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What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in an Accident in the United States and You’re From Canada

The majority of cross-border injury claims involve a motor vehicle collision. It can be challenging enough to navigate a car accident claim within your own country, but for Canadians traveling to the United States, there is the additional step of sorting through a cross-border claim. While the process can seem daunting, there is no need to go through it alone. The support of our British Columbia cross-border personal injury lawyers can be invaluable in helping you access the financial support you need.

At Border Solutions Law Group, we are here to help. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs, and see how we might provide support at every step of the process.

What to Do After a Car Accident in the United States

The first thing you should do after an accident, wherever you are, is to make sure you get the medical attention you need. If the injury is severe, go to the hospital right away. With mild to moderate injuries, you should still seek consultation with a doctor, as some injuries take time to present their full effect. Should you seek compensation through a legal claim, having a formal medical record may be essential to your case.

If possible, collect as much information as you can at the scene of the accident. This can include photos and videos of the vehicles and area, as well as the contact information of the other driver and any witnesses present.

Contact Border Solutions Law Group as soon as you can. We may be able to help guide you through the steps of your claims.

How Does Travel Insurance Factor Into These Types of Personal Injury Claims?

If you have travel insurance, it will typically cover your hospital stay in the US, as well as the costs of any of your property that may have been lost or damaged in the accident. The travel insurance company will then seek reimbursement for these costs from the at-fault driver’s insurance company – a process called subrogation.

Travel insurance does not typically reimburse you for damages connected to wage loss, the costs of future care, ongoing medical treatments, loss of housekeeping capacity, pain and suffering, or other financial impacts stemming from your accident. Compensation for these damages may come through auto insurance – in the case of a British Columbia resident, ICBC.

In the event of a medivac, where an injured person needs to be swiftly moved either by ground vehicle or helicopter, medical bills may add up into the hundreds of thousands. Resolving such a claim with the travel insurance company can be a big priority for a client, and we may be able to help in such a case.

Communicating With Insurance Companies

You are under no obligation to communicate with the insurance company of the other driver. In fact, it may be in your best interests not to communicate with them at all. They may ask you for access to your medical records – this may be used to strengthen the other driver’s case against you. In addition to your travel insurance provider, the only duty you have to communicate with an insurance company is with ICBC. As a British Columbia resident injured in a car accident in the United States, you must report your claim to ICBC in order to be eligible for benefits. 

What Benefits Are Available?

Under ICBC’s no-fault benefits, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance to support your recovery. This can go towards medical bills, lost income, and rehabilitative treatments such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and more.

How Do Claims Work for Canadians Injured in the United States?

As a Canadian injured in the United States, you would likely be filing two claims – one in the US, one in Canada. If you are a BC resident injured in Washington States, for example, you would file a tort claim known as a Summons and Complaint (its BC counterpart is a Notice of Civil Claim). The goal of this would be to receive compensation for your damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. 

Many drivers in Washington State have a $25,000 cap in their insurance policy, meaning this might be the maximum you would receive. If this does not meet the costs you have incurred, you may need to file a second claim in BC, pursuing the balance of your damages through a Notice of Arbitration, served on ICBC. This is how an Underinsured Motorist Protection (UMP) claim is handled, and it is one of the areas with which our British Columbia cross-border injury lawyers may be able to help.

Contact Border Solutions Law Group for a Free Initial Consultation

If you are a Canadian injured in an accident while traveling south of the border, you do not have to navigate the claims process alone. Contact our British Columbia cross-border personal injury lawyers at Border Solutions Law Group today to schedule your free initial consultation, and learn what we may be able to do for you.