Filled With Questions and Struggling For Answers
After a motor vehicle accident, there are many important steps that should be taken. Injury victims often find themselves unaware of what they should do. Often times they are overwhelmed by their injuries, unable to work, struggling with every day expenses and looking for answers.
For these reasons, there is no doubt that filing a personal injury claim in Ontario can be a complicated and stressful ordeal for those who are not represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Seek Out Information
As with most things, knowledge is the primary ingredient of any good decision. The more information you have, the better your chances are for a successful personal injury claim. The first step is to prepare a list of questions to ask before choosing a personal injury lawyer to represent you.
With experience and dedication comes success. The lawyer and law firm you choose, can have a tremendous impact on the value and outcome of your claim. Look for a lawyer that specializes in the type of injury or accident that is most relevant to your claim. General practice lawyers can be like a “handy man”. They do a little of everything and maybe even dabble in personal injury claims. This type of legal representation is likely to put you at a disadvantage in court. You can be assured that the lawyers hired by the insurance company will be the best at what they do.
How Much Does Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
In Ontario, most personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations to injury victims who want to discuss the merits of their claim and better understand what their legal rights to compensation are.
Most personal injury lawyers in Ontario also offer some sort of “no win – no fee” arrangement. In this situation, all legal fees, disbursements and court costs are paid for upfront by the law firm representing your claim. Only when you claim has settled and you have received compensation will the law firm be reimbursed. This is know as a contingency fee.
After suffering serious injury in an accident, very few victims have the financial means to challenge the big insurance companies in a legal battle with upfront legal payments. Without contingency fees, insurance companies would, by default, have many personal injury victims at a serious disadvantage.
Are You Eligible For Compensation?
Once you have chosen your lawyer, you will need to figure out if your injuries are eligible for compensation. This may be compensation from the person who caused the accident, or if you were at fault; compensation from your own insurance company in the form of accident benefits. Car accident benefits and a car accident lawsuit are not the same thing. Your lawyer will be able to explain the difference in greater detail. What your personal injury claim is worth depends on the specific details of your case. Every situation and every claim is different. In Ontario, personal injury compensation is based on the principle of loss. So those who have greater losses (loss of wages, loss of future earning capacity, future costs for rehabilitation or attendant care) are entitled to a greater amount of compensation.
How Long Will My Injury Claim Take?
The more you know about the personal injury claim process, the better you will understand the steps involved and the time each can take.
How long your injury claim will take can also be greatly dependent on the status of your injuries.
With time, comes knowledge. If your injuries are worsening and have not yet resolved or plateaued settling your claim quickly may not be in your best interest. Only with a clear diagnosis or prognosis of your injuries will the amount of your future losses be known.