Four Common Problems When Injured On Vacation

August 9, 2017 | Cynthia P. Carels

Summer holidays are a great time to travel. But when accidents happen on vacation, victims are often faced with challenges they never expected. In this post, we explain 4 common problems plaintiffs face when they are accidentally injured while travelling.

  1. Accessing Hospital Services

When travelling within Canada, a valid provincial or territorial health card should enable injured parties to access hospital and physician services. The Canada Health Act has a “portability clause” that extends medically necessary coverage to eligible residents during visits to other provinces or territories. The way this portability is administered, however, is not consistent between jurisdictions. Sometimes the costs are handled by direct billing, but in other situations patients may have to pay up front, then seek reimbursement from their home province or territory.

Whether vacationing inside or outside of Canada, it is highly recommended that travellers contact their provincial health care office in advance to determine if any coverage will follow to the foreign jurisdiction. In addition, it is important to carefully review the provisions of privately obtained medical coverage before your trip, so you know what will be covered in the event of an emergency, and how to access that coverage.

  1. Accessing Non-Hospital Services

When accidents happen, one of the most common non-hospital services required is on-site emergency paramedic care and transportation by ambulance. Whether it is a short ground ambulance trip to the nearest hospital, or an airlift back to your home jurisdiction, these services can be very expensive, and are generally not covered by provincial or territorial health. Accident victims will generally need to look to private medical/ travel insurance for coverage of these bills, or other medically necessary expenses like wheelchairs, crutches, or physical therapy.

  1. Dealing With Denied Claims

Even when travellers have proactively obtained private medical coverage before leaving on vacation, claims for reimbursement can be denied for a wide variety of reasons. Failing to disclose pre-existing conditions, failing to get pre-approval for medical treatment, or making claims for expenses not covered by a policy are three common reasons for denial. When relying on private insurance, it is highly recommended that injured parties notify their insurer as quickly as possible, and to stay in contact as exposure to expenses arise.

  1. Laws In Foreign Jurisdictions

The general rule of thumb is that the law of the land where the injury happens is the law that governs your claim. Even within Canada, some jurisdictions are “no-fault” for certain kinds of accidental injuries, while others are tort based jurisdictions, and others have a mix of fault and no-fault claims. Outside of Canada, the legal remedies available for victims of accidental injuries varies widely.

Miller Thomson’s personal injury team is part of a national, full service law firm, with outstanding access to resources and strategic connections. Through our broad team of legal professionals across the country, and our involvement in international networks, we are well positioned to bring claims in other jurisdictions, investigate complex liability questions, and connect with leading experts. We have also invested in building relationships with trusted local clinics and therapists, so we can help our clients obtain timely access to diagnostic and rehabilitation resources.

At Miller Thomson LLP, our accident injury lawyers are happy to discuss your accident and injuries during a free, no obligation consultation. We deal with a full range of claims, from whiplash injuries to spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, catastrophic injuries, and wrongful death claims. Whether your claim arose from a car accident, a truck accident, a motorcycle accident, or even an airplane, we can help.

Our clients get the benefit of a large, national firm and all its resources – but at the same cost as a small boutique firm – because our contingency fee percentage is the same competitive amount as the others.

Contact us today for a free, no obligation, consultation regarding the benefits and compensation you may be entitled to claim.

Cynthia Carels
780-429-9747 (direct line)


This blog sets out a variety of materials relating to the law to be used for educational and non-commercial purposes only; the author(s) of this blog do not intend the blog to be a source of legal advice. Please retain and seek the advice of a lawyer and use your own good judgement before choosing to act on any information included in the blog. If you choose to rely on the materials, you do so entirely at your own risk.