Why Legal Advice, Early on, is Important in Personal Injury Cases And What You Can Expect
March 29th, 2017
Why Book A Free Consultation With A Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, getting legal advice as soon as possible is in your best interest to protect your rights, and ensure access to all available compensation.
Why We Offer A Free Consultation
Our personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation because we know how important it is that you understand your claim, including any weaknesses in your case. We will ask you lots of questions about the motor vehicle accident and your injuries to get an overview of the case. We will explain the claims process, deadlines, costs, and answer any questions you may have. Our goal is to make sure you come away with an understanding of your rights and that you get legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer so that you can make decisions about your future based on full information.
Questions You Should Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are shopping for a personal injury lawyer, here are some questions to ask:
- Are you in good standing with the Law Society of Alberta?
- How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
- How many injury law cases have you handled?
- Have you done any cases like mine before? What was the result?
- Can you provide me with references and testimonials?
- Do you only represent plaintiffs like me or do you also represent defendants who caused the accidents and their insurance companies?
- Do you have medical experts, investigators and other experts to help me prove my claim and assess my damages?
- What financial resources do you have available to fight my case?
- How much experience do you have with different insurance companies, adjusters, and their lawyers?
- Are you the only lawyer that will be working on my case?
- If you are the only lawyer working on my case, what is your caseload? Can you give my case the time it deserves?
What To Bring With You When You Meet With Your Personal Injury Lawyer
To get the best possible value from your free consultation, here’s a checklist of items (if they are available) to bring to your meeting or have handy if you are doing a telephone consultation:
- Your vehicle insurance papers
- Your driver’s license
- Your Alberta Health Care number
- Collision report form for the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) – this may be something the RCMP provided at the time of the accident
- Hospital report
- Ambulance report
- Names of any witnesses and witness statements
- All letters from insurance companies (including your own)
- Copies of all emails, correspondence between yourself and other parties (including insurance adjusters or witnesses)
- Name of your doctor and any doctor’s notes
- Name of any other treatment providers (e.g., physiotherapist, chiropractor, registered massage therapist)
- List of prescriptions
- Pictures or videos of vehicle damage or other evidence
- The name of the body shop you select to repair your vehicle damage
- Details of any extended medical benefit and disability plans you can access
- A recent payslip from your employer, if you are off work.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all of this information the first time you meet or talk with a lawyer. Part of our consultation process includes identifying all the information necessary to assess your case and how you can get it.
What Will Your Personal Injury Lawyer Ask You?
During the free consultation, your personal injury lawyer will ask you to describe or explain the following:
- How the motor vehicle accident occurred
- If there is any witness information
- Whether the party at fault was charged with a traffic offense
- What are your medical treatments, where and how have you paid for them
- Do you have any private insurance policies that pay for treatment
- Your pain and injuries (physical and/or psychological)
- Any out-of-pocket expenses incurred for medical treatment or other treatments
- Employment and disability insurance information
- If you are injured and can’t work, how long you’ve been off work
- How your injuries affect your day-to-day living activities
Be as specific as possible with the information you provide including dates, times, contacts, and other information. Following your consultation, if we agree to represent you, this will help us with further investigation. This may include obtaining witness statements, hiring private investigators to gather such statements, engaging accident reconstruction engineers to assess the accident if liability, impact severity, or accident details are unknown or are in dispute.
What Do You Say to The Other Party’s Insurance Company?
Nothing! Let your lawyer or your insurance company talk with the other party’s insurance company. Besides your lawyer or your own insurance adjuster, don’t speak on the phone – or communicate by letter or email – with anyone who asks you to provide information or a statement about your case.
Anything you say to the other person’s insurer can be used as evidence if you proceed with a claim, so the less you say, the better. After a motor vehicle accident, seek medical assistance immediately if needed. Then contact one of our personal injury lawyers to ensure there’s someone on your side protecting your rights.