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What do you Need to Know Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Hiring a lawyer requires attention, and there are several hints a person can follow to help them choose the best option for their case. However, depending on the area of your case, it is best to be a little more specific when searching for a good lawyer.

This is especially true when hiring a personal injury lawyer Calgary, not only because you want to make sure that the person you hire is a professional, but also because, being the victim of harmful situations, you will need time to recover while seeking justice. Here, you will find the basics of what you need to know before hiring a personal injury lawyer to take over your case for you.

First, it is important to understand what a Personal Injury is and how it is classified under the law.

What is Personal Injury?

Accidents happen daily, sometimes by your own fault and sometimes by just bad luck. Most accidents will not result in more than just a bruise, and people tend to not pay much care to it, but some may cause severe injuries to a person that requires medical attention and is entitled to compensation. If being harmed was not bad enough, it is even worse knowing the accident could have been prevented if it was not for the faulty actions or omissions of someone else.

Personal Injury is defined as any harm, physical or emotional, caused to a person by negligence or imprudence of someone else. Many things can cause a personal injury, some are more obvious than others, and all have a varying degree of severity. The most common personal injury claims and lawsuits in Canada are transit-related (car accidents, pedestrian injuries, bicycle accidents), premise accidents (slips, falls, and trips due to poor maintenance such as lack of snow removal), and medical misconduct (delaying a diagnosis, neglect in treatment, surgical error). Situations that may cause anxiety, lack of sleep, elevated stress, humiliation, or depression could be considered a case of emotional injury.

The extent of the injury is also relevant, but mostly for the purposes of assessing the severity of the accident. Anything from a broken bone to permanent brain damage can be considered a personal injury if caused by a third party’s neglect or intent. A person’s death in those kinds of situations can also lead to a lawsuit, in which the plaintiff can be a family member, for example.

Every day people suffer from countless causes of personal injuries, and no one should stay silent while facing the consequences of it by themselves. If you were wrongfully harmed, you should seek a lawyer soon after receiving medical attention.

When should you contact a lawyer?

Personal Injury lawsuits are part of civil litigation, and so it can take a long time through a complex process to reach any kind of settlement. Time, in those particular cases, is essential to build a solid case, not being uncommon for a plaintiff to rely on accident scenes and the memory of eyewitnesses to base their arguments.

In Alberta, a person has only up to two years after an accident to file a lawsuit but may have only a few days to file a claim against their insurance company. However, the sooner you contact a lawyer to assist you the better since you can begin collecting evidence while the facts are still fresh.

If possible, this initial work of gathering information should be done while you recover from your injuries, being a joint effort of taking care of your future interest and present necessities. A lot of times, people fail to prove that they did everything in their reach to mitigate their pain, so documenting your case together with your lawyer is recommended.

Why do you need a lawyer?

A lawyer will assist you in the process of being compensated for your pain and suffering, and holding the perpetrators responsible for their negligence. A good lawyer will not just ask you for all the proof that you have to sustain your case, they will actively help you sort out your case and look for evidence together while you recover to better health. Most times, people are not really sure that they have a solid case until they speak to a professional first.

Having a lawyer will relieve you from the burden of dealing with paperwork and provide you with legal advice that can prove itself necessary. An extensive background of professional work in the area allows a lawyer to analyse each case better. With time, they can point out to you every weakness and strength in your case before you go to court.

Expertise

There are numerous personal injury law firms with specialised professionals. This proficiency means that the lawyer you hire already knows how to deal with other parties in the lawsuit, including insurance companies which may be an obstacle in getting your damages reparations.

Your lawyer will also facilitate your access to experts that will provide their assessments of your injuries to the court. This can be an extremely important feature in your case, and it is usually used to quantify the amount of compensation to which you are entitled.

Settlements

Finally, perhaps the best reason why you need a lawyer is that most personal injury cases do not go to court, but rather end in a settlement prior. A Personal Injury Lawyer will first and foremost try to negotiate with the other parties the terms of compensation and obligations that they owe you, and essentially put an early end to what could have been a lengthy suit. Do not be mistaken: this is in everyone’s best interest, and so it is not unusual for a defendant to agree to a settlement.

No matter what turn you take on your case, you must be willing to disclose to your lawyer information about the case that may not be entirely in your favour. This means that you need to trust that your lawyer has your best interest in mind, and not because they do not believe you or just want profit.

Contingency Fee

Most lawyers in Calgary, when dealing with personal injury lawsuits, will tell you that they work with contingency fees. This means that you will not have to actively pay for their services from your own pocket.

Think about it: the entire point of your suit is to receive monetary compensation for an accident you suffered. This includes any losses such as wages, emotional distress, and medical bills, so it only makes sense that your legal bills are also present here—after all, you only had to contact a lawyer because of this accident that was not your fault.

The way that contingency fees work is that your lawyers will receive their payment from a percentage of the amount of money that you are awarded after the lawsuit. This percentage can vary from law firm to law firm, but it usually falls between 20 to 45% of the settlement. In case your suit is unfounded, neither you nor your lawyers will receive anything.

Due to the particular nature of personal injury cases, it is always recommended that you hire a lawyer to assist you from the beginning. You can only benefit from having a professional guiding you through the extremely sensitive time after an accident, so you can recover your health while seeking the reparations to which you are entitled.

Author

Steve Dimic – Dimic Law Firm

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