It can be complicated or confusing when it comes to finding legal help regarding your situation. Below is a list of top mistakes people make when choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer and ways to avoid them.
1. Not hiring a lawyer
A personal injury lawyer can help you in navigating all the issues that are usually complex, ensuring that you don’t miss out on any benefits or compensations that you may be entitled to if you have been injured in an accident. If you have been injured but cannot afford treatment, then hiring the right lawyer can help you. Because most people are not aware of their rights, a good lawyer will explain them to you. Please note that most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and a Contingency Fee Agreement. Under this agreement, the lawyer will not charge you if you lose your case. Therefore, in case you have financial constraints, or if you are not sure that you want to hire that particular attorney, you should not be afraid of discussing your claim with him or her. Some lawyers will also cater for any costs they will incur while running your application. These costs are known as Disbursements. In such cases, they may or may not charge interest on the costs. Do not be in a hurry to hire an attorney. Do your research and make sure you ask for a clear outline of all charges or fees.
2. Failure to ask family and friends for a referral to a Personal Injury Lawyer
Friends and family who have used an attorney before can offer invaluable advice when it comes to choosing a personal injury lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers charge similar prices, so what you should be after is the quality of service they offer. Just referring to a lawyer’s website or advertisement is not enough to help you determine the kind of service you might expect from him or her. Make some inquiries among your local community and try to get a personal recommendation. Also, look for a firm that has many years of experience in practicing personal injury law, and that is also well established in your community. Lawyers in British Columbia are prohibited by the region’s law society from claiming to be the best or top attorney/lawyer in that area. “The law society also prevents them from claiming to be an expert, aggressive, or even a specialist,” says Tim Louis, at bc.timlouislaw.com, therefore, avoid any personal injury lawyer who refers to him or herself using these terms.
3. Trusting your own insurance company
Most people tend to believe that insurance providers are customer-centric or have the interest of their customers at heart. However, the truth of the matter is insurance firms are just like other businesses, and they are there to make profits and enrich their shareholders. The sad thing is most people come to realize this after they have suffered some loss due to an accident and need compensation from their insurer. A vast majority of the cases in court involving insurance firms and their clients are those over property damage and the benefits that should be provided under the policy. Therefore, make sure you hire a good personal injury lawyer who will help you fight in court against the defendant or your insurer.
4. Trusting the defendant’s insurance company
You might have been involved in an accident where for you to receive your claims; you need to deal with a defendant(s). The defendant is the representative from the insurance firm of the individual responsible for the accident that resulted in the damages or loss and is usually referred to as an adjuster. You will be required to provide a statement, which normally includes medical documents, proof from your employer if you have missed work, or perhaps some photographs by the adjuster. Though the adjuster might seem to understand and even show some kindness to you, do not be fooled. He or she is required to ensure that you receive little compensation as possible to settle your claim. In fact, Canadian courts have ruled that adjusters have no obligation to be fair to you. This means that they can mislead, hide information, or not inform you of important deadlines, therefore, allowing them to pass. They can go as far as understate how severe you have been injured, or lie to you are entitled to be compensated a much less amount than you really are. So to avoid this, avoid engaging directly with an adjuster. Instead, hire a good personal injury lawyer to ensure that you get what you are really entitled to.
5. Not claiming accident benefits
A substantial number of people who are entitled to receive compensation after an accident never claim them. This usually happens due to a lack of awareness on the victim’s side. A good personal injury lawyer could help you receive compensation, quality healthcare, or even supplementary income if you missed work due to the injuries sustained from the injuries.
6. Not keeping track of expenses related to the accident
You might have paid for some of the expenses related to the accident out of your own pocket. For instance, you might have catered for the cost of repairing your vehicle that was involved in the accident using your own money. If you were not aware that you are entitled to claim for certain some of the expenses you covered, you might end up not claiming them. That is why you should hire the right personal injury lawyer and get paid.
7. Not going for the medical treatment you need
It is crucial that you get treatment for your injuries that you sustained in an accident. Most people have very busy schedules that even finding time to take care of their health is not easy. Because the injuries from an accident are not always physical and might be psychological, it is important to find medical assistance. Do not let that negative stigma for mental illness hinder you from seeking psychological help or counseling. A good personal injury lawyer will help you find the medical assistance you need even though it might look unaffordable to you by ensuring that you are fully compensated.