Canadian Residents Injured in the US


If you’re from Canada and involved in a serious motor vehicle accident in the United States, we can help!  In fact, it’s likely in your best interest to have an experienced United States attorney assist you.  We know the law, and we know how the system works.  It doesn’t matter that you’re a Canadian resident.  It only matters that your accident occurred in the United States.

Knowing what to do after an auto accident can reduce the possibility of future problems occurring and ensure that you get the help you need, and when appropriate, fair compensation for your injuries.  This is where we can help.

One of the jobs we do is work with your own insurance company to confirm the coverages you personally have available to you.  If you are a resident of British Columbia, while the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is usually the primary insurer, other public and private insurers may be involved. For example, auto insurance in Manitoba is provided by a government-run insurance company, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI).  Auto insurance in Quebec is provided by both a government insurer and private insurers.  Auto insurance in Saskatchewan is provided by a government-run insurance company, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI).

Auto insurance in Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and the Yukon Province are provided by many private companies that compete for customers a different mix of price, coverage, and service.  Our firm’s job is to work with your own insurance company and determine the at-fault party's insurance coverages.

Immediate Action to Take

Unless it's clear that no one was hurt in an accident, your first priority is to send for medical help or ask someone else to do this. The emergency response number in the area (or 911) will connect you to a dispatcher who will want to know what happened, where it happened, and what kind of help is needed: police, fire, ambulance, or all three. You may also be asked if anyone was badly hurt. If anyone is unconscious, bleeding heavily, having trouble breathing, or in shock, the dispatcher may suggest emergency first aid until help arrives.

Getting Prompt Medical Attention

Anyone who was injured will normally be taken by ambulance to the hospital. If someone has life-threatening injuries, the ambulance will usually go to the nearest hospital. If you're taken to a hospital with no staff or equipment to deal with your injuries, you'll be transferred to another facility.

If you were involved in the accident but decide not to take an ambulance to the hospital, the paramedics will usually ask you to sign a form stating that you were offered this opportunity but refused it. You'll be advised to see a doctor if you experience dizziness, stiffness, or other accident-related symptoms.

After being in an accident, you should have a comprehensive medical exam done at the hospital or doctor's office. Serious injuries can occur without being visible. Moreover, unless you've checked out by a doctor and her observations documented, auto insurers may deny that your problems were caused by your accident.

If you don't feel right in the days, weeks, or months ahead, you should talk to your doctor about this as soon as possible. A soft tissue injury may not become apparent for several days, while it can take several months or more for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) to become obvious. Changes in your moods or behavior should be taken as seriously as your physical symptoms. The sooner you receive treatment, the better your overall recovery usually is.

Who will notify my family if I'm hurt in the United States?

Unless you're too badly injured to do this, you should be able to phone a relative or friend from the hospital to tell her what happened and where you are. The hospital staff may also do this for you. If you have significant injuries, the police will normally try to contact your family (or a close friend), so you have someone with you in the hospital.

When anyone is seriously injured (or killed) in an accident — or a minor is injured — the police make every effort possible to notify the family in person.

Exchanging Information

Before leaving the accident scene, the involved drivers will need to exchange basic information with anyone injured. If you were driving, you'd have to give the other driver (and anyone injured) your name and address; home phone number, driver's license number, and the name and address of the car owner, if this isn't you.  You should also provide your insurer's name and your policy number.   Besides getting this same information from the other driver, you may want to note the year, make, model, and license plate number of her car and the province (or state) it's licensed in. You'll also want the names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses and anyone injured.

Since the police may not speak to every witness, you should ensure that anyone who saw what happened can be located later to give a statement to your or another insurer. (After a hit-and-run accident, an insurance claim may be denied unless uninvolved witnesses can be found.) If someone is reluctant to give you her name or phone number, you can ask her to give this to an attending police officer. You may also want to give her your phone number to contact you later if she changes her mind about making a statement.

How thoroughly the police investigate your accident will depend on how serious it is, how much time a particular police officer has, and how much effort he tends to put into these situations. Insurers rely on police reports to a large extent in determining liability.

Reporting Your Accident to the Insurance Company:

If you are a resident of British Columbia, your accident should be reported to the ICBC Dial-A-Claim centre — if possible, within 24 hours, or if you contact us soon enough, we can do this on your behalf.   The telephone numbers are: Lower Mainland
604-520-8222; Elsewhere in B.C., Canada & the U.S., 1-800-910-4222.

If you are a resident of Manitoba, contact:
Call Centre:
In Winnipeg: 985-7000;
Toll-Free: 1-800-665-2410;
Deaf Access TTY/TDD: 985-8832

If you are a resident of Saskatchewan, contact:
Contact Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) - Out-of-province auto claims
SGI Out-of-Province Claims Dept.
440 Fleet St.
Regina, SK
S4N 7N7

Toll-free: 1-800-667-9779 (Mon. to Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
1-800-647-6448 (Mon. to Fri. 5 to 8 p.m. and
Sat. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

In the other Provinces, it’s important to contact your own private insurer so they can open a file on your behalf and note the facts of the incident before they are forgotten.  If you reach us immediately after your accident, we can do this on your behalf.

We Handle Personal Injury and Property Damage Claims

Our firm represents clients, including Canadian residents, who have suffered personal injuries or property damage in automobile, motorcycle, truck, or bus accidents.  We also work with a network of highly qualified attorneys throughout the United States, so regardless of the location of your accident, you can expect a very knowledgeable and experienced representation.

Such motor vehicle accidents include those involving drunk or hit and run drivers, uninsured or underinsured drivers, as well as accidents occurring from a motor vehicle, SUV, and semi-tractor trailer collisions and rollovers.

Injuries suffered as a result of these types of accidents can be severe and life-altering. For example, you may have suffered whiplash or burns to your head or neck, have nerve damage or spinal cord paralysis, broken or dislocated a bone or limb, or even have lost the use of a limb. Our firm understands that your immediate goals after going through such trauma are to get your medical bills paid and covered, make sure you do not suffer financially through any lost wages, and make sure your insurance company will pay for future treatment relating to your injury. Our experienced attorneys will discuss your situation and go over the options available to you and work with insurance companies and other parties involved in your case to make sure all your needs are handled quickly and appropriately.

Contact an Experienced California Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, contact us online or call us at 1-800-276-9399 to set up a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

Referrals from Canadian attorneys are eagerly accepted, and generous referral fees are paid under California law and regulations. In addition, we have contact with a network of highly qualified attorneys throughout the United States and can help clients regardless of their accident location.

Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy. [cha 6.24.21]

Photo by Daniel Joseph Petty from Pexels

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