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Cross-Border Bicycle Accidents: What To Do After Being Injured

When you are injured in a bicycle accident, the consequences can be even more severe than in a car accident. If you are not in a motor vehicle yourself at the time of an accident, having your treatment, care, and expenses covered can become complex. This is especially true if your injury occurred across the border.

Our Vancouver cross-border personal injury lawyers can help you seek coverage for expenses incurred due to a cross-border bicycle accident. Because our team is dual-licensed in both British Columbia and Washington State, we can help you understand how your insurance coverage applies on both sides of the border. For tailored legal advice about what may be possible for you, schedule your free initial consultation with our team today.

How Bicycle Accidents Compare to Car Accidents

In British Columbia and Washington State, there are similarities and differences between how bicycle accidents and car accidents are treated.

In both jurisdictions, the rules of the road apply to bicycle operators in the same way as to drivers. If an injured bicycle rider can prove that an at-fault party did not adhere to their duty of care on the road (stopping at a red light, for example), they can claim negligence on the part of the at-fault party. This may allow injured riders to pursue compensation through a cross-border injury claim if their accident occurred in another jurisdiction or with a resident from another jurisdiction.

A difference between bicycle accidents and car accidents is how insurance coverage applies. In British Columbia, claimants injured in bicycle accidents are not entitled to first-party coverage through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Although Enhanced Care is universal, ICBC benefits are only available to those who were operating a motor vehicle at the time of their accident. As a result, you may be without coverage for treatment if you do not have private extended insurance through an employer, family, or other means. In Washington State, insurance is privately managed. Whether your bicycle accident is eligible for coverage will depend on your specific policy.

Steps to Take After Being Injured in a Cross-Border Bicycle Accident

When you are injured in a cross-border bicycle accident, you may take these steps to help make sure your injuries and treatment are dealt with appropriately:

Find out the insurance information of the driver who hit you. If you are physically able to do so, record this information at the scene of the accident while the at-fault party is present. If you are not able to communicate with the other party immediately after the accident occurs, contact our lawyers for help gathering their insurance information.

Report your accident to ICBC or your own insurance provider. If you are located in British Columbia, ICBC benefits do not normally cover bicycle accidents. However, there is no harm in keeping a record of your incident on file with an insurance provider. If you are from Washington State, your accident must be reported to your insurance provider, and coverage will apply depending on your policy.

See a doctor for a diagnosis or treatment plan immediately. If you were not transported to a hospital or care provider directly after the accident, you should see a doctor for your injuries at your earliest convenience. In Canada, this may be a family doctor. In the United States, it may be a primary care physician. If you require treatment, it is better to receive it sooner rather than later. In addition, there will be a record of injuries you sustained as a result of your accident if you wish to pursue an injury claim.

If you have extended health benefits, use them for treatment. If you are a resident of British Columbia, it is likely that ICBC will not honour coverage in the event of a bicycle accident. Understanding the minimums for other insurance policies you hold can be important if you require coverage for treatment following your bicycle accident. This will also be the case if you reside in Washington State.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me if I Have Been Injured in a Cross-Border Bicycle Accident?

If you are injured in a cross-border bicycle accident, you should contact a lawyer to assist with your case. Because bicycle accidents are treated differently from car accidents by insurance providers, it may be more difficult to have your treatment covered. If you require financial assistance, a lawyer can exhaust all possible avenues for coverage while your injuries are treated. This may include finding treatment providers to assist with your injuries that work on a lien if your own insurance cannot cover you.

When dealing with a bicycle accident that occurred across the border, it can be extremely helpful to work with a dual-licensed lawyer who practices in both relevant jurisdictions. This will save you the cost and effort of employing two separate firms. It will also ensure that you work with a lawyer who is well-versed in insurance policies on both sides of the border. Our personal injury lawyers at Border Solutions Law Group are dual-licensed in British Columbia and Washington State and are available to help with any questions you may have about your cross-border bicycle accident. Contact our team today for your free initial consultation.

Contact Our Cross-Border Personal Injury Lawyers Today

 Bicycle accidents can be life-altering, but your insurance coverage should not get in the way of your recovery. With the assistance of a cross-border injury lawyer, you can ascertain how injuries from your bicycle accident might be covered and what compensations you may be entitled to. To learn more about your possible options, schedule a free initial consultation with our team at Border Solutions Law Group today.

Disclaimer: For specific legal advice on your cross-border personal injury matter, please consult with a personal injury lawyer. The content in this article is not intended to act as legal advice and is instead intended to act as a general overview of a legal topic.