Blackfald roads can be treacherous, and every year dozens of area residents end up in catastrophic car or motorcycle accidents. If you’ve recently been injured and you are not the at-fault party then you have a right to recover compensation for your injuries.
Despite having the right to recover, its sometimes difficult to do so without help. Often, the negligent party’s insurance company refuses to do the right thing. They will happily leave you to pay all the expenses of your accident yourself.
That’s where a personal injury claim comes in. Reach out to the lawyers at Merchant Law to give your claim its best chance for success.
What should you do if you are injured in a car or motorcycle accident in Alberta?
What you need to do depends in part on how injured you are.
If you’re conscious, able to move, and able to speak after your accident then you’re responsible for calling 911. You also need to snap a photo of the other driver’s insurance information, as well as photos of the accident scene, the condition of the car, and local road conditions.
If there are witnesses you should get their names and numbers.
You should be doing this while being very careful what you say, knowing anything that you say which might indicate you have any fault for the accident could be used against you in a later court case.
If you are too injured to take these steps then your best bet is to call a lawyer as soon as you can. Your lawyer can help you reconstruct the facts of the accident by reaching out for police reports and contacting the witnesses listed on the report. They may also turn to accident reconstruction experts to help make your case later on.
What is a good settlement in an Alberta car or motorcycle accident claim?
Most people who ask this question are looking for a specific number, but it’s impossible to give one. Every personal injury case is different.
In general, your personal injury settlement will cover two types of damages.
The first type are economic damages. These include your medical bills, long-term care bills, and lost wages. If your accident has left you unable to work in the future this will also include a loss of earning capacity. Most of these damages are calculated directly from your existing bills and expenses. Some are projected once you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. They are based primarily on objective fact.
The other type of damages are called non-economic damages, or pain and suffering damages. This is a subjective amount set most often by negotiation during the settlement conference. It depends, broadly, on the extent of your injuries and the impact those injuries have had on your life.
In Alberta, pain and suffering damages are capped at $370,000.
In some cases there will be a third type of damages, called punitive damages. These are rare but can happen when the negligent driver broke the law. This could include penalties for driving drunk, texting while driving, knowingly driving a vehicle that wasn’t road worthy, or attempting to flee the scene of the accident. They’re slightly more common in truck accident cases where truckers and their employers are held to much higher standards and duties of care than the average driver. Nevertheless, these damages may be any reasonable amount depending on the facts of your case.
Who should launch a personal injury case in Alberta?
There are two factors you should consider when trying to decide if it’s worth it to press a lawsuit.
The first are the facts of the accident themselves. Was the other driver truly at-fault? Were they negligent? Did you do anything to contribute to the accident? Alberta’s comparative negligence statute means that both drivers can be assigned a percentage of fault.
You can recover as long as you were less than 51% at-fault for the accident, but at a certain point there are diminishing returns for this recovery. Every percentage point of fault you are assigned diminishes your eventual personal injury award by the same percentage. It’s helpful when your lawyer can make a clear case for negligence on the part of the other driver.
The second factor is whether you sustained severe injuries. Sometimes insurance companies will just offer a fair settlement for minor injuries. They save the big fights for high-stakes cases. If you know you’re facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills that Medicare won’t pay then you are probably going to need to launch a personal injury case to get paid at all.
When should you call a lawyer for your car or motorcycle accident case?
We recommend contacting a personal injury lawyer as early as you possibly can. It will take 18 to 24 months from the date you file your claim to get you paid. In addition, waiting tends to be more advantageous for the defendant, insurance company. Witnesses become impossible to contact, evidence dries up and disappears, and the lines of causality for the effects of your injury tend to become blurred over time.
Remember, the Alberta statute of limitations ensures you have just two years from the date of your accident to file a claim. You don’t have to engage in guesswork. If you think you have a personal injury case worth pursuing then you should schedule a case review right away.
Get Help Today
We have offices conveniently located in Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Airdrie, and Cochrane. We also serve clients all across Alberta including Lethbridge, Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie, Spruce Grove, Lloydminster, Leduc, Okotoks, Fort Saskatchewan, Chestermere, Camrose, Beaumont, Stony Plain, Sylvan Lake, Brooks, Strathmore, High River, Canmore, Morinville, Whitecourt, Hinton, Olds, and Blackfalds.
Get expert help from lawyers with decades of experience in personal injury law. The team at Merchant Law serves the entire province and has helped thousands of people just like you bring their cases to a successful conclusion.
Schedule a free case review today. Call (403) 225-7777. If you have severe injuries, you can’t afford to wait. Hold the negligent driver and their insurance company accountable. Call us today.