During the summer, many Albertans use the nice weather as an opportunity to take vacations and go on road trips to other provinces or the United States. However, regardless of where your travel plans will take you, there is always the potential for an accident. So, what should you do if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident outside of Alberta, and what steps should you take to prepare before a trip?

This blog post will provide an overview of what rules apply to accidents outside Alberta, the impact on benefits, and other considerations that Albertans should be aware of. If a car accident occurs, it is critical to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible to protect your interests. 

What Rules Apply to an Accident?

Automobile insurance is regulated in accordance with the laws and regulations in each respective province and state. In many cases, when an accident occurs outside of Alberta, the province’s or state’s rules and laws will apply. For example, British Columbia legislation would apply if the accident occurred in British Columbia. This also applies across the border; for instance, if the accident happened in Montana, Montana rules would apply. 

However, difficulties may arise as not all provinces and states operate under the same “minimum insurance coverage” requirements. Therefore, depending on where the accident happened, an Albertan may get into an accident with a party with insufficient insurance coverage to pay for the damages sustained.

Further frustrations may arise if you are involved in an accident in a jurisdiction with a no-fault accident system, meaning that you cannot sue the other driver for damages resulting from the accident. 

Does the Accident Location Impact Benefit Entitlement? 

Despite an accident occurring outside of Alberta, an Albertan is not necessarily prevented from filing a claim for Statutory Accident Benefits (Section B Benefits), regardless of fault. Section B Benefits may provide temporary financial compensation to an injured party for income loss, medical treatment and rehabilitation costs, and housekeeping costs. 

Depending on where the accident occurred, you may have the option to file a claim under the laws of another province or state in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. However, different rules and limitation periods may apply to the other driver. In any event, understanding your entitlement to benefits can be complex. Therefore, speaking with a trusted personal injury lawyer who can advise you on the applicable laws and the best way to proceed with a claim is important.

Should I Prepare Before a Road Trip?

If you are planning to leave the province on a road trip, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you are prepared. 

First, ensuring that your vehicle is properly maintained and in good working order is a good idea. Reviewing your insurance policy and benefit entitlement is also recommended to ensure you understand your coverage type. If you have any questions, speaking with your insurance provider to confirm what your policy does and does not cover may be helpful. Depending on your circumstances, consider purchasing additional short-term insurance to give you peace of mind on your travels. 

What to do After an Accident in a Different Jurisdiction?

Immediately following an accident, parties should generally follow the same procedures and checks they would if the accident occurred in Alberta. 

It should be your priority to ensure the health and safety of yourself and any passengers in your vehicle. Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible, especially since signs of a serious injury may not be apparent immediately. At the scene of the accident, it is important to ensure that the appropriate first responders are called. Insurance information should also be exchanged with the other drivers, and contact details should be exchanged with witnesses and police. If it is safe to do so, take notes and photos of the accident scene, damages, and any other important information. 

After the accident, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations of your jurisdiction. It is also important to consult with a personal injury lawyer who practices in the same jurisdiction and may be able to advise you on your rights and potential personal injury claim. They will also be able to confirm unique rules to that jurisdiction, such as whether the jurisdiction operates under a no-fault system, the limitation period for bringing a claim, and the legal procedures. 

Contact Calgary Personal Injury Lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie LLP for Advice on Personal Injury Claims

At Cuming & Gillespie LLP, our personal injury lawyers provide trustworthy representation to individuals who have been injured in an accident by someone else’s negligence. It can be difficult to know what steps to take after an accident, particularly when the accident occurs in an unfamiliar area, which is why our lawyers are here to guide you. Our skilled lawyers ensure clients obtain fair compensation to help them move forward after the accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact us online or call us at 403-571-0555 to learn how we can assist you.