New York State borders Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. It shares North America’s most visited natural wonder – Niagara Falls, two of the great lakes, and the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers. There are multiple border crossings, all of which allow tourists and commerce to travel back and forth.
New Yorkers and Canadians also share harsh cold snowy winters. They account for most snowbirds who head south to Florida for the winter. They are major purchasers of Floridian property.
Interestingly, cross-border accidents are very common between the two jurisdictions. For anyone involved in a New York car accident, they have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against those responsible.
New York is a no-fault car insurance state. In Ontario, the Statute of Limitations for motor vehicle accidents is two years.
New York Serious Injury Threshold
Yes, you can sue in New York. Canadians can bring a lawsuit in New York for personal injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident if they pass the New York serious injury threshold. You need to be:
- a) suffering a serious disfigurement, or
- b) a fractured bone, or
- c) a permanent serious impairment, or
- d) a significant limitation of use of your body, or
- e) be substantially-fully disabled for 90 days
This is a complicated test and claimants need to speak to qualified personal injury lawyer in New York to decide whether they meet any of the requirements. Conversely, Ontario has a more stringent verbal and monetary threshold.
New York Car Insurance Limits
Most New Yorkers are insured but the minimum liability limit is $25,000 per incident. In most instances, Canadians will have to make a claim on their own car policy for underinsured. In general, Canadians have much better car insurance coverage when comparing the two jurisdictions.
Importantly, regardless of fault, or wherever the accident happened, New Yorkers have contractual (PIP) accident benefits. Similarly, Canadians have accident benefits which must be claimed in the province they purchased their car insurance policy.