In the unfortunate circumstance that you have been in a car accident or, worse, have been seriously injured in an accident, and you want to initiate a claim for your car accident benefits the first steps you take in this process are key. The most important thing you can do is contact the right car accident injury claim lawyer who can gather the right information, determine the correct course of action and initiate your claim.
Below, we will explain how car injury lawyers will conduct this process and how you can know you have chosen the right car injury lawyer for your case.
Step 1: After the accident, before the claim
Following your accident there is one crucial step you must take before hiring a car accident injury claim lawyer: obtaining medical care. In the case of a catastrophic injury this step seems obvious, but even in the case of a smaller injury, timely medical care will ensure your wellness and the medical records created are the cornerstone of any car accident injury lawyer’s case. Seek medical help and retain copies of your records.
Step 2: Choose the right car injury lawyer
This is the step where so many accident victims like yourself can take the wrong step. First, it’s important to emphasize that a personal injury lawyer is absolutely necessary to handle such claims due to the legal complexity involved and the procedures associated with these claims.
There is so much advertising from big teams of car accident lawyers that it can be easy to call the 1-800 number. But finding a team you trust is key. You and your car wreck injury lawyer will be embarking on a journey together, and you need someone you can place your full trust in.
Step 3: Assembling the evidence
In the eyes of many car injury lawyers, a lawsuit is a battle. Gathering and reviewing evidence is a bit like assembling the troops. Each piece of evidence is a soldier that will fight for your claim. At this stage, you will work with your car wreck injury lawyer to review those medical records, photos and witness statements relevant to your claim. They will also determine if the claim will be filed within enough time. In most Ontario cases, a claim has to be filed within two years of the accident.
Step 4: Determining the right claim with your car injury lawyer
There are two kinds of claims available to you in the instance of a car accident. They are determined by the degree to which you are at fault for the accident. Whether or not you are at fault, you are entitled to accident benefits. If you are not at fault, then you can file a claim against the at-fault driver in what is called a tort claim. Your car injury lawyer will help you determine if you can file that claim and what you might be entitled to based on your pain and suffering, economic damage through loss of work, or any other special benefits you may be entitled to. This is also where you and your car injury lawyer will set expectations for the process to come. This is a stage full of tough questions and challenging conversations. Having a trusted relationship with your personal injury lawyer is absolutely crucial to navigating these decisions successfully.
Step 5: Your car accident injury lawyer initiates your claim
With evidence assembled, your car accident injury claim lawyer will go to court and file your claim. This will alert the defendant and give them a chance to file a “statement of defense.”
Ontario law mandates that civil claims lawsuits must first go to mandatory mediation. You will enter this process supported by your car injury lawyer and this stage often results in a settlement. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t and a trial is needed.
Trials, discovery, and the strategies for success in these instances are a subject for another time but know that if you picked the right team of car accident lawyers you have already taken the most important steps.
Remember, finding the right car accident injury claim lawyers is the key to compensation
The impacts of a car accident can be truly awful. It can result in pain and suffering that impacts every aspect of your life. To obtain the right compensation, you need to work with lawyers who are compassionate, empathetic, diligent and ready to earn your trust. A cultural fit, and even a linguistic fit, can be key so look for lawyers who suit your unique needs.
As you have just learned, the potential success of a car accident injury claim is determined by the early decisions you make. If you follow the right steps, maintain records and, most importantly, choose the right personal injury lawyer, you are in a far stronger position than you would ever be otherwise.