A personal injury accident is a serious matter that warrants a legal consultation.
You may have lost income from being off of work and incurred out of pocket expenses. You may have injuries with a long recovery time or injuries that never heal.
At the outset, a personal injury lawyer can determine which laws apply, assess your eligibility for accident benefits, assess who is legally responsible for the accident, and determine if you have a tort claim. If hired, the lawyer can then represent your legal interests, including all the steps involved to the end of the file. At Tamming Law, we provide these legal services for you.
OBTAIN IDENTIFYING INFORMATION
After your initial consultation, your lawyer can begin conducting searches to obtain important information for your case. For example, in a car accident case, the driver responsible for the accident may have a poor driving history already; s/he may not own the vehicle or have insurance. Or, the vehicle may be a rental or borrowed, in a ride sharing arrangement, or registered to a company.
If you’ve had a slip and fall accident, a lawyer can find out who the owner of the premises is and if there is a separate occupier that also is responsible.
Correctly identifying the parties is critical when filing a claim with the court, and your lawyer will know of specific rules on when to notify parties, including any parties who are located out of the province or country.
DETERMINE WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACCIDENT
If you’ve had a car accident, a lawyer can assess the legal liability involved, to help you understand who is legally responsible for the accident. If it is an auto accident, it is not the police that determine liability, but rather the fault determination rules made by insurers. If you made an error that contributed to your accident injuries, you lawyer can advise you what percentage you may be responsible for.
ASSESS THE VALUE OF THE CLAIM
Your personal injury lawyer can assess the value of your claim based not only on liability but also on the quantum of damages typically paid for certain classifications of injuries. For example, you may have both physical and non-physical injuries, including cognitive injuries, mental distress and depression. You lawyer is knowledgeable about medical specialists who can assess your condition.
INITIATE THE CLAIM
Your lawyer will begin the lawsuit by notifying the responsible party about your claim and filing the claim with the court. Your lawyer will also know how and when to advance your claim if no acknowledgement is received. Failing to notify the responsible party(ies) or filing with the court in a timely manner could otherwise result in your claim being denied.
CARRY THE FILE TO ITS END
Your lawyer will encourage communication with the opposing side and set up opportunities to settle the claim. If needed, your lawyer will provide disclosure and set a date for examination for discovery. Much work goes into preparing the file, including for discovery, which your lawyer will attend with you.
If the matter does not settle around the discovery stage, the defendant’s insurer may request that you attend an independent medical examination. Your lawyer will advise you best about this medical exam, which must be taken.
If you matter hasn’t already settled by then, your lawyer might ask you to attend mediation and then a pre-trial conference. In the event that the claim gets to the trial stage, a settlement may also be negotiated before court starts.
ADVISE YOU WHEN TO SETTLE THE CLAIM
One of reasons it is critical to have a lawyer represent your case is that s/he will be able to advise you when a settlement offer is reasonable in your situation. It can be extremely detrimental to your case if you don’t hire a lawyer for this advice or trust your lawyer about when to settle.
For example, Magnone v. Dawson, 2014 ONSC 3548 (CanLII) is a case where the plaintiff was ordered to pay the defendant for costs due to an unnecessary trial. The plaintiff, Ms. Magnone, had been injured in an accident and was offered $135,000 by the insurer prior to trial, plus a contribution to her legal fees. However, Ms. Magnone refused the offer and, the trial jury awarded much less. In consequence, the judge ordered the plaintiff to pay $100,000, which was a portion of the insurer’s legal fees for having to proceed to court.
LOCATED IN OWEN SOUND, A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER AT TAMMING LAW CAN HELP YOU SUCCEED.
Suffering an injury can be a traumatic experience that affects your daily living and your livelihood. With each case based on unique facts and circumstances, it is important to make an informed decision about legal services related to compensation for your losses. An experienced injury lawyer in Owen Sound can assist, advise and advocate for you throughout the process. We can also answer your questions. Call us at 1-888-945-5783 as soon as possible if you or a loved one have been injured in an accident.