Do You Need a Lawyer for your Car Accident Injury?

Do You Need a Lawyer for your Car Accident Injury?

Even if you are a conscientious driver, a wary pedestrian, or an alert cyclist, sometimes there is nothing you can do to avoid being in a collision. If you have been involved in a serious accident and sustained injuries, or if you are likely to miss more than a few days of time away from work as a result of the accident, you should retain a lawyer to assist you with your claim. There are many deadlines and technical requirements that need to be complied with to successfully pursue a personal injury claim and the expertise of a lawyer to guide you through the process will likely be worth the legal fees.

If any of the following apply then claimants should consult a lawyer:

  • there is concern that the injuries may last longer than a few weeks;
  • there is an issue as to who was at fault for the accident; or
  • issues such as hit and run drivers or other complicating factors are involved.
On the other hand, if you were involved in a minor accident and have only minor injuries which will resolve in a couple of days or weeks, your net recovery may be better if you negotiate directly with the insurance company rather than hiring a lawyer. However, the insurance company often tries to settle early, avoiding the risk of having to pay more later on if your symptoms escalate. If you are uncertain about how your symptoms will progress, or if they are worsening or lingering, you should delay settling your claim and you may consider hiring a lawyer. It is unwise to settle a claim without legal advice unless all of your injury symptoms have fully resolved. Once you settle your claim you cannot recover more later on.

Do not let the insurance company decide how much your claim is worth. The compensation that you are entitled to following a motor vehicle accident is the compensation that it takes to put you back in the position that you would have been in if you had not been injured. It is not an insurance adjuster’s job to do the work necessary to find out exactly what that requires. The insurance company will offer you an amount of money because they are interested in resolving your case as quickly and inexpensively as possible, not because they have done the work necessary to find out what compensation truly is necessary to fully and fairly compensate you. Injury claims are adversarial and in all but the most minor cases and you will be better served having legal counsel than trying to deal with the insurance company on your own. Legal counsel can investigate and advise you as to your losses and what fair compensation would be for those losses.

Keep in mind that court proceedings to recover compensation must be commenced within two years of the accident. This does not mean you have to settle within two years, it simply means that there are documents that need to be filed with the Court to keep your claim open. You will likely benefit from a lawyer’s assistance for this step in your claim.

Most lawyers offer a free consultation to discuss your accident injury situation. If you would like advice regarding your accident injuries or for more information regarding such matters, please contact Chahal Priddle LLP at 250-372-3233 to set up an appointment today.