International Travel and Jurisdiction

by | Jun 24, 2014 | General Personal Injury

International Travel and Jurisdiction

It is every vacationer’s worst nightmare – during their trip, they fall ill or have an accident resulting in injury.

The trip is cut short, and what was supposed to be a time for relaxation, adventure, and fun in the sun becomes a trip filled with foreign hospital visits, expensive international calls to insurance companies, and mountains of paperwork. Things can get even more complicated if you are not at fault for the accident. In cases where an accident occurs overseas or out of province, with the at-fault party also living outside of Ontario, can civil claims still be filed, and if so, how?

In one recent case, a family attempted to sue the Mexican resort where they were staying for negligence, after an ATV accident injured their young child. However, the resort was able to successfully prevent the case from being heard in Canada, as they were not located in nor did they carry on business in Canada. According to a recent case from the Supreme Court of Canada, to establish that Ontario courts have jurisdiction to hear a claim arising from an injury suffered while on vacation outside of Ontario it requires that one of the four factors below be demonstrated:

1) The defendant is domiciled or resident in the province;

2) The defendant carries on business in the province;

3) The tort was committed in the province; or,

4) A contract connected with the dispute was made in the province.

As the event in that case occurred outside of Canada and involved a company who worked through an intermediary to sell rooms in Canada, the Courts agreed that the civil case was not within the jurisdiction of the Canadian courts.

In motor vehicle cases, the laws are somewhat different, provided that the insurance companies for both parties are Canadian or have Canadian subsidiaries. In some previous cases, the courts have found that if the insurance company provides for out of province or out of country coverage, then the plaintiff’s home province (for example, Ontario) would have jurisdictional rights over the case. Other contributing factors in deciding jurisdiction include the difficulty or inconvenience to the plaintiff pursuing litigation outside of Ontario, due to injuries sustained in the accident, as well as the fact that an injured plaintiff may require medical attention and experiences prolonged suffering primarily in Ontario. That said, a recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal precluded a Plaintiff from Ontario injured in Alberta from pursuing a claim through the Ontario courts.

Cases where the accident occurred outside of Canada can be far more complicated, and tend to turn on whether or not the insurance policy provides for payouts in foreign disputes, and whether the at-fault party in the accident agrees to Ontario jurisdiction.

Navigating the intricacies of foreign and inter-provincial insurance law can be difficult


Personal Injuries at Provincial Campgrounds

Personal Injuries in Provincial Parks – do you know what to do if you get hurt at a provincially run campground this summer? And what about deadlines? Learn who’s accountable and how quickly you need to consult with a lawyer.

Suing for Whiplash – A Pain in the Neck

Whiplash is perhaps the most common injury associated with auto collisions. But many insurance companies are suspicious of whiplash claims and will do anything to deny payment. Read the full article to learn more.

Personal Injury Claims & Social Media

Don’t Self-Sabotage on Social Media – the defence is looking to discredit you, and you might be giving them everything they need. Use social media responsibly during your trial so that your posts can’t be used against you – read the full article to learn more.

Slips, Trips & Falls – Business vs Private Residence

Where you had your accident can matter as much as why you got hurt. The Occupier’s Liability Act holds businesses and homes to different standards. Find out how this could affect your case, read the full article to learn more.

Bicycle Accidents and Personal Injuries

Cyclists assume way more risk than drivers. And if the two ever collide, the cyclist’s injuries could be serious and permanent. If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving a car or truck read the full article to learn more.

Loss of Limb – Potential Impacts to Lawsuit

The nature and severity of amputation make it unique among personal injury claims. Make sure you’re taking everything into consideration before submitting your claim – read the full article to learn more.

Dangerous Street Racing & Stunt Driving – Personal Injury Lawsuits

We’re already sharing the road with self-driving cars. But who’s at fault when they get involved in accidents that cause injuries to other drivers? And can you sue? Read the full article to learn more..

Personal Injury and the Canada Revenue Agency

If you win a personal injury lawsuit in Ontario, how much will you lose in taxes? How do you hold onto it and keep it out of the hands of the taxman? Click here to learn about tax-free structured annuities.

Autonomous Driving Accidents & Personal Injury

We’re already sharing the road with self-driving cars. But who’s at fault when they get involved in accidents that cause injuries to other drivers? And can you sue? Read the full article to learn more..

Personal Injury Claims & Accidents Involving Uber or Lyft Drivers

When ridesharing becomes accident-sharing – who’s responsible for injuries when Lyft and Uber drivers are involved in a crash? For simple answers to this complex and complicated question, click here for our comprehensive guide to ridesharing injuries.