Car Accidents Outside of BC

IMPORTANT:  If your accident occurred on or after April 1, 2019 the following may or may not apply.

Jurisdiction and Limitation Periods for Out-of-Province Accidents

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident outside BC, your claim against the other driver is most likely based on the law of the jurisdiction where the accident occurred.  A motor vehicle accident in Washington State will generally be decided according to Washington State law. This is particularly important when it comes to limitation periods – some jurisdictions have limitation periods that are shorter than our 2 years, and if you wait too long, your claim could lapse.

When Both Drivers are From BC

Sometimes an accident occurs outside BC but both drivers are from BC, and the vehicles are both registered in BC. In that case they can agree to proceed in BC courts (although the other jurisdiction’s rules may still apply). If you want to proceed in BC but the other driver refuses, you may be able to get an order that the case should be heard in BC. Whenever there are jurisdictional issues, you need to consult a BC lawyer, and preferably one with experience handling motor vehicle claims. Large ICBC firms like ours generally have contacts in many other jurisdictions, so we can consult them and let you know where your claim should be litigated.

No Fault Benefits

You can claim no fault benefits from ICBC for an accident arising out of the operation of a motor vehicle anywhere in Canada or the United States, and even on a vessel travelling between Canada and the United States.

UMP(Underinsured Motorist Protection)

Underinsured motorist protection applies to accidents that occur in Canada or the U.S. However, UMP is not available in Provinces and States that have banned motor vehicle claims. UMP also requires you to exhaust all insurance coverage held by the at fault driver and vehicle. You may even be required to sue the driver and/or vehicle owner personally after their insurance policy limits have been reached.


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