When to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Motor Vehicle Accident
As the Medical Consultant to Gluckstein Lawyers, my recommendation would be to prioritize any immediate medical needs following an accident. If there are serious injuries, an ambulance may need to be arranged or a trip to the community emergency department may be in order.
If injuries are not a concern, then vehicle damage may be consideration. When the collective damage to the vehicles involved is more than $2,000, police must be contacted within 24 hours to take a roadside report, or a report must be made at a collision reporting centre.
So, when should you contact a personal injury lawyer? The answer is as soon as the immediate medical needs have been addressed. A lawyer will provide insights about the procedure and rules that apply to a motor vehicle accident.
For instance, Ontario’s automotive insurance laws require that the insurance company must be advised of the accident within 7 days. And there must be an Application for Accident Benefits submitted to the insurer within 30 days.
Another rule involves the time limit to launch a claim against the driver that is responsible for the accident. A claim must be initiated two years from the date of an accident. Working with a lawyer and his team of professionals from the outset can assist in avoiding costly mistakes that could otherwise influence or jeopardize your claim.
Often, drivers and/or passengers have never been in an accident and have never had to communicate with an insurer before the incident. As such, there can be a considerable amount of stress associated with the immediate aftermath of the accident. Several questions may be paramount in your mind:
- Am I entitled to benefits after a car accident?
YES. Accident Benefits are available to the driver, passenger or pedestrian. You are entitled to accident benefits even if the accident was your fault or if you don’t have your own insurance.
- What do Accident Benefits cover?
This is where the confusion starts. There are certain categories of benefits and your eligibility for each category is dependent on the level of injury and the agreement or policy which have entered with the Insurance Company.
Standard Accident Benefits coverage provides you (or in the case of death, your dependents) with mandatory benefits you're entitled to receive if you're injured or killed in a car accident, regardless of who's at fault. However, if you have increased your Accident Benefits coverage by purchasing enhanced benefits then these features will be added to your standard policy.
To understand what benefits are available, you can call a lawyer. If, however, this set of circumstance is new to you or you are uncomfortable about calling a lawyer, you can call a Medical Consultant, like me, at no charge to discuss what is available to you.
When to Seek Legal Advice?
If injuries are superficial and likely to heal quickly, a lawyer does not to be involved.
However, injuries that involve trauma to the brain or spinal cord, fractures, amputation of a limb, scarring, internal bleeding, or chronic pain can result in exorbitant healthcare costs and lost wages. Depending on the nature of the injury, you could be facing significant medical bills not covered by OHIP. If the injured party cannot work, they may be entitled to benefits that assist with income replacement, medical and rehabilitation, attendant care and housekeeping costs.
You may want to consider contacting a personal injury lawyer when there is a dispute over who is at fault. Perhaps there are multiple parties involved, with differing accounts of what led up to the accident. A lawyer can represent your interests and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Our provincial no-fault insurance system means you are entitled to accident benefits even if you caused the crash. However, your insurance company may attempt to deny parts of your claim or state you are not eligible to receive certain benefits. A dispute resolution should be managed by a lawyer.
If there is any confusion about who is to blame for the accident, I recommend you contact a lawyer. For example, the at fault driver may attempt to shift the responsibility for the accident to you or another party or circumstance.If this strategy is successful, that will affect the level of compensation and will result in increased insurance rates. A lawyer can look at the evidence, arrange a forensic accident assessment, and dispute the assignment of blame, if needed.
There is significant documentation needed when making a claim. A personal injury lawyer and their team can guide you, ensuring you meet all deadlines and file the necessary forms.
With any negotiation, the goal of the insurance company is to minimize their exposure and to minimize the compensation cost to the insured. This is a basic business practice for all insurance companies. The team at Gluckstein Lawyers has decades of experience in dealing with insurers and will ensure you are treated fairly.
Services a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Provide.
After an auto accident, a personal injury lawyer will assess the interpretation of the circumstances that led up to the accident and build evidence that corroborates your statements. This action may involve:
- Gathering medical records from healthcare professionals who were involved with the case or who was consulted after the accident.
- Obtaining a police report about the collision.
- Collecting witness statements to prove liability.
- Providing advice about the legal process.
- Assessing financial damages, including lost wages, medical bills and future medical treatments.
- Ensuring injuries are properly categorized. A catastrophic injury, for example, will be worth far greater financial compensation than a minor injury.
- Reviewing the evidence and witness statements from other parties.
- Negotiating with the insurance company of the responsible party.
- Representing, advocating, and protecting your interests if the issues should escalate and require resolution in court of law.
- Assisting in the understanding of legal rights
The Risks Involved for NOT Consulting a Personal Injury Lawyer.
If you choose not to seek legal advice after being involved in an accident, the risk of jeopardizing your settlement award should be a concern. There may be a degree of uncertainty or misunderstanding about the true value of your case or misunderstanding of the case law that determines the appropriate compensation. Without the assistance of a lawyer, there is the potential that certain insurance benefits that were available were not accessed.
Should the case proceed to trial, experienced legal counsel is vital to assist in navigating the judicial system and ensuring the likelihood of fair settlement for a personal injury claim.
Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer.
- Does the law firm specialize in personal injury law?
- Is the law firm familiar with local resources in our community?
- Will the law firm provide you a free initial consultation?
- Did the lawyer inform you about legal costs?
Contact Us for Help.
Motor vehicle accidents require thorough and timely investigations so that relevant evidence can be found and preserved. Obtain legal advice immediately to protect legal rights and receive adequate compensation for injuries.
Our team of personal injury lawyers offers the gentle touch and compassion that is often needed following an accident.
If you are reluctant to contact a lawyer, Gluckstein Lawyers has another level of service that includes a Medical Consultant. This role acts as the liaison between hospital staff and the lawyer. Should there be some concern about the level of injuries or if there is a hospitalization involved, there is always someone to talk to at Gluckstein. I am honoured to assist anyone who needs assistance navigating the next steps after you have impacted by a personal injury accident.
Contact us so we can discuss your next steps. Your initial meeting is a free consultation and without obligation on your part. We will never charge legal fees until your claim is settled.
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