect me with references from past clients?
- What is your fee structure, and how much does it cost?
Trust your instincts, and ask follow-up questions if there is anything you do not understand. Remember, a cross-border injury lawyer should be there to support you through the unique needs of your particular claim, and help you understand your rights every step of the way.
Contact Border Solutions Law Group for a Free Initial Consultation
At Border Solutions Law Group, we are dedicated to providing timely, tailored service to our clients. Licensed to practice in both Washington State and BC, we may be able to steward your case from beginning to end. For detailed information, and to learn what we may be able to do for you, contact us to set up your free initial consultation today.