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FAQs Personal Injury Claims

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FAQs Personal Injury Claims

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Claims

 

If you are considering contacting a personal injury lawyer, you may have questions about what they do, or how the process works. Here are some answers to the questions they are most often asked:

  • What should I do if I’ve been in a motor vehicle accident? First, if you are still in traffic, move your vehicle to a safer spot. If you or anyone else has been injured, call for medical help. (Any time anyone is injured in an accident, you must also notify the police.) If you are able to, use your smartphone to take photos of: any injuries, damage to the vehicles, location of the collision, license plates of all the vehicles, and the drivers. Exchange contact and insurance information with all involved drivers, and get contact information for any witnesses. If you need medical treatment, get it as soon as possible, and keep records of where and when you were treated, names of medical personnel, and copies of any forms or test results. Contact a personal injury law firm as soon as possible after the accident.

     

  • I’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident on city property. How do I know if I should make a claim? Most personal injury law firms offer a free consultation with one of their lawyers. Make a list of questions you have, and take it and all relevant documentation to this meeting. The lawyer will assess your situation and let you know how to proceed.

     

  • How much will it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer? Many people who have suffered a personal injury worry that they can’t afford a lawyer’s help, especially since bills for services they need while injured may be already putting a strain on family finances, and many are unable to work. However, most personal injury law firms work on a contingency basis, which means that there will be no fees up front, and you will pay only if you win. Your lawyer will receive a percentage of any settlement received, plus reimbursement for expenses they incur. When you agree to work with a lawyer, you’ll sign the law firm agreement which will spell out all of the terms of the relationship.

     

  • My injury was expected to heal quickly, but it’s still causing pain, and some time has passed since the accident. Can I claim for damages now? That depends. There are strict guidelines about this, and in Ontario you must file a claim within two years of the accident. Generally speaking, if you are injured at all in an accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

     

  • What can I ask for? There are many variables in each case, but you may be able to get compensation for pain and suffering, loss of past and future income, future medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, housekeeping and home maintenance expenses, and loss of education. You may also be eligible for additional damages such as out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury.

     

  • How much money can I expect? Again, this will depend on many variables, including the severity of your injuries and what the long-term impact of the injuries will have on your life. In most jurisdictions, there are caps on the amount of money available for certain injuries. Media reports of large settlements in the USA sometimes mislead people to think that it’s possible here, but in Canada the situation is different. This area of the law is very complex, and an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you to ascertain what you may be able to claim in compensation.

     

  • Will I have to go to court? The vast majority personal injury claims are settled out of court, but there is always a possibility that your case could go to trial. If you do have to go to court, your lawyer will be able to guide you through that process.

     

  • How long will all this take? That depends. Before a settlement can be reached, it’s important that the long-term effect of the injury can be predicted accurately. If your injuries are relatively minor, you may know the long-term prognosis relatively quickly, and the claim could be settled within a few months. In cases where the injury is more serious, the process could take much longer. In fact, it can take six to eighteen months simply to gather all of the medical evidence necessary in a complicated case. It is rarely in the plaintiff’s favour to settle quickly, so remember that taking the time to establish the facts properly will work in your favour. Most claims are settled within two years.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact a personal injury law firm as soon as possible. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you to navigate the paperwork required, and provide you with invaluable advice. Get the compensation you deserve.

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