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Navigating the complexity of a cross-border car accident

Travel between Seattle and Vancouver is common. Many American and Canadian residents cross the border regularly for work and travel. If you’re spending a considerable amount of time outside of your home country, the chances of being involved in a traffic accident abroad are naturally higher.

If you’re in a crash while across the border, you may be concerned about the legal process for seeking damages. Do you need to file a claim in the U.S., Canada or both? Do you need to remain in the country until the issue is resolved?

Cross-border accident complications

Cross-border accidents add an extra layer of complexity. The claims process will involve navigating different – and sometimes conflicting – laws and insurance processes in both countries.

In addition, sometimes accident injuries don’t present symptoms until days – or even weeks – after the accident. This is often the case with brain and spinal injuries. What if you only discover a serious injury after you return home?

If you’re a Canadian resident with Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) insurance, will you be covered for an accident that took place outside of the province? These are just some of the issues that a cross-border personal injury lawyer can take care of for you.

Avoid this mistake

In cross-border accidents, many drivers make the mistake of working through a personal injury attorney in their home country. However, this decision can result in extra legal costs and complications – because they may have to collaborate with a separate personal injury firm in the country in which the accident took place.

In a cross-border accident, it’s best to connect with a personal injury lawyer who focuses on cross-border injuries – and is licensed to practise in both British Columbia and Washington state. Someone who knows the law and insurance processes in both countries will understand how a variety of factors can influence your claim – from whether you were at partial fault in the accident to whether you were driving a rental car.

Your lawyer can work with all relevant parties to come up with the best possible settlement for you. This can include compensation for:

  • Damage to your vehicle or other property
  • Medical treatment for your injuries
  • Lost wages if you are unable to work
  • Underinsurance compensation – to fill in the compensation gaps if the driver who caused the accident is underinsured

Being involved in a car accident is always stressful. But when the accident takes place internationally, the added unknowns can make it especially taxing. Letting a legal professional sort the matter out for you can be the best decision you make following an accident.