Yes. But It takes a firm with Knowledge of the Law on both sides of the Border.
Lawyers For International Insurance Issues
Given the proximity of British Columbia and Washington State, and the ease of travel between them, many people who cross the border each day end up suffering injuries in a “foreign” country. Whether you are commuting to work, taking a short trip or even visiting a friend, the potential for a motor vehicle accident exists.
Unfortunately, the legal process for international accidents contains an additional layer of complexity. Throughout the history of our practice, the lawyers at Cross Border Law have endeavoured to become skilled at representing clients in both Canada and the United States. We understand the subtle legal nuances as well as the major administrative differences between the two countries.
Lawyers in Washington State, for example, might not understand how ICBC underinsured claims work. Additionally, there are significant strategic reasons for negotiating a settlement in one country before the other.
Whiplash — often referred to as a cervical sprain — is a spinal injury suffered due to the violent, sudden motion where the head is snapped in multiple directions outside the normal range of motion. This type of injury can be difficult to diagnose, and many injured individuals find it challenging to recover monetary damages. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can provide the guidance and representation you need.
Cervical sprains and soft tissue injuries do not usually present with visible indications of the damage done. Unless the injury is sufficiently severe, the damage might not appear on diagnostic tests such as an X-ray or MRI. At Cross Border Law, we understand the challenges that injured individuals face after a car accident. By representing clients in both Vancouver and Seattle, our firm has gained insight into how personal injury cases proceed in both countries. If you are an American citizen injured in British Columbia, or a Canadian citizen injured in Washington State, schedule a free consultation today.
INJURIES TO THE SPINE IN A CAR ACCIDENT
Injuries can widely vary depending on the types of vehicles involved, the angle of the collision and the speed at which the vehicles collided. The sudden, jarring motion of two vehicles colliding will often result in spinal cord damage. Whether this damage is localized to the neck or other parts of the spine, an individual might suffer loss of sensation, loss of motion or chronic pain.
The effects of whiplash — severe pain, loss of movement, numbness, headaches, fatigue, etc. — can impact all facets of an individual’s life. From difficulty sleeping to the inability to concentrate at work, an injured person can feel long-term effects after a seemingly minor accident.
If you were injured in an accident and fear you might have whiplash, it is important to seek the care of a medical professional immediately. When you have questions about your legal options for monetary recovery, contact our firm by phone or through email.
In every civil case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving the basic elements of negligence—duty, breach, causation and damages—and such proof is required by “a preponderance of the evidence”. This is defined as “more probable than not” or “more likely true than not true” or “on a 51% basis”. The reality is that a plaintiff must be prepared to show proof on a much more significant basis than 51%, as a juror is unlikely to award significant damages without substantial proof of injury and loss.
However, there are some cases that impose a different burden on a plaintiff—notably Products Liability cases in the US are governed by Strict Liability. In such cases, a plaintiff who was injured by a defective product must prove that the product was defective. Once the product is shown to have been manufactured defectively, the defendant manufacturer is liable, period. If, for example, a family is driving down the road and one of the tires on the vehicle suffers a sudden loss of air or “blowout”. The vehicle flips, passengers are ejected and all suffer serious personal injuries and losses. At trial, the injured parties must prove that the blown out tire was manufactured defectively, and once proven, their burden stops there. The manufacturer of the defective tire is then liable for any damages that are proven.
In BC, a plaintiff’s burden of proof for a defective products case is much more onerous. There a plaintiff must prove that the defendant manufacturer was negligent in the way it designed or manufactured the product. This is a significant burden and good reason why there are very few products cases that proceed to judgment in British Columbia.