Pro Tips from Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers in Vancouver
So, you have had a car accident, or you suffered an injury of a certain kind and degree of severity, and now you are looking to take it to court. Of course, selecting the right attorney for the case is a critical decision that you will have to make. But, have you ever thought about that precious thing that the attorneys themselves might tell you if you stopped to ask?
To begin with, you may want to check out this article for some basic insight on what “personal injury” actually means, as sometimes this term can get a little fuzzy, and you better clear it up as soon as possible before you engage in actually resolving your situation. In the meantime, we went out and talked to some of the pros in the field. These are some essential tips for filing a personal injury claim that these seasoned courtroom goers decided to hand out.
Get yourself a medical assessment asap
Obviously, if you had suffered an injury, professional medical attention is the first thing you should get. Along with emergency treatment, however, you should also immediately request a court-oriented assessment. In other words, let your doctor know that you intend to file a claim of personal injury because this is important information for them to keep in mind when assessing and documenting your injuries and their potential physical and economic consequences.
File a report with your local police
Even if there was no overt foul play involved in the situation that caused your injury, filing a police report is a good idea. It allows you to have an accurate record of all the important information pertaining to the very onset of your ordeal. Since people naturally become frightened and confused in these situations, our memory is often unreliable.
An official documentation of the event can go a long way in backing up your claims. It is especially relevant for contact details of everyone involved (either participants or witnesses) and a hard copy of crucial but small details that you may be required to present in court. Also, for this reason, it may be a good idea to invest some time and effort into making a detailed written account of the event from your own perspective while it is still fresh in your mind.
Be cautious of what you say at the scene
Many experts in the field, and you can check sources online like bc.timlouislaw.ca, warn people of the vocabulary that they employ at the scene of the event. For example, if you are involved in a car crash, then you will naturally want to talk to the other party immediately – not to mention, you actually have a duty to.
However, make sure that you maintain your discretion in this communication, even if you are so angry that your head might just blow off steam through the ears. Stirring up conflict is the last thing you want, it will only make matters more complicated down the road. Moreover, remember that you are under no obligation whatsoever to a tell them whose fault the accident, or your injury, was. Avoid making any such statements before everything is assessed by experts.
Track your budget like Uncle Scrooge himself
Paying an attorney’s fees will be only one in a mountain load of expenses in this ugly adventure. You should make an effort to keep an accurate, all-inclusive record of all of your expenses, exactly what you had to pay for and exactly how much it cost you.
For some awesome advice on tracking your expenses and just overall budgeting, check out this web page: https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-track-your-expenses-2385695
In a case of personal injuries, keep the tabs on your medical diagnosis statements, hospital bills, medication receipts, insurance records, any paper related to any property damage that may have occurred, as well as information about the wages you lost, if you incurred the kind of injury that kept you out of your workplace for any amount of time.
Be extra careful around the insurance companies
Insurance companies can be of enormous help in these cases, but they can also make the whole process of filing (and hopefully winning) a claim of personal injury unbelievably complicated. Somewhat unfortunately though, completing your lawsuit process without their assistance is practically impossible, especially if your case involved any property damage on either party’s side.
Keep in mind, though, that bringing an insurance company into play is entrusting a big chunk of your prospects to a third party, which may not always have your very best at heart. Know specifically what it is you want and protect your own interest fiercely. Also, have your lawyer on hand and have them advise you on how to handle a third party participating in the process.
Never, ever sign a paper which you do not understand
In all the hustle and bustle and legal mess that these situations tend to turn into, you may be tempted to just sign whatever paper the relevant officials present you with. Do not do this. Seriously, no matter what, always take the time (and make them take the time too!) to read through each form or document carefully and get a thorough understanding of it.
The two things you should be especially wary of are any papers that make mention of releasing the other party from the liability, or even forfeiting your right to a lawsuit, or weaving your right to counsel. Believe it or not, there are a lot of shady characters out there who will try to trick you into signing these trap documents.
If you are not sure about terminology, clauses, and the inevitable implicature in that tiny print part, stop everyone and demand clarification. Remember, these things that you would sign are legally binding, and they are likely to affect you in the long run. In fact, many such papers might be presented to you even after a fair bit of time has passed since the original event.