Wikipedia defines a snowbird as someone from Canada who migrates southward in winter to warmer locales such as Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, the Carolinas, or elsewhere in the Sun Belt of the southern and southwest United States, Mexico, and areas of the Caribbean. Every year, as the temperature plummets, hundreds of thousands of Canadians flock to warmer climes for visits ranging from a few days to half of the year. To the US alone, Canadians make over 23 million annual visits, worth over $22 billion to the US economy. And when we travel to the US, we’re not afraid to drive, either crossing the border with our own vehicles, or renting cars at the destination. The vast majority of Canadians abroad will never get injured in a car accident in a foreign country. But if you’re one of the few that do, here are some important points to remember:
- Laws differ by country and, in the US, by state. A local lawyer will know the local laws, including extremely important limitation dates for making your claim.
- Insurance requirements may be vastly different, especially in the case of how much liability insurance a driver must have on their car insurance policy. This can affect the ability of an injured person to recover full compensation for injuries.
- Medical treatment tends to be much more expensive, even if you have travel insurance. You may find yourself owing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.