Many residents of Alberta embrace a time-honoured tradition of escaping the bitter cold by becoming “snowbirds.” These adventurous individuals trade their winter boots for flip-flops and migrate south to the warmer climates of their “second home” United States. While this migration promises a respite from the frosty Canadian winters, things do not always go to plan. Accidents can happen; when they do, snowbirds might feel left navigating the complicated aftermath alone.

By providing insights into the importance of preparedness, this blog aims to raise awareness of often-overlooked vulnerabilities facing Alberta snowbirds.

Be Aware and Prepare 

Whether you are on a short vacation or are waiting out the Canadian winter months in the sunshine, you are not necessarily protected from injury or illness during your international trip. However, being prepared and taking steps to mitigate the risk of an incident can make a big difference. 

Car Accidents 

As a foreigner in a sunny state, you may be more at risk of being involved in a car accident due to an unfamiliarity with the roads and traffic laws. Paying additional attention to a GPS, sights, or road signs while driving can also result in additional distractions. If an accident does occur, Canadian drivers should also be mindful that not all American motorists have automobile insurance

Slip and Falls and Trip and Falls

Another common injury source for Canadians abroad is slip or trip and falls. Unfamiliar surroundings and improperly maintained walkways are some of the many contributing factors to falls. When escaping the heat, many people turn to pools, water parks, or local parks as a source of refreshment. However, wet and slippery surfaces and uneven ground around pools and splash pads can quickly turn dangerous. These risks can also be exacerbated by indulging or over-indulging in alcohol while on vacation. 

Injuries sustained in any accident can have serious consequences, even if they are not apparent immediately. From bruises and lacerations to fractures and head injuries, Canadians should ensure that they take extra precautions to minimize the risk of catastrophic injury

Is Travel Insurance Necessary?

Travel insurance before your trip is a smart investment, as it will generally cover your hospital stay and property damages incurred due to an accident. However, travel insurance does not typically reimburse you for other damages from a personal injury claim, such as lost income, pain and suffering, and other financial impacts due to your injuries. Additional medical bills can quickly add up, particularly if emergency health services are required. 

Following any accident, knowing what to do next can be a confusing time. Ensuring your well-being while navigating medical expenses, ongoing treatments, and insurance claims can be overwhelming. However, this can be even more disorienting if your accident occurs in another country. Therefore, seeking trusted legal advice from a reputable personal injury lawyer who has knowledge of the laws in the appropriate jurisdiction can ensure your rights are protected. 

Navigating different laws and regulations

The laws and policies governing car accidents and various other types of personal injuries vary from state to state, meaning that jurisdictional differences can impact the amount of compensation you may receive and your rights, regardless of your own personal insurance coverage. As such, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who is well-versed in the laws of the applicable jurisdiction and can advise you on your options based on your unique circumstances. Moreover, they can guide you through determining the appropriate jurisdiction to file your personal injury claim since this requires careful consideration. 

Maximizing your claim 

A personal injury lawyer will help you navigate the often frustrating and overwhelming experience of dealing with insurance companies and obtaining compensation for out-of-pocket expenses. A personal injury lawyer also understands the financial burden that accident-related injuries can bring on. From medical expenses to lost income to general pain and suffering, a lawyer will advocate to ensure you receive the financial compensation you are entitled to recover. 

Ensuring fair treatment

As a Canadian injured in the United States, you may face unique challenges throughout the claims process due to your nationality. However, through advocacy and skilled legal representation from a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer, you can rest assured that you will receive equal and fair treatment under the law. Working with a trusted injury lawyer can relieve some of the pressure and confusion of determining who is at fault for an accident by gathering evidence, speaking with witnesses, and building a strong case on your behalf. 

If you have been injured in an accident in the United States, you do not have to navigate the claims process alone. The knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie help Canadian snowbirds understand the unique legal considerations accompanying accidents and injuries sustained outside the country. Upon assessing your circumstances, our legal team will collect the necessary information to ensure you are positioned for success, regardless of where the accident happened. To learn how we can assist you following an accident in the USA, contact us online or at 403-571-0555.