Handling Canadian Car Accidents as an American
Many Americans visit British Columbia for business and pleasure. If you’re an American injured in a cross-border crash caused by a Canadian driver, you may be entitled to compensation through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), the province’s mandatory auto insurer. Understanding how the process works can be much easier with the help of an experienced car accident attorney at Warnett Hallen LLP.
At Warnett Hallen LLP, our Vancouver personal injury attorneys can represent Americans injured in British Columbia car accidents. Our skilled lawyers can help you navigate the legal system in Canada and take action if you’re struggling to get full and fair compensation from ICBC. We’ll also explain how your U.S. auto insurance policy may apply if you’re partly responsible for the wreck or the at-fault driver exhausts his or her ICBC policy limits.
To ensure that your own rights are protected following a cross-border car accident in Vancouver, schedule a consultation with a proven attorney at Warnett Hallen LLP today.
All initial consultations are free. Call or contact us today to arrange yours.
What Happens When Americans Are Injured in Car Accidents in Canada?
Like most places in the U.S., drivers in British Columbia must have auto insurance. ICBC’s Basic Autoplan provides accident coverage to people who suffer injuries or death in car accidents in or out of the province, as long as the trip was for a temporary visit and not related to permanent residency. But recovering compensation in a country with different insurance laws and processes can be confusing and frustrating — something that you shouldn’t have to deal with while you are recuperating from painful car accident injuries. A lawyer from Warnett Hallen LLP can alleviate your burden by handling the majority of the ICBC claim with as few interruptions to your life as possible.
Canada, like the U.S., has a civil justice system that allows car accident victims to file claims against the negligent party(s) who caused the crash. Americans who are injured while visiting the country can request compensation from the person or entity at fault. These claims can typically be resolved with ICBC, but can go to court if necessary.
It’s important to note, however, that personal injury cases involving U.S. residents whose accidents occurred in B.C. may need to commence legal proceedings in the province. This can be difficult for Americans who cannot stay in Canada indefinitely but must return to the U.S. following their collisions. In these cases, retaining an experienced ICBC attorney to handle the cross-border claim will be essential.
How Do I Manage a Car Accident Claim in British Columbia As an American?
Canadian car accident laws are similar to those in the U.S., so Americans who are injured in Canada should take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention immediately: The success of any car accident claim depends on providing evidence that you were harmed. Those are who seriously injured should automatically be taken to the hospital or transported to an emergency department as soon as possible. If you don’t have apparent injuries, you should still be examined at a Vancouver urgent care clinic or medical facility. You’ll need documentation that you took all possible steps to lessen the severity of your injuries for your cross-border accident claim.
- Contact the authorities: Reporting the crash is always important, particularly as an American in Canada. You’ll want the accident on record, which can also include a law enforcement officer’s assessment of who is at fault for the crash. Obtain a copy of the report later.
- Gather insurance information: Make sure to collect the names and insurance policy information from all drivers involved in the crash.
- Document the accident scene: Take photos of the crash site from multiple angles. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses, including passengers in the involved vehicles.
- Contact an experienced Vancouver car accident lawyer: You will need to notify your insurance company and ICBC after the accident, but it’s best to talk to a lawyer first. Arrange a free consultation with Warnett Hallen LLP as soon as possible.
Whether a case will be handled in the U.S. or Canada depends on a number of factors, including the nationality of the drivers and the parties’ insurance policy limits. It’s even possible for two different claims (stemming from the same accident) to be going at the same time. This can make resolving questions of liability or reaching a settlement with the at-fault party more difficult, especially for those who are not represented by a Canadian lawyer.
How Can a Vancouver Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Cross-border accident claims can be complicated. This is particularly true when the victim’s injuries are serious, as both parties’ insurers will likely be involved. A lawyer who has experience with car accidents in Canada can handle negotiations on the injured party’s behalf, speak with insurers, and litigate complex legal issues. To ensure that your own interests are protected after a foreign car accident, it’s a good idea not to enter settlement negotiations alone.
What Can Warnett Hallen LLP Do for Me?
All car accidents are frightening and stressful but can be even more unsettling when they occur outside your home country. If you are an American injured in a car accident in Vancouver or a surrounding area, call or contact a dedicated car accident lawyer at Warnett Hallen LLP to learn your legal options. We’re standing by to help.
Call us to schedule your free consultation now.