Accidents on American Roads

Canadians make over 30 million car trips to the United States every year. Unfortunately, some of these road trips end in motor vehicle collisions. Each year, thousands of Canadians are injured on American roads. Some of these people are so seriously injured that they will never work again and require a lifetime of care.

Purchasing travel insurance when going abroad is prudent. Even a short hospitalization in the United States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Failing to purchase travel insurance can result in financial ruin in a serious injury case.

The good news for Ontario drivers is that our no fault accident benefits apply if we are injured in a motor vehicle collision in the United States. This is not the case for collisions in other foreign countries. No fault benefits pay for medical, rehabilitation and care expenses that flow from an accident. They also provide some income replacement. However, they are limited and in cases of serious injury often fall short of meeting a person’s needs.

The other avenue of compensation for motor vehicle collision victims is a lawsuit against an at fault party. If you are injured in the United States because of another driver’s negligence you can sue that driver. However, unlike Canadian drivers who typically have $1 million or more in liability limits American drivers often only carry insurance with limits of $25,000 to $50,000. This level of insurance is grossly inadequate to compensate someone whose injuries prevent him from returning to work. Fortunately, Ontario insurers offer a product called the Family Protection Endorsement to protect people who are injured by inadequately insured motorists in Canada and the United States. The Family Protection endorsement provides that your insurer will indemnify you for damages caused by an inadequately insured driver up to the limits of your policy. Talk to your broker about increasing this protection beyond $1,000,000. You’ll find that it is very cheap to do so.

Oatley Vigmond is Ontario’s Personal Injury Law Firm. If you, or someone you know, has been injured, Oatley Vigmond may be able to help protect their legal rights.

About the Authors

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Troy Lehman joined Oatley Vigmond in 2006 and became a partner in 2010. As a personal injury lawyer, his greatest satisfaction comes from helping people through to the other side of a difficult time in their lives. “We’re here to help and relieve stress,” Troy says. “When I walk into a first meeting with a client, people are often scared and anxious. And for me, the best thing that can happen at the end of the meeting is that they say, ‘I feel so much better.’

To learn more about Troy, please click here.