Please note that information provided in here is for general information only. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon. If you have a legal question, you should consult a lawyer.
Do I Need a personal injury lawyer?
If another party's recklessness, carelessness, or negligence has caused you to suffer a serious personal injury, you should contact a lawyer. Typically, victims who attempt to recoup compensation on their own receive smaller settlements than those who obtain the services of experienced personal injury lawyers.
Where serious injuries are concerned, the insurance company will mobilize immediately. As a former defence lawyer working on behalf of large insurance companies, I know this from experience. In serious cases, the insurance company and their lawyers will make every effort to immediately obtain and collect information that is favourable to the defence of your claim. They will photograph the scene, take measurements, and meet with witnesses. While you and your family spend hours, days or months in hospitals, doctor's offices and rehabilitation clinics, the insurance company is preparing to defeat your claim before it even commences. They are getting the upper hand.
If the insurance company for the at fault party contacts you following an accident or requests to meet with you to obtain information, you should immediately seek legal advice from an Ontario personal injury lawyer. You should talk to a lawyer who is working for you before talking to the insurance company. Above all, insurance companies are large, for profit corporations. They are a business and, like any business, they seek to make profits for their shareholders. Often, the insurance company representative will be polite, friendly, and give you the impression that they are interested in helping you. They will usually indicate that they require some information from you and may even seek to meet with you to obtain a statement. Despite the appearances, you can be sure that the insurance company is only interested in limiting their monetary exposure. They want to defeat or minimize your claim. The insurance company will pay you as little as possible for your claim or injury.
If an insurance company offers an insurance settlement, have a Ontario personal injury lawyer review the insurance settlement to see if it is fair. Insurance companies may offer a minimal amount in a settlement in order to obtain your signature on a release, stating that you will not sure. Without having an experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer on your side, you could be signing away thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
By consulting with and retaining a personal injury lawyer immediately, you and your family can focus on your medical care and recovery. Your lawyer and his team will take care of investigating your claim and dealing with the insurance company in order to obtain a fair settlement for your claim.
What financial compensation can i receive from a personal injury lawsuit?
A personal injury lawyer can review the facts of your case and discuss the merits. There is no guarantee of compensatory damages that could be awarded during personal injury litigation since these types of cases can vary greatly. However, the following are some of the considerations when verdicts and settlements are awarded:
How can i afford to pay a personal injury lawyer?
In most cases, fees will be charged on a contingency basis – in other words, there is no charge unless and until you receive compensation. The fee is normally a percentage of your final settlement. The initial consultation with you is complimentary and absolutely free.
are there any steps i can take while recovering from my injury?
Yes. There are things that you can do to help your claim. This is primarily retaining documents and information that will assist your lawyer in proving your case. See the things that you can do to help your claim.
how long will it take to settle my case?
This will often depend on who you are suing and the nature and complexity of your case. After reviewing the specific facts of your case, a lawyer should be able to provide you with some estimate of how long your case will take to resolve.
Can i settle out of court?
A claim can be settled at any time, including before the suit is filed, after the suit is filed, and, of course, before trial is started. Suits and claims can also be settled during or after trial. Statistically, most cases settle before trial and few ever go to trial.
what is mediation?
Mediation is a settlement conference, where all parties and their lawyers meet in a conference room to attempt to negotiate a settlement. At mediation, your lawyer will make a brief presentation discussing your side of the case with the mediator (usually a retired lawyer or a judge) and, of course, with the lawyer for the other side and his or her representative (usually the insurance company adjuster). The lawyer for the other side will then make a brief presentation about their side of the case. You are required to attend mediation, but you are not required to say anything or to settle.
is delay in speaking with a lawyer a bad idea?
It is absolutely a bad idea to delay in speaking to a personal injury lawyer about your rights if you have been injured. Time is not your friend. There are specific time limits, called statutes of limitations that govern the period in which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. When the statute of limitations expires on your case, you are barred from bringing a lawsuit and you simply don't have a case anymore. Statutes of limitations differ according to the kind of lawsuit involved. In some instances, there may be other time-sensitive conditions that you need to satisfy in order to preserve your right to make a claim.
if i hire a personal injury lawyer, will i have to go to court?
The vast majority of cases (about 90% to 95%) settle out of court, and so you probably will not be required to attend a trial. Settlements are often achieved through settlement conferences and mediation.
how do i prove my personal injury case?
The burden of proof in a tort case, as in most civil law cases, is lower than the proof required in criminal law cases. In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove a person's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. To win a personal injury lawsuit based on tort law, the plaintiff need only prove that a majority of the evidence shows that an injury was caused by the defendant's negligent actions. This standard of proof is called "the preponderance of the evidence." The different burdens of proof mean that a company might be acquitted of criminal charges stemming from its actions, but be found liable in a civil lawsuit stemming from the same actions.
what is the statute of limitations - time limit for my personal injury case?
Time is not your friend. There are specific time limits, called "statutes of limitations," that govern the period during which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. When the statute of limitations expires on your case, you are barred from bringing a lawsuit and you simply don't have a case anymore. Statutes of limitations differ according to the kind of lawsuit involved.
how much is my ontario personal injury case worth?
Every case is different. In personal injury cases, you are entitled to compensation for such things as pain and suffering (past and future); lost wages and ability to earn income (past and future); medical and rehabilitation expenses (past and future); disfigurement; disability, and loss of enjoyment of life (past and future). In order to evaluate your personal injury claim, we will have to speak with you and ask you some questions.
is there any obligation or fee if i contact you for a consultation?
No. Consultations are free. Fees are only charged if your case is accepted and a recovery of money damages is achieved on your behalf. If, after discussing your case with us, you decide not to pursue a claim or if you decide to proceed with another law firm there is no obligation on your part. Any information you have provided to us is also confidential and protected by the lawyer-client privilege.
i have hired a lawyer - what can i do to assist my lawyer with my personal injury case?
Now that you have hired a lawyer to assist with your personal injury claim, there are things that you can do to assist in the process. For example, your lawyer may ask you for a list of all health-care providers, tax returns, and photographs. You shouldn't worry about collecting your medical records, as your lawyer will likely prefer to control the collection and document the requests and when the records were received. In the litigation process, your lawyer will need to be able to confirm that the records are complete. Your lawyer may have other additional requests for you, such as contact information for people that have information about your injuries and effects upon your daily life. Make sure to ask your lawyer if there is anything that you can do to assist in the process.
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