The process for filing a personal injury claim is complex, and it can be a little overwhelming. The good news is you don’t have to face it alone.
A personal injury lawyer can evaluate your claim and help you understand your rights and the best steps to take. A serious injury can completely change your life and affect your work and family life.
If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident at no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more.
Here’s a look at the personal injury claim process in Alberta.
What Should I Do Following an Accident
Following any injury, you should seek medical care. Even if your injuries aren’t outwardly noticeable, they could be significant.
The symptoms of some brain, neck, and spinal injuries may not appear right away. So, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible following an injury.
You want to keep records of doctors’ visits, tests, medication, or anything you may need later to support your claim. Failing to see a doctor could be used against you to devalue your claim.
Be sure to address any medical concerns right away and follow the guidance of your doctor.
Call the Police
If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident or on the job as a result of someone else’s negligence, it’s important to call the police following the incident.
If possible, you or a witness should remain at the scene to complete a police report. It is important to document the facts of the accident and to get eyewitness accounts at the scene.
The police report is an important document if you pursue a personal injury claim. The absence of a report could harm your case and be used to argue that your accident or injuries weren’t as serious as they may have been.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
In Alberta, there are strict time limits for filing a personal injury claim. It’s in your best interest to consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following your accident.
At an initial meeting with a personal injury lawyer, you will discuss your accident, the extent of your injuries, and the impact on your life. Your lawyer will evaluate your claim and discuss whether or not to proceed.
Dealing with an insurance company can be stressful, especially when you’re recovering from injuries. You don’t want to accept a payout for less than you deserve.
An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and will fight for your rights and the best possible settlement for you.
In most cases, a lawyer will can help to resolve your claim without resorting to litigation. That means you receive a fair settlement without the stress of going through a lengthy court process.
Typically, insurance companies want to avoid an expensive, drawn-out litigation process and will work with your lawyer to resolve the claim. At the insurer stage, you want to have all the necessary documentation to support your claim. This includes:
- Doctor’s reports
- Evidence of follow-up treatment
- Expert assessments
- Eyewitness reports
In most cases, you must settle your claim within two years of the date of your accident. In some cases, a satisfactory resolution does not occur.
In this situation, further litigation may be necessary. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side brings peace of mind as you move through the legal process.
You want as much evidence as possible to back up your claim. Many personal injury firms have private investigators and accident reconstruction engineers to gather evidence and statements which support your claim.
Evidence such as police reports, ambulance reports, medical records, eyewitness testimonies, and more are critical to support your claim. Expert accounts of the extent of your injuries and their impact on your work and daily life are valuable as your lawyer negotiates a favorable settlement for you.
In some cases, the insurance company of the other party will have a lawyer to refute your claim. This can extend the timeframe of the process and the stress of waiting for a settlement.
If the parties cannot agree on a settlement, the court requires some form of alternate dispute resolution takes place to resolve the issue.
You want a personal injury lawyer who’s a skilled negotiator by your side. In some cases, a settlement is reached through private mediation or a Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR). At a JDR, a judge intervenes to resolve the claim.
Mediation usually takes place at a lawyer’s office where representatives for both sides attempt to reach an agreeable settlement.
It is rare for personal injury cases to go to trial. However, it’s wise to have a lawyer with experience in all aspects of personal injury law.
Benefits and Compensation
You are entitled to the accident benefits your insurance company provides. These benefits may help you in the short-term but may not be sufficient if you suffered serious injury and financial loss.
To get the settlement you deserve, you may need to sue the other party which means you’ll deal with their insurance company. Their job is to deny or limit the settlement you receive.
There are recent changes to what is constitutes a “minor” injury in Alberta, which could affect the amount of your settlement. Personal injury laws are complex, and you want an experienced lawyer to help you navigate the legal process.
Having a personal injury lawyer fighting for your rights levels the playing field to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What Are the Costs
Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation. They usually pay any disbursement costs related to the case, regardless of the time, it takes to reach a settlement.
In most cases, you pay nothing until you receive compensation for your injuries.
In some cases, they may be able to work with doctors to postpone payment of medical bills until you receive your settlement.
Your Personal injury Claim in Alberta
If you’ve suffered injuries at no fault of your own, we know it’s stressful and overwhelming to say the least. Worrying about recovering from your injuries, paying medical bills, and what you should do next is too much to handle alone.
We’re committed to caring for our clients and fighting for the full compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has questions about a personal injury claim, we’re here to help.
Contact us today for a free consultation.