Have you been injured in an auto accident in Cochrane, AB? If so, you’re about to find out that dealing with an at-fault driver’s insurance company can be a true challenge. They’re going into every interaction with you with one goal: to pay you as little as possible.
Yet if you were injured by a negligent driver then you deserve compensation to cover your pain, suffering, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, and medical bills.
Being in an accident that leads to major injuries is one of the most stressful things a person can go through. The personal injury lawyers at Merchant Law are here to help you get the highest possible level of compensation for your case.
With our help, you can get money to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with your accidents. We help you handle insurance companies, negotiate on your behalf to reject lowball settlements, and get you the help you deserve.
If you end up needing to go to court, we’re tough litigators who are ready to fight for every one of your rights.
Protect yourself by hiring an experienced Cochrane lawyer who knows how to handle Alberta personal injury claims. Don’t try to go through this alone. Our team is here to help you bring your case to its best possible outcome.
Why do you need a personal injury lawyer?
While the defendant in your personal injury case may be a fellow driver, a landlord, the company that made a product that injured you, or some other entity, these people’s insurance companies will ultimately be writing the checks. Insurance companies don’t want to pay one cent more than they have to. They’ll be doing everything in their power to keep you from getting a fair settlement.
While some personal injury cases are fairly straightforward, the biggest and most catastrophic ones require keen legal knowledge and an understanding of what a judge and jury is likely to do if the case ever goes into litigation.
What is my personal injury case likely to be worth?
Alberta law recognizes three types of damages.
The first are economic damages. These are the actual costs of your medical care, service bills, and lost wages you accrue as a result of your accident. If you lose your earning capacity then compensation for your lost ability to make a living are also included in these damages.
The next type are pain and suffering damages. This is an amount that compensates you for having to face physical agony and mental distress due to your accident, as well as for the fact that your life has probably changed somewhat as the result of your accident.
In Alberta, these damages are capped. For soft tissue injuries they are capped at $5488. For more severe injuries they are capped at $370,000. The amount is wholly negotiable.
The third type of damage is less common: punitive damages. This type of award gets paid out when the party that caused the accident did something so egregious that it was above and beyond mere negligence. This could include drunk or distracted driving, or fleeing the scene of an accident. Most cases will not include a punitive element.
How do you prove pain and suffering?
Your medical and psychiatric bills can be used to prove pain and suffering, as can testimony from expert witnesses. Sometimes, it’s also easy to demonstrate the changes in your quality of life, especially if your injuries now prevent you from pursuing a beloved career or hobby, or makes it impossible for you to keep up with your previous family obligations.
Cases We Take
Our Alberta personal injury team handles all sorts of tort cases, including, but not limited to:
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck Accident
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Hit and Run Accidents
- Car Accidents With Cyclists
- Car Accidents With Pedestrians
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Accidents Caused by City Negligence or Debris
- Accidents Caused by Highway Construction or Negligence
- SUV and ATV Rollover Accidents
- Out-of-Province or Out-of-State Accidents
Common Car Accidents in Cochrane
Our Cochrane, AB office has lawyers who dedicate themselves to helping the victims of serious car and motorbike accidents get fair and appropriate compensation.
Alberta statistics show that there were 142,598 collisions in 2018, with 17,055 resulting in serious injuries. 289 of those cases resulted in deaths. Accidents happen every day here in Cochrane.
Our lawyers leave no stone unturned as we pursue justice for our injured clients.
Rest assured our Cochrane team will ensure that you get full, fair, and appropriate compensation.
Common Injuries in Our Personal Injury Cases
- Permanent Disabilities
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Nerve damage
- Herniated discs
- Scars and disfigurement
- Joints and ligaments injuries
- “Whiplash” or soft tissue injuries
- Fatalities and wrongful death
What Should You Do to Protect Yourself After a Car Accident
How you conduct yourself directly after the accident will have a huge impact on your case.
Start by getting the other driver’s contact information and insurance information. Alberta law requires you to make this attempt if at all physically possible. Then, call the police.
It’s also a good idea to gather the contact information from any available witnesses at the scene.
Be careful what you say to everyone who is there. Your words can be used against you later. For example, after an accident many people feel a very human impulse to say “I’m sorry,” but if you do that others could take your words as a sign that you’re admitting fault.
Keep your cool. Yelling and screaming at the other driver doesn’t help your case either.
Take photos: more than you think you’ll need. You’ll want to try to capture every angle of the accident scene.
When the police ask you for information, give the bare-bones facts as you know them. Do not volunteer any information. If you’re not entirely sure what happened you can say: “It all happened very quickly. I’m not sure.”
Finally, get medical attention. It’s important to watch what you say here, too. Some people try to act tough, saying things like: “I’m fine,” or “I’m not really that hurt.” These phrases can come back to bite you later when your injuries turn out to be severe, or even life-altering. It can take a little time for an injured person to become fully conscious of just how badly they’ve been hurt. Attempting to claim serious injuries after you’ve brushed them aside usually looks like you’re attempting to inflate the harm you’ve suffered so you can get more money.
Instead, you should just get the medical care you need and follow all of your doctor’s instructions to the letter. If you are hurt, you need to tell medical professionals the full extent of your pain and suffering. This is so you can get better. It’s also so you can document and preserve the evidence of what you’re going through.
We also recommend that you keep a daily diary. Jot down how you are feeling each day as you recover from your injuries. If you’re suffering from emotional harm such as depression or PTSD, document that as well. There is no benefit to toughing it out, downplaying the harm, or suffering in silence. Your medical providers and your lawyers need to know everything. This will also help you make clearer, more coherent statements later.
As soon as you are physically capable of doing so you should choose and retain a personal injury lawyer. Ideally, you’d do this before you call any insurance company. This allows your lawyer to contact insurance companies on your behalf, and can prevent you from falling prey to certain insurance company tricks.
What Does Your Personal Injury Lawyer Do For You
Your lawyer will do much more for you than negotiate your settlement or deal with insurance companies. For example, our lawyers review your medical treatment plan to ensure nothing is being overlooked, and work to help you arrange necessary third-party treatments such as physical therapists or chiropractors.
Your lawyer also examines any offers the insurance company may provide you with. Early on, most offers are usually too low to cover your expenses. They’re rarely even close to the full extent of the compensation that the law allows you to recover.
How the Determination of Fault Impacts Your Case
Alberta is a comparative negligence province. This means that the determination of fault isn’t quite complete when the at-fault driver is assigned. Often each driver will be assigned a percentage. The at-fault driver is the one who bears more than 51% of the responsibility for the accident.
The higher your fault percentage, the less you can recover, because your award is reduced by the same amount. Therefore if you have an $100,000 settlement and are found to be 10% at-fault, then you’ll only get $90,000.
The other driver’s insurance company will try to drive that percentage as high as possible so they can pay as little as possible. Your lawyer will help you prove the opposite and protect your settlement.
Why Merchant Law?
Looking for the best personal injury lawyer in Cochrane, AB? While nobody can truly prove that they’re the best, we do have a long track record of success. Our lawyers have decades of experience and are known as some of Alberta’s toughest litigators and savviest negotiators.
Call (403) 225-7777 to schedule a risk-free case consultation today.