Car accident on summer vacation: How do you get paid?

Summertime is here! Many of us vacation outside of BC in the summer months. Unfortunately, many of us also get involved in car accidents while on vacation. Most commonly, these accidents occur in other provinces of Canada or in the United States.

Vancouver ICBC Claims Lawyer
10+ years ICBC injury claim settlement experience:
No fees until you get paid
Call us today for a free consultation, 24 hours – 7 days a week 604-684-4300

So what happens if you get into a car accident while you are outside of British Columbia? Who pays for your vehicle damage? Can you get compensation for your injuries?

With respect to your vehicle damage, if you have ICBC insurance, this usually covers any vehicle damage you have anywhere in Canada and the United States (assuming you have collision coverage). This means that ICBC can repair your damaged vehicle regardless of who is at fault, so long as the collision occurred in Canada or the United States. However, please note that ICBC’s basic Autoplan package does not cover you in countries outside of Canada and the United States for vehicle damage. If you are taking a road trip to Mexico, for example, you should speak to your broker about your coverage options. You should also be aware that with the basic ICBC Autoplan, a deductible can apply to the repair of your vehicle, regardless of where the collision takes place.

What if you have personal injuries? If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident outside of BC, and you are not at fault, your right to compensation is decided according to the law of the place where the accident happened. In such a case, the other party’s insurance and the law of their province or state would apply.

This could have very negative consequences for you, depending on the nature of your injuries. For example, if you had soft tissue injuries, and you were injured in Alberta, your money for pain and suffering may be limited to $5,000. This is because Alberta has a cap on most injuries which limits the amount you can get for pain and suffering.

If you are involved in an accident in the U.S. or another province, and the other party does not have sufficient insurance coverage, or they have no insurance, you can still claim money from your own ICBC policy. This is covered through the Underinsured Motorist Protection (UMP), which is part of ICBC’s Basic Autoplan. UMP is a way of protecting you against claims when the other party who hurt you does not have sufficient (or any) insurance. UMP provides coverage to both you and members of your household in these circumstances for claims of up to $1 million dollars.

Regardless of where your accident takes place, you should contact a lawyer immediately after the accident to ensure that you are taking the right steps to protect your rights. Claims that arise outside of BC can be complicated, and special laws can apply which might limit your rights unless you take certain actions quickly.

Vancouver ICBC Claims Lawyer
10+ years ICBC injury claim settlement experience:
No fees until you get paid
Call us today for a free consultation, 24 hours – 7 days a week 604-684-4300

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