This is a great question that is often asked by Canadians injured in Florida. They see the billboards and television advertisements for attorneys in Florida, so they make the call. Others wait to return to Ontario and call an Ontario lawyer that deals with car accidents. In both situations, the lawyers will often accept the case. Why? Because these lawyers may be able to assist with one area of the case - either Florida or Ontario - and will likely refer you to another lawyer to assist with the part of the case that they cannot handle. For instance, an Ontario lawyer may say that they can help you with the Ontario aspects of your case, and then refer you to a Florida attorney for the Florida aspects of the case. The same holds true for the Florida attorney that needs help with the Ontario aspects of the case. Although there is nothing wrong with this approach, and many of our Canadian clients injured in Florida reach us in precisely this way, it is not the most efficient way to proceed. When the lawyer only knows the rules on one side of the border, this often leads to delays in the case or worse, serious problems where deadlines or steps are missed. Unfortunately, quite often I receive a frantic call from a lawyer in either Ontario or Florida that is worried they committed an error because they missed some important aspect of the claim on the side of the border where they are not experienced or licensed to practice.
What is the answer then - hire a Florida attorney or Ontario lawyer? In most instances you will need help from lawyers on both sides of the border. The Snowbird Attorney is unique because we practice law both in Ontario, Canada and Florida, USA. With offices located in Palm Beach County and in the GTA, I regularly represent Canadians injured in Florida accidents. My practice started in Florida in 2004, first as an insurance defense attorney and then as a lawyer representing injured people. In 2012, I also started a law firm in Ontario to help injured Ontario residents. I am a member of the Florida Justice Association, American Association for Justice, and Ontario Trial Lawyers Association. I am so grateful for the opportunity to help countless Canadians injured in the USA as a result of motorcycle accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, trip and fall accidents, and boating accidents. I have also formed great relationships with Ontario lawyers and Florida attorneys that regularly call on me to assist with their cross-border accident cases and I am so very grateful to these intelligent lawyers for their continued support and counsel.
If you are a Canadian injured in Florida, call me anytime for a Free Consultation. If you are a Florida attorney or lawyer in Ontario and you are trying to help a Canadian injured in the United States, feel free to reach out anytime with any questions.
Andrew Iacobelli is a lawyer, licensed to practice law in Florida, Michigan and Ontario. Andrew restricts his practice to the representation of individuals that have been seriously injured.