Many Americans travel to Canada for vacations, business, or other reasons. Unfortunately, accidents happen anytime and anywhere, which can be a great source of anxiety for Americans injured in Canada.
Due to Canada’s proximity to the united states, more Americans will likely interact with the Canadian courts. If you are a U.S. citizen or resident, you can make personal injury claims in Canada. With the help of personal injury lawyers at McKiggan Hebert Lawyers, you’ll learn about options available to compensate you for your injuries.
What Happens to Americans Injured While in Canada?
If you’re involved in a no-fault accident in Canada that resulted in an injury, then you’re entitled to receive compensation. In most cases, the other party will have insurance to handle such claims.
The most common injuries we’ve seen that need compensation include bone fractures, scarring and disfigurement, dismemberment, significant limitation or loss of a body organ, and serious injuries that required surgery. Besides, most cross border accidents involve car crashes.
American visitors can either file a claim and negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurer or file a lawsuit. But recovering compensation for injuries caused in a country with different insurance laws and procedures can be frustrating. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Nova Scotia can take away this burden and allow you time to recover.
It’s also important to note that accidents that occurred in Nova Scotia may need to be initiated in the province. This might be inconvenient for Americans who wish to return home and cannot stay in Canada. Such situations require you to retain a local PI lawyer to handle the cross-border claim.
What Should I Do If Injured?
Accidents in Canada are pretty much the same as those in the U.S. So, if injured in Canada, you should take these steps:
Seek Medical Help
Your priority should always be your health or at least of the people involved. If injured, don’t wait to return to the States to get checked. Understandably, you may feel hesitant about getting medical care in a foreign country, but your health is too important to wait.
Remember that your accident claim in Nova Scotia will also depend on evidence that you were injured. Even without visible injuries, a Halifax urgent care facility should examine you and document everything. American visitors will have to use their existing health insurance or pay out of pocket for the care you’ll receive while in Canada.
Report The Accident
As an American in Canada, you want to have everything on record. Contact law enforcers and request a copy of the accident report later.
Document The Accident Scene
Luckily if none is injured, you can focus on other aspects of the accident. Take as many pictures of the accident scene as possible. Also, collect the names and contact information of any witnesses.
Other Driver’s Details
If it’s a car accident, collect the details of the other driver. Additionally, exchange insurance information with them before reporting it to your own carrier. Make sure to inform your carrier where the accident happened because accidents outside of the U.S. may be handled differently and may require additional information.
Here are more details on what to can do after an auto accident in Canada.
How Can I Seek Compensation for My Injuries?
You can do that in two ways: through a personal injury insurance claim or a lawsuit process. Choosing any of the two will depend on the severity of your injuries and the nature of the accident. Talk to a car accident lawyer in Halifax who has the training and knowledge to guide you effectively.
Most lawsuits are filed after failed attempts to settle the claim with the insurance company. Sometimes the insurance company can be negotiating in “bad faith,” thus forcing you to file a lawsuit.
Will My Accident Case Be Handled in The U.S. or Canada?
If you’ve been injured outside the U.S., you may face some limitations as to whether your personal injury case can be heard in the U.S. There are often several factors to look at, like the drivers’ nationality (for car accidents) and the limits of each party’s insurance policy.
The courts will also look at the plaintiff’s extent of injuries and where the insurance companies for both parties are situated.
What’s The Cost and Awarded Damages Like?
You’re likely to receive damages that will cover medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of support, reduced quality of life, and disability.
In Nova Scotia, there are limits to what you can collect as pain and suffering damages if the injury is considered “minor,” and it was a car accident. This figure is currently set at $8,911 for 2020. Note that this amount only applies to pain and suffering, specifically for motor vehicle accidents. Generally, you’re also likely to receive less compensation than what you would typically receive in the U.S.
It is less expensive to litigate a case in Canada than in the U.S., mainly because of reduced procedure rules. Canada compels the losing side of a case to pay the winning side’s legal fees, which can include disbursements and lawyer’s costs.
Legal Aid for Americans Injured in Canada
Cross border personal injury cases can be extremely complex. If your injuries or those of a loved one are serious, it could be an overwhelming period for you. If this is your situation, you need a Canadian lawyer to negotiate on your behalf, talk to insurers and represent you if the matter goes to court.
If you are an American injured while visiting Canada, get in touch with an accident lawyer in Halifax. We are lawyers experienced in assisting Americans injured in Canada. Call (877) 423-2050 to schedule a free case evaluation meeting.