The Other Driver's Insurance Company is Contacting Me: Should I talk to the Insurance Company following an Ontario Car Accident?
By: Andrew Iacobelli
Where serious injuries are concerned, the insurance company may mobilize immediately to minimize their exposure to your claim. 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 the 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 sue. Without having an experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer on your side, you could be signing away thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Call us, we may be able to review the circumstances in a free, no obligation, consultation.
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.
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If you or family member has been injured in a car accident in Ontario, you are probably feeling weight of uncertainty and stress. A serious injury from a car accident, motorcycle accident, or pedestrian accident, can take an enormous toll on you and your family. Your main priority at this time is your health, and trying to get better and heal. At the same time, however, there are concerns about the immediate loss of income, as well as uncertainty about the future. Your family may be consumed with caring for you and helping you through the difficult road to recovering your health.
Fortunately, there is insurance coverage in place to cover your losses following a serious motor vehicle accident. The insurance company, however, while seemingly accommodating and sympathetic, will also be interested in minimizing its financial exposure and loss. As such, they will want to pay you as little as possible. Although you feel that you can do it alone, most people are far better off involving an experienced Ontario insurance and motor vehicle accident injury lawyer.
Personal injury law is complex, particularly when the injury arises from a motor vehicle accident. Your claim is governed by a multitude of statutes dictating what you can claim for, the amount you can claim for, and the entity that is responsible for paying. There are forms to be filed, notices to be submitted, and strict timelines for compliance. An experienced car accident injury lawyer will be able to prepare all of the paperwork for you and represent your interests to the insurance company so that you and your family can focus on your health. An experienced injury lawyer may also be able to handle your case on a contingency fee, so that you will not be required to pay anything up front. Our firm will only get paid if and when we are successful in recovering money for our clients.
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear following a serious injury accident in Ontario. You can also call us at any time to request a free consultation, and have your questions answered by an Ontario car accident injury lawyer.
1. 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 go it alone with the insurance company receive smaller settlements than those who obtain the services of experienced personal injury lawyers.
2. What financial compensation can I receive in a personal injury lawsuit?
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:
3. How do I pay for 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.
4. Are there any steps I can take to help build my case, 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Is delay in speaking with a Ontario personal injury lawyer a bad idea?
It is absolutely a bad idea to delay in speaking to a 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. Statues of limitations differ according to the kind of lawsuit involved.
8. 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.
9. What is the Statute of Limitations?
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. Statues of limitations differ according to the kind of lawsuit involved.
10. How much is my Ontario personal injury case worth - and is it really worth putting in a claim?
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. We offer a free, no obligation, consultation for prospective clients.
11. 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.
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Andrew Iacobelli is an Ontario lawyer that restricts his practice to representing personal injury victims and their families. Andrew is the founder of Iacobelli Law Firm.