Have you sustained a personal injury caused by someone else’s carelessness? Then you’re going toquickly learn that the repercussions can go far beyond the physical.
Severe injuries can turn your life upside down. This can include medical bills piling up while you’re being treated which can lead to financial instability, which only gets worse if you can’t work. All of this can also take a toll on your mental health.
As some of the best personal injury lawyers in Mississauga, we understand how difficult it can be to make a personal injury claim. So, we’ve prepared this guide to what you should know regarding these claims. Keeping these points in mind can help you avoid unnecessary obstacles when navigating your personal injury process.
9 Things You Must Know About Making a Personal Injury Claim
If you (or someone you know)are dealing with a personal injury, here’s what you should know.
1. Personal Injury Claims Aren’t Confined to Car Accidents
Personal injury cases aren’t just about car accidents; they can relate to any kind of harm.
By law, any individual who has suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence can file a personal injury claim. For instance, if you bought and used a defective consumer product that resulted in an injury, you can hire a personal injury lawyer to scrutinize the company. Other instances of this include dog bites, food poisoning, wrongful deaths and unsafe premises.
2. Seek Medical Treatment
The goal of a personal injury case is to be fairly compensated for your injuries or other losses. This requires a precise understanding of said injuries. That means having doctors or other health care professionals describing and documentingyour injuries and coming up with a suitable treatment plan. By seeking medical treatment early, you better understand how much your recovery will cost.
3. Carefully Build Your Case
You could be partly responsible for building your case. This could include:
- Gathering evidence.
- Properly filling out documentation and submitting it to the insurance provider.
- Contacting those involved, including doctors, police officers, eyewitnesses and insurance adjusters.
- Creating a demand letter with the evidence you have at hand.
- Taking your case to court, if necessary.
- Negotiating a fair settlement.
4. Hire an Experienced Lawyer
Going through a personal injury claim can meanlarge medical bills not paid by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan), as well as the uncertainty of going back to work.
But with a personal injury lawyer representing you, you can rest assured knowing someone understands your mental, financial and physical hardships. Moreover, their experience dealing with cases like yours means they can recommend the best path tothe best compensation.
Working with an experienced lawyer also easesyour stress so you can focus on your recovery.
5. Time and Evidence are Crucial
Be aware that there is a time limit to filing a personal injury claim.
Understandably, victims are focused on recovering from their injuries, and rehabilitation can sidetrack you from pursuing compensation. However, there’s usually a three-year window within which a personal injury case needs to be filed.
Another important thing to remember is evidence. As soon as you can, photograph your injuries. Then, ask your doctor to prepare a complete record of your medical assessment, including any future problems that may arise.
6. Be Prepared to Deal with Insurance Companies
When it comes to personal injury cases, insurance companies are often involved, especially those that include medical malpractice, automotive accidents, and incidents that occur in private homes and businesses.
Remember, their goal is to protect their interests, including their financial exposure. That may not include a fair settlement. This is another reason to hire a personal injury lawyer: to let them deal with the insurance company and negotiate fair compensation, either in court or through settlement.
7. Certain Cases Take Longer
Every personal injury case is different. In many, victims or their families are pressured into accepting the initial settlement. This may seem like a good idea, especially if you’re faced with high medical bills, but it’s best to let a personal injury lawyer scrutinize your claim.
8. Not All Cases End in Court
Owing to the nature of personal injury claims and Ontario’s overburdened court system, personal injury cases are often settled out of court. In this scenario, there is no jury or judge to decide the outcome. Instead, your personal injury lawyer negotiates the settlement with either the defendant or their insurance company. If the settlement isn’t accepted by both parties, the case may proceed to trial.
9. Your Private Life and Medical History Aren’t Off Limits
If the at-fault partyor insurance company hires a lawyer, they will dig deep into your private life, including your medical history, to avoid paying. They will most likely go through your:
- Public records
- Employment records
- Medical records
- Social Media Accounts
This typically happens when the defendant or their insurance company is trying to paint you in a bad light. The information they gather can also be used to show that your injury isn’t affecting your life as much as you’re claiming. They may also try to find a link to previous injuries/ailments and compare them to the current ones in aneffort to limit your compensation.
Personal injury claims can be as difficult to navigate as the injury itself. This is where a personal injury lawyer can be helpful. They can take care of the process from start to finish, leaving you free to focus on your recovery. If you’ve suffered a personal injury, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer. They can determine what should be done to maximize your compensation.