Hiring an Injury Lawyer or Self Representation
posted in: Personal Injury
When it comes to personal injury matters, insurance companies spare no expense, hiring a team of lawyers tasked with ensuring that the compensation you receive does not harm their bottom line. The reasons individuals choose to take on these battles alone with the insurance companies vary. However, the insurance companies’ financial motivation to pressure injured individuals into a one-sided settlement that may leave them without proper compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and the pain and suffering the accident has caused should not be overlooked. It’s important to consult with an injury lawyer to insure that you are compensated correctly for your injuries.
Low-Ball Personal Injury Settlements
In the context of a motor vehicle accident, Nery v. Nery, 2012 ABQB 484 serves as a warning of the situation an injured individual might find themselves in if they do no obtain the proper legal guidance. In this case, Ms. Nery suffered injuries in an accident which rendered her unable to return to work for an extended period. The insurance adjuster offered her a settlement of $4,400 for general damages and $4,176.80 for loss of wages, which Ms. Nery accepted.
When calculated correctly, the loss of wages she had suffered due to this accident at the time of settlement was $9,720.00, more than twice the accepted amount. The $4,400 in general damages was based on the Minor Injury Cap which, at the time of the settlement, was not even in effect. If the Minor Injury Cap had been in effect (as it is currently), damages for injuries with long-term symptoms would not have been subject to the cap amount. In this case, Ms. Nery’s long-term symptoms could not be known as her injuries were still not fully diagnosed at the time of the settlement. This case demonstrates the pressure insurance companies may exert on an individual to settle before the full extent of the injuries are known. An early settlement benefits the insurer to the potential detriment of the injured party.
Consulting with an Injury Lawyer will ensure that you are not pressured or persuaded to accept a settlement that is far below what you deserve.
What Qualifies as a Minor Injury?
The definition under the Minor Injury Regulation (MIR) for minor injuries can appear broad and unclear. This cap was enacted into legislation to protect the insurance industry from perceived inflated damages for minor injuries that heal quickly. However, it has been commonly used by insurance companies as a weapon to pressure injured victims into taking offers that are framed as being the best they can legally receive. Ensuring your injury does not mistakenly fall under the MIR after careful assessment of the medical information will be the very first priority of your Injury Lawyer.
Time Limits and Personal Injury Claims
The process for determining the severity and longevity of your symptoms will take time. It is important to take this required time to fully evaluate the extent of your injuries so that you can be properly compensated for the damages you have suffered. However, there are still strict time limits in place within which you must file certain documents, and overlooking these time limits can be fatal to your potential claim. An Injury Lawyer will monitor the progress of your case, ensuring the proper documents with the proper information are filed within the required time limits, allowing you to focus on recovering from your injury.
Cost of a Personal Injury Lawyer
A consultation with our Injury Law Team is free. There is no risk for you to seek a legal opinion on the merits of your case. The lawyer will be able to provide the necessary information and if retained equalize the imbalance while trying to negotiate an appropriate settlement with the insurance company and the experienced representatives. Our fee is based on a percentage of the award we help you recover. So regardless of the quantum of settlement, there will be no direct out of pocket cost for you.