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Cross-border car accidents can have serious economic consequences

If you suffered severe injuries in a car accident that was not your fault, you might be struggling to cope with the financial consequences. It could be extremely complicated to recover your losses if this happened while you were across the border on a shopping trip, for a sports event or a visit. It might be a good idea to consult with an experienced British Columbia personal injury lawyer who can help you explore the various options for financial assistance.

Medical care does not come cheap, and you may have to make some up-front payments before receiving treatment. Mounting medical bills could become overwhelming, especially if you are in another country.

Medical services you might need

The nature of your injuries will determine which of the following professional medical treatments you will need:

  • Physiotherapy: Most accident victims need physiotherapy, even if just a few sessions.
  • Chiropractic treatments: Along with massage therapy, you might need chiropractic treatment.
  • Psychiatric services: If your accident was gruesome, or if it claimed the life of a loved one, you may need counselling or therapy by a psychiatrist.
  • Pain clinic: Victims who suffer extreme pain could need the services of a pain clinic.
  • Surgery: Severe injuries might require surgery and extended rehabilitation time.
  • Physical fitness services: Your doctor may recommend a gym membership or other types of controlled physical exercise to speed up recovery and help with pain control.
  • Long-term care: If you suffered severe injuries, you could require neurology treatments or other forms of long-term therapy, leading to ongoing medical expenses for months or even years.
  • Medication: Along with all these treatments will often come prescriptions for costly medicines.
  • Medical equipment: Your recovery may involve your dependence on medical equipment such as crutches, a neck brace or even a wheelchair.

Seeking financial assistance

Your experienced lawyer can help you explore the available options for financial aid, and you might qualify for one of the following:

  • Government assistance: If your income does not exceed $24,000 per year, you might qualify for aid via a Medical Service Plan. However, the plan covers only certain types of treatments and also set amounts for no more than 10 visits per year.
  • Private insurance: A policy through your employer or another source would likely cover some expenses from the start, but each insurer limits the treatment types and the dollar amount of the medical care.
  • Reimbursement from ICBC: Although your ICBC policy will cover some medical expenses, user fees will apply for every medical service you use. The insurer has the option to deny or approve treatments, and you might have to fight to get coverage.
  • Treatment lien: Although sometimes risky, you might use the service that certain medical providers offer. They place a lien on the money you expect to recover through the settlement of a legal claim, for which there is never a guarantee.

As a last resort, you might have to seek help from family and friends. Ultimately, your goal will be to receive full monetary coverage of all your financial and emotional losses. With the support and guidance of a British Columbia lawyer who has extensive experience in cross-border personal injury claims, you can significantly increase your chances of achieving this.