A 2018 study showed that more than 50% of respondents nationwide, including British Columbia, admitted to driving vehicles while under the influence of cannabis. Moreover, most believed that, after using cannabis, their driving skills are better than that of sober, non-cannabis users. Recovering damages could be complicated when a cannabis-impaired driver causes a cross-border personal injury.
Of all the motorists that travel across the border between British Columbia and Washington state, a significant percentage are workers that travel as part of their jobs. These include professional drivers in large commercial trucks, courier vans or taxis. Sales representatives travel to and from clients, and construction company owners or employees travel between construction sites. They all face the risks of cross-border personal injury.
Millions of people in British Columbia and other provinces live with some level of chronic pain. Reportedly, 66% of Canadians live with moderate, severe or chronic pain. Car accidents often give rise to long-term pain, and when this happens during a trip south of the border, recovering damages could be complicated. Cross-border personal injury claims need an understanding of the applicable laws and insurance regulations of both countries.
Spinal cord injuries can affect the lives of victims in different ways, depending on the location and severity of the damage. Car accidents are often the cause of these injuries, and if the negligence of one or more drivers caused the crash, victims might have grounds to pursue damage recovery. However, if the victim is from British Columbia and was travelling in Washington state, the resulting cross-border personal injury claims could be a confusing mix of legal and insurance concerns.
Residents of British Columbia might be surprised to learn that a leading cause of accidental death and injuries in the province is auto accidents. However, this is likely a statistic that is not only true in British Columbia but also south of the border. The difference is that cross-border personal injury claims are significantly more complicated than those that follow accidents in Vancouver or elsewhere in the province.
Reportedly, the average Canadian motorcyclist, including in British Columbia, is almost 14% more likely to have a fatal collision compared to other motorists. When such an accident occurs during a trip south of the border, damage recovery may include complicated legal and administrative procedures. Having to deal with cross-border personal injury claims is not likely to be without problems.
Although recreational use of cannabis is legal in British Columbia, it of course remains dangerous to drive while impaired by drugs. Drivers are advised to arrange for a designated driver to do the driving, a taxi or another safe transport option. Sadly, some cannabis users drive after using cannabis, and because recreational use of this drug is also legal in Washington state, Vancouver residents who travel to Seattle will be at risk of being involved in accidents caused by impaired drivers. If this happens south of the border, complicated cross-border personal injury issues may come into play.
Safety authorities recommend that drivers should get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Those who miss one to two hours of sleep are twice as likely to be involved in car accidents. British Columbia residents who travel to Seattle or another destination south of the border might be exposed to the dangers posed by drowsy drivers. When this happens, they will have to deal with legal and insurance issues, which can be more complicated when it involves cross-border personal injury.
Some British Columbia drivers do not realize that using a mobile phone causes visual distraction that could end in a serious or even deadly car accident. Authorities compare visual distractions with driving while blindfolded or with closed eyes. Anyone who is injured while travelling south of the border will likely have to deal with the complications of cross-border personal injury claims if they decide to seek damage recovery.
When British Columbia residents travel across the border, they will likely share the road with big rigs. Road Safety BC says that the sheer size and weight differences between cars and commercial trucks put car occupants at four times higher risk of suffering fatal injuries in the event of a collision with a big rig. When this involves cross-border personal injury, recovering damages could be a complicated process.