When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Every 30 seconds.
That’s how often a patient visits an emergency department in Toronto due to a personal injury, according to Toronto Public Health.
It is safe to assume that most people take care and caution against situations where injuries can be prevented, but the simple truth is some injuries are not always avoidable. This is especially true when someone or something else is at fault.
Suffering any loss due to an accident or injury can be overwhelming – physically, emotionally, mentally and financially. There may be the matter of a long, exhausting recovery from bodily harm. Some may face traumatic flashbacks that affect their emotional and mental well-being. And then there is the matter of finances. Lost wages, growing medical bills and stacks of confusing insurance paperwork can intensify the stress of the situation, sometimes leading to the hampering of recovery.
Those who find themselves intimidated by the enormity of the situation should consult a good personal injury lawyer who can help them navigate the entire experience, from medical care to settlement.
What is a Personal Injury Lawyer?
An injured person who seeks to file a claim and collect payment for their injury should consult a personal injury lawyer to walk them through the often-complicated legal process and ensure that all avenues are explored for fair compensation.
People who work and live outside of the legal space are not accustomed to engaging on a daily basis with activity that pertains to the law. Personal injury lawyers, however, spend their time developing their expertise, keeping up with updates and changes to the legal policies and procedures and staying abreast of best practices that assist victims.
A personal injury lawyer can help victims better understand the law as it relates to their unique situation. They can also become a victim’s advocate, in court proceedings as well as with insurance companies and medical professionals. They are well versed in negotiating with insurance companies to ensure the best possible outcome of the claim. Additionally, they typically have a wealth of resources available to the victim and his or her family for treatments and other needed professionals.
What Situations Warrant a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Accidents leading to injury can be scary for all involved. The unfortunate outcome could result in some sort of altered state. It can leave someone feeling powerless in unfamiliar territory. Having the backing of a knowledgeable legal representative can ease the confusion for those who have suffered injuries including:
A slip and fall
A car, motorcycle, bike, pedestrian, aviation or boating accident
A defective product
Abuse or neglect in a nursing home
Additionally, personal injury lawyers can assist
- families seeking compensation after the wrongful death of a loved one. In these unfortunate circumstances, those closest to the victim are often left with grief while dealing with devastating financial or dependency hardships, becoming victims.
- employees who have been denied long-term benefits from their employers.
Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Someone who has been injured has already been through a traumatic experience. The last thing he or she needs is to battle a court system and insurance companies alone and unsure of the nuances involved. Collaborating with an expert can keep things in perspective and manageable for victims.
There are several ways personal injury lawyers achieve this for victims.
Offers Legal Advice and Guidance
A knowledgeable lawyer who has worked with various personal injury claims will have the expertise to detail a victim’s rights accurately and explain the legal system in a way that is easily understood.
For example, if someone is injured in a vehicle accident in Toronto or anywhere in Ontario, compensation is available by two different legal avenues:
- The first is ”no fault” or “accident benefits,” which are delivered through the victim’s own insurance company.
- The other is a “tort claim,” or a lawsuit against the insurance company of the person at fault.
A good personal injury lawyer can help victims determine which direction best suits their circumstances in the complex partial no-fault system in Ontario.
Personal injury lawyers understand that elevating a case to trial puts extra strain on a victim and family. Being able to negotiate a fair settlement rather than proceeding to a trial means the process is often less time-consuming and less strenuous. The additional benefit of a successful settlement is that the victim will have more say in the outcome, either accepting or rejecting the offer amount.
Represents at Trial
There are times when personal injury claims go to trial. For example, if the at-fault or responsible parties are not willing to settle on a fair amount of compensation, a victim and his or her legal team may decide to bring the case before a judge. While this process typically takes longer than a settlement, the victim is presented by an expert who isn’t afraid to fight for compensation. Of the thousands of personal injury lawyers in the Toronto area, only a small percentage are skilled trial lawyers.
How to Find the Right Personal Injury Lawyer?
Injury victims need someone they can trust right out of the gate. The client/lawyer bond is a major advantage in securing a successful claim which could take years to settle. When selecting a personal injury lawyer, research the websites of potential firms, and take advantage of free consultations offered. This is a great way to talk over the details of the incident and get a sense of comfort with the legal team and their approach.
Look for These Qualifications
Seek a lawyer who is well-versed in the local court system and policies. More qualified lawyers will have the experience to get better results and will be:
- a Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Ontario
- included in peer-reviewed listings, such as The Best Lawyers™
- recognized as a Leading Practitioner in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.
- trial experienced if the claim goes to trial.
Understand How Contingency Fees Work
Transparency is crucial in developing a trusting relationship with legal counsel. Most personal injury lawyers in the Greater Toronto Area will only charge payment if the case is won. Check to ensure that legal professionals abide by the Law Society of Ontario’s contingency fee requirements.
No one expects a victim of injury to know exactly what to do after an incident to recoup losses and damages. That can be a major detriment to their case as insurance companies can deny claims expecting no pushback, and at-fault parties avoid responsibility. Personal injury lawyers are there to make sure that doesn’t happen.