Each year, millions of Canadian resident tourists drive from outside of the U.S. to visit Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) the Outer Banks of North Carolina NC) and other popular areas like Williamsburg. You may be surprised to discover that a large number of Va. Beach tourists are visiting from Montreal and Quebec province, Canada. In fact, Canadian visitors to the Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach area increased from 4.2 percent in 2002 to 11.7 percent in the summer of 2009, according to a visitor profile study conducted by Old Dominion University. There are so many Canadian tourists that a sign in the beach area says “Welcome to Virginia” in English and French! The Virginia and Carolina beaches are beautiful, and our Canadian visitors realize how beautiful these beaches are.

During our tourism seasons – spring and summer – traffic is more congested than usual, especially in the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and on U.S. 13 (Route 13) and Interstate 64 (I-64), which tourists from Canada use to travel to the Eastern Shore, Hampton and Norfolk.The high volume of traffic consequently means that car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and truck wrecks are more likely to occur. 

For the large number of Canadian tourists, getting into a car accident and suffering injuries while on vacation can be particularly unnerving. They may wonder if the damages sustained from the wreck can or will be covered since they are tourists. 

What many Canadians are probably unaware of is that they entitled to the same rights as American citizens who are injured in car accidents in the United States, and VA and NC state courts allow jury trials in injury cases, unlike Canadian injury lawsuits.

Canadian tourists who are injured in a car accident in Virginia, such as a fender bender or head-on collision, should first seek medical attention. Any car accident can result in serious neck or head injuries. Virginia and Carolina state law provides for a jury or non-jury trial for personal injury cases. 

Tourists, whether from out-of-state or out-of-country, can still contact a law firm from the area in which the accident occurred and the Canadian “no fault” rules may be totally inapplicable in VA or NC if the injury was caused by an American resident driver, who was at fault. Being injured in a car accident in Va or NC could mean potential lost wages from work, large medical bills and permanent or temporary disabilities which a jury can compensate for. Tourists will need an  experienced injury attorney to help them receive the settlement or verdict that they deserve.