Cross Border Law
Request a Consultation 800-222-6332

How Does Personal Injury Law Differ in the US and Canada?

personal injury related to "whiplash" or soft tissue injuries, Washington law typically affords higher trial judgments and settlements for injuries involving broken bones, psychological injuries, and wrongful death. Many Canadian lawyers will act for Canadian clients injured in the US with a view toward settling their personal injury claims, but indeed, that's all they can do-try settling your case. Without the license to initiate litigation in the US, Canadian lawyers will have difficulty maximizing the value of a cross border personal injury case in settlement, and are simply unable to force such a case to trial without engaging counsel in the US.

There are significant differences in the way lawyers prepare their cases for trial in the US vs. Canada. In British Columbia, experts are asked to prepare reports which are tendered at trial in lieu of expert testimony. In Washington, lawyers typically provide notice of an expert's testimony, and the expert is then deposed before a court reporter before testifying live at trial. Most Washington cases proceed in front of a 12-person jury, requiring a lawyer who's a good story-teller, to relate a client's life story to a group of strangers and ask them to award compensation to last his client's lifetime. Selection of the right story-teller is critical.

There are also significant differences in the burdens of proof, particularly in products claims. In BC, a company's liability for manufacturing a defective product is measured by a negligence standard, while in most US jurisdictions, liability for defective products follows a theory of "strict liability"-if the product is proven to be defective, the company is liable. Period. Once liability is determined, the defendant company can then be forced to pay the full range of personal injury damages-pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and health, past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss or loss of opportunity to earn income. In the most egregious cases, companies can further be forced to pay punitive or aggravated damages.

While BC personal injury awards are typically lower, there is one factor which makes litigation north of the border more attractive-the ability to recover "costs". In Washington, an injured party has no ability to recover litigation expenses, such as the cost of producing medical records or the cost of having experts testify in court. It is critical to hire a lawyer with experience in litigating US personal injury claims in order to keep litigation costs to a minimum while meeting the plaintiff's burden of proof.

Free Initial Consultation

We offer a free initial consultation and will be happy to discuss your case with you. Contact us Toll Free at 1.800.222.6332 or email us at info@crossborderlaw.com

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Schedule A Consultation

For many people, contacting a lawyer can seem like an intimidating task. At Cross Border Law, we make every effort to be approachable and personable. We understand the stress and worry that injured individuals face. Call or email either of our offices to schedule a free consultation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an lawyer-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Our Vancouver Office

Our Vancouver office is located just five minutes from downtown, near Granville Island.

Vancouver Office
Suite 204-1730 West 2nd Ave
Vancouver, BC V6J 1H6

Toll Free: 800-222-6332
Phone: 604-742-4242
Fax: 604-742-4243
Vancouver Law Office Map

Seattle Office
3214 W. McGraw Street
Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98199

Phone: 206-858-9990
Fax: 206-858-9991
Map & Directions

Our Seattle Office

The Seattle office is located just 10 minutes from downtown, in the Magnolia Neighborhood.