With March Break in full swing, some may choose this time to travel abroad. But what happens if you are in an accident and suffer a personal injury while you’re away? As an Ontario resident, there are a few things you need to consider.
OHIP goes wherever you go.
The nice thing about our health system is it goes wherever you go. Unfortunately, it rarely covers all of the medical and hospital expenses you might incur, should you be involved in an accident or have a health crisis. Most US hospitals and Doctors will accept OHIP, but usually only as a partial payment of the total account.
Understanding your travel insurance.
Before booking your trip, ask your insurance provider about travel insurance that would provide emergency medical and rehabilitation coverage. Most often, travellers will be protected against any accidental injuries or illnesses. However, the specific details about the coverage vary between each insurer. For example, pre-existing illnesses, injuries or diseases are usually not covered if there should be some sort of re-lapse.
If you have car insurance in Ontario and you are involved in a car accident in continental North America, rest assured you have SAB and third party liability coverage that protects you and your family.
- Make notes about what happened
- If possible take photographs of the accident (e.g. licence plates of other vehicles involved and their positions)
- Exchange insurance details
- Take down the names and addresses of as many witnesses as possible
- And when in doubt, call one of Thomson, Rogers’ personal injury lawyers at 1.888.223.0448
If you find yourself driving outside of continental North America your Ontario automobile insurance doesn’t cover you. In these situations, it’s always best to purchase insurance through the rental provider or ask your travel insurance provider about car insurance prior to your trip. Plan ahead, a last minute decision could be costly.
What happens next?
Whether you are hurt or not, contact your insurer, hotel and travel agency, as soon as possible. If injured, be sure to keep all your travel documents, hospital discharge letters, receipts and paperwork for any expenses incurred and any other documents from the accident, as these items will be needed to process any claims for compensation or reimbursement. What happens next will depend on your insurance coverage and where you travelled. Each province, state and country has different legal processes in place that determine your rights and remedies when dealing with a personal injury.
Related Resources for car accidents abroad: