Personal Injury Mishaps

Watch Where You Walk

 

What Are  Personal Injury Lawyers?

A personal injury lawyer is someone who protects innocent victims. It doesn’t matter if you were injured in a car accident, from a slip and fall, or from the failure of medicine or medical devices. Hiring a personal injury lawyer will help to ensure that you receive a fair and just amount of compensation.

Your attorney will work hard to receive the largest possible settlement. Studies show that cases handled by a lawyer are far more likely to receive maximum settlement amounts than those handled personally by the victim. In this short guide you’ll understand exactly how your injury lawyer will work to do this for you.

What does a  Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

Right after the accident your  attorney will work to collect the facts regarding your accident or injury. With that information, the attorney will be able to make certain determinations about your case and potential compensation.

During an initial conversation, known as a consultation, your lawyer will ask you many questions. They will allow the lawyer to understand whether or not you have any fault in the accident, and how much. He will also learn who is truly responsible for the accident.what-is-my-case-worth

It is also his responsibility to determine whether or not the claim will stand up in court if it is pursued. It’s also important that your lawyer consider the future consequences of your injuries. For instance, if you’re not able to return to your regular line of work your lawyer will calculate the potentially lost wages.

After the Initial Consultation

After you’ve completed the initial consultation your lawyer will file a claim. The defendant will handle all of the paperwork and requirements, as well as making sure any required documents are filed before legally set deadlines. They are typically able to do so more effectively than the victim because they have a support staff that is familiar with these processes.

Once the claim is filed, you will meet in court. You may be required to face the person who caused the accident, as well as the attorneys sent to represent the insurance company, depending on the nature of your lawsuit.

It is likely that you will be required to take the stand and answer questions by the judge, your own attorney, and the attorney of the defendant. Your lawyer will provide guidelines on what you questions you should answer and how to answer them.

It’s important that you avoid any physical activities after your accident, especially if you are in public. In one case, a gentleman was witnessed sweeping his porch by the insurance company. They used this as the basis for a counter-claim, stating that if he was able to perform this “intense” physical activity that he couldn’t be injured. The case was dismissed on the basis of fraud.

By working closely with your attorney you will be able to avoid such unfortunate events. Once the case is complete, you’ll move on to the actual settlement process.

Receiving Your Accident Settlement

injury compensationOnce your compensation has been determined and your settlement was  awarded your lawyer will likely handle receipt of the payment. This allows him to settle any outstanding medical bills, repair bills, and other expenses incurred because of the accident. The car accident attorney will also typically receive his retainer fee at this time.

From there, the lawyer will handle the transferring of your settlement into your accounts.  Lawyers can help to maximize the amount of your settlement, reducing your future financial burdens significantly. Don’t take the chance of leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table. Work with an experienced  injury lawyers to ensure that you’re able to receive what is rightfully yours.

Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Lawyer Experienced with Cases Like Mine

Depending on the nature of your accident you may not be able to find a lawyer in Toronto with experience in cases like yours. While it is preferable to have a lawyer with experience with cases like yours it isn’t absolutely required.

 

no-fault-finger-pointingBy finding an attorney  that has experience with cases similar to yours you can proceed with confidence. For instance, if you’re suing a medical manufacturer because of their defective hip replacement product a lawyer who has experience with other defective medical equipment should be able to help. He doesn’t need to specifically have experience with other cases involving hip replacements.

So long as your lawyer seems to have a good track record you should feel confident. Part of the initial consultation isn’t just for your lawyer to determine if you have a case. It’s also for you to determine if you feel comfortable working with that lawyer.

Take the time to reach out to a injury attorney today and find out whether or not you should pursue legal action.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

When you’re in a car wreck you’ll have lots of questions. By studying this FAQ you’ll learn the answers to common questions most people ask their Toronto car accident lawyer. Please note that every case is different, though, and checking with your attorney is the best way to make sure that you have the right answer.

How is Compensation Determined

The compensation awarded in your settlement is determined in two ways. In some cases,injury compensation

there are certain amounts of compensation that are standard and awarded by default. In other cases a judge will review the case and come up with a judgment for the amount of compensation to be awarded.

Typically the amount of property damage, limits of insurance coverage, and the extent of injuries will be considered. Pain and suffering is one of the most important components of your compensation amount, but it is also the most difficult to prove in court.

During your initial consultation your lawyer will be able to give you an indication of the amount of money you may be able to earn in a court of law.

What is the Best Way to Prove Which Injuries Were Caused by the Accident

It can be difficult to prove that certain injuries were caused by the accident, especially if you had some preexisting conditions. The best thing to do is seek medical attention immediately. Keep documentation that references the details of every visit.

Don’t try to claim that some injuries were caused by the accident if they weren’t. Speaking to your personal injury attorney about any preexisting conditions and those that were aggravated or caused by the accident can help him or her present the information in the best possible way.

Who Pays for Towing or Storage of the Vehicle

In most cases the insurance company of the person who is found at fault in the accident will be responsible for these costs. You can expect much foot dragging, though, as insurance companies don’t like to pay out on claims.

Make sure that you document any bills that you receive in connection with the accident – not just for the towtruck and storage service, but also medical bills, mechanics fees, and anything else. The more proof you have of the costs incurred as a result of the wreck the easier it will be for your lawyer to have them included as a part of your settlement or claim.

How is it Decided if the Vehicle is Repaired or Replaced

The actual cash value of your vehicle is compared to the estimated cost of the repairs. Typically, when the two are within a certain range of each other (usually 80%) your insurance company will declare the vehicle totaled instead of repairing it.

If the ACV of your vehicle significantly exceeds the value of the repairs, then the insurance company will not consider the vehicle totaled and will pay for repairs.

What Does Fair Market Value Mean

Fair market value is determined by things like the Kelley Blue Book. Sometimes your accident may require a special appraiser to determine the value of the car. Unfortunately, fair market value is usually significantly less than the amount owed on the car. When this happens, it’s possible that you may be able to have the excess amount included in your compensation.

Speak to your accident attorney to find out if this is possible.

Am I Able to Have my Car Repaired at my Own Mechanic

In most cases, yes.

Must the Insurance Company use Brand New Repair Parts

No. So long as your vehicle is returned to pre-accident conditions the repair will be considered legally acceptable.two car crash

Since the parts in your car probably weren’t new, your insurance company and repair man don’t need to use brand new parts. Refurbished components are allowed.

In the event that the repair shop uses new parts in place of refurbished parts you may be required to pay the difference. Again, your lawyer can advise you on whether or not these additional expenses can be included in your settlement claim or not.

How Long Can it Take to Settle the Claim

Legally, the insurance company has only thirty days to pay your claim. They can, however, delay their payment if you don’t cooperate with them or if they need to perform an additional investigation. This will almost always happen if the accident was rather severe.

Contacting your car accident attorney immediately and having him or her handle all communications with the insurance company can significantly reduce the delay between the time you file your claim and the time it is paid out.

If I Need a Rental Car will the Insurance Company Pay

It all depends on your policy. If rental cars are a part of the policy then they will typically cover them for up to thirty days. If not, you’ll be left on the hook for your own rental expenses after your car accident.

What About Rental Car Insurance?

It’s always advisable that you pay the extra for rental car insurance. It will minimize your liabilities and reduce the chances that you have to go to court over damages.

Kelley Blue Book 2013 Lexus

Should I Hire A Lawyer?

Going to court is a big deal, and most car accident victims find themselves asking, “Do I need a lawyer?” We’re taught by the television, movies, and popular jokes that lawyers are terrible people out for one thing – money!

It’s no big surprise, then, that most people wonder if they even need to hire a lawyer for their case. They don’t know what to expect, and so they aren’t sure what to do. This article was written to help answer that question. law-book

We also recommend that you read our car accident and personal injury FAQ to find out more about what a car accident lawyer actually does for you in the court room. Once you’ve read both articles, you’ll understand:

  1. How contacting a lawyer immediately after your accident can help to reduce your personal liability or maximize the compensation that you’re eligible for
  2. Why an attorney is an important part of filing for personal injury claims
  3. Whether or not you need legal representation when you’re insured
  4. How to tell whether or not you’re hiring the best personal injury lawyer or car accident lawyer before you even spend a single dollar

When it comes to the question “Do I need a lawyer,” you’re likely to hear various answers, depending on who you ask. One thing is certain, though: the legal system is complicated. So, when deciding on the answer, ask yourself, how well do you understand the laws governing your case. If you aren’t a trained professional with the right certifications and expertise hiring a lawyer is the best thing you can do.

Car Accident Lawyer- Do I Need One?

If you’ve suffered neck injuries, back injuries, or any physical damage that required a doctor visit, hospital stay or surgery, then you should strongly consider hiring a lawyer. In many cases it’s important that you speak with your lawyer before anyone else.

Your lawyer will help you with your car accident in one of two ways. First, he may protect your assets by proving that you weren’t at fault in the accident. If this isn’t possible, he will work to limit your liability and minimize the amount of compensation that can be awarded.two-car-accidents

 If you are the victim of a car wreck your lawyer will work to prove that the other person was at fault. He will work to maximize the amount of compensation awarded to you from your insurance company, the defendant’s insurance company, and maybe even the defendant.

He may also work to extend your workman’s comp claim depending on the nature of the accident. If, however, the accident was minor and there was no property damage or injuries involved, then you may not need a lawyer.

 

 

Personal Injury Claims

Some claims may be settled in a small claims court. In these instances it may not make sense to hire an attorney. It doesn’t hurt to contact your lawyer, though, to find out if there is any benefit to having him or her involved.

Were you  hurt due to a product malfunction, machine malfunction, a slip and fall, or because of a prescription drug or medical device? If so you should find a lawyer.

In most of these cases the defendant will have legal representation. It will be their job to prove that there was no fault on behalf of their client. If that isn’t possible, then they will seek to minimize their liability and the amount of your personal injury claim.

If the case is against a medical firm you can be sure that they will have well trained lawyers. It makes sense to hire an attorney with experience fighting these companies for compensation. It’s not something that the average person should consider taking on themselves.

Legal Help if I’m Insured

Your insurance company is legally required to protect your assets in the event of an injury or accident. That’s why you pay your monthly premiums. With that being said, they are only legally required to pay a certain, minimum amount.

You can be sure that if your insurance company can get away with it that they will only pay you the minimum. In some cases they may even delay this compensation with a trial. They will be trying to prove that there is some sort of fraud involved, especially if the settlement amount was determined by a judge.

By working closely with your lawyer you can be sure to maximize the compensation that you will receive from your insurance company, as well as the insurance company of the party you’re suing. It makes sense to work with legal representation in any case where there are tens of thousands of dollars on the line. In some cases, millions of dollars may be at stake.

Having a lawyer working to win your settlement is important. This should provide clarity to your original question, “Should I hire a lawyer?”

Find The Right Lawyer

While you should know by now that the answer to your question is yes, in most cases. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should rush out and hire just any attorney or legal firm. You want to make sure that you find one that will work with your best interest in mind.

When meeting an attorney for an initial consultation, be sure to pay attention to the way you are treated. You also want to pay attention to how the lawyer and his support staff are treating other clients.

If you feel that your attorney isn’t customer-service oriented, then you may want to look elsewhere. A lawyer has no more right to treat his clients poorly than a waitress. Besides, if your lawyer seems to be paying attention to your needs and concerns, it shows that he is willing to do his best to earn the compensation that you deserve.

Car Accidents

Injuries caused by car accidents can be life-altering. In some cases, they can even result in death. Understanding the injuries seen most frequently as the result of car accidents can help you learn what your options and choices may be.

The first thing you should do after any motor vehicle accident is to contact your lawyer.  You should do this even before speaking with the insurance company. Of course, if you’ve been seriously injured, you may need to receive medical attention, first.

personal injury case-car collisionIt’s also essential that you don’t claim fault in the accident, even if you did something to cause it. Instead of answering any questions pertaining to the circumstances surround the wreck you should politely decline to discuss it until you’ve spoken with your attorney.

Keeping these two things in mind will protect you by minimizing your liability. This means that you will be able to receive a larger settlement if you are the victim. If you’re at fault, it will help to minimize the amount of compensation that you may be responsible to pay.

Psychological Injuries

Psychological injuries are the most common in car accidents. After you’ve experienced a collision at or above 35 miles per hour, you may be hesitant to get back into the car. The fact is that cars, buses, motorcycles, and trucks are large metal objects moving at high speeds.

When two vehicles collide it is a site to behold. Being inside either vehicle can be rather traumatic, even if no bodily injuries are experienced. If your car accident has left you unable to return to living the life you once knew because of fear, you may be eligible for pain and suffering compensation, or even a settlement based on lost wages.

These cases can be rather difficult to prove, but speaking with your personal injury attorney about these types of car accidents can help you determine whether or not you have a case.

Back, Spine, and Neck Injuries

Back, spine, and neck injuries are also rather common in motor vehicle collisions. Common injuries include neck strain and whiplash. More severe accidents can result in neck surgeries such as a cervical radiculopathy.

Both your neck and back can experience crushed or slipped discs. These can be debilitating injuries that prevent you from ever returning to work. Injuries in your thoracic or lumbar regions can be particularly painful. In many cases surgery will be needed.

If you’ve experienced serious injuries such as those described above, your lawyer may be able to seek compensation on several bases. First, medical bills and legal fees will be a part of the arranged settlement. If you were out of work or won’t be able to return, your lawyer will also help to calculate lost wages.

Finally, your legal representative will work to demonstrate the value of your pain and suffering. The ability to do so is what sets a good attorney apart from a great attorney. It can be rather subjective when it comes to placing a dollar amount on your pain and suffering, but your accident lawyer will be able to help with this.

In some cases, settlements of $1,000,000 or more are possible. There are all sorts of variables when it comes to the litigation surrounding car accidents, though, so working with your attorney is always a good idea.

Car Wrecks that Involve Face and Brain Injuries

When an airbag deploys it can cause serious damage to the face. It isn’t uncommon for car crash victims to experience swollen eyes, broken noses, and in some cases broken jaws. All of these injuries can have a serious psychological impact on the victim.

air-bag

In some cases shattered glass can fly through the car, causing serious injuries to the eyes. A skilled attorney will understand the suffering you’re experiencing as a result of these types of car accidents. He will be able to empathize with your pain and present your case in a way that results in appropriate compensation.

Brain injuries are the most life altering. They can leave a person disabled in a number of ways. Traumatic brain injuries, amnesia, and even vegetative states are all possible. If your loved one was lost due to a car accident that involved traumatic brain injuries you may be able to pursue compensation on behalf of your family.

Regardless of who was at fault in these types of accidents, having an attorney is necessary. If you were the victim your attorney will work hard to sue both insurance companies for the appropriate amounts of compensation. If you were at fault but still injured, your lawyer will work hard to sue your own insurance company for maximum compensation.

Again, the circumstances surrounding all car accidents are different, and checking with your attorney can help you better understand what your options are.

Property Damage

In some cases there may be no injuries. In this case you should be on the lookout for property damage. Your accident may have resulted in the damage of public property, private property, or even your vehicle. When this happens it may be necessary to take the case to court.

Property damage claims can range from just a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars. By working with your attorney you can minimize the amount that you may be responsible to pay. If your property was damaged, working with your lawyer for these types of accidents can help to maximize your compensation.

 View This Video on Whiplash Injuries