Hinton may be a small town, but it sees its fair share of car and motorcycle accidents. If you’ve recently been in one of them and have sustained severe injuries then you will need the help of an Alberta personal injury lawyer to file your claim and recover compensation for your injuries.
You are eligible for compensation any time you get into an accident with a negligent driver. That is, the other driver was at-fault for the accident. Yet when you have disfiguring injuries, injuries requiring amputation, spinal injuries, brain injuries, multiple broken bones or multiple, life-threatening amputations it can be very difficult to get the other driver’s insurance company to pay you without help.
You will need that money, as it will pay for medical bills that Medicare won’t cover. It will also help you replace your lost wages. If the accident has robbed you of your ability to work your settlement could be the key to receiving the vital funds you will need to live on.
When is it worth it to file a lawsuit for a car or motorcycle accident?
There are two issues to pay attention to.
The first is fault. Note that Alberta is a comparative negligence province. This means the police, and later insurance companies, lawyers, and juries, may assign a percentage of fault to each driver. This could be 50/50, or 80/20, 90/10 or any other split.
You may sue as long as you are less than 51% at fault, but your eventual settlement award will be reduced by your fault percentage. So if you have an $100,000 settlement and you are found to be 10% at fault, you will only receive $90,000. There are thus diminishing returns for a personal injury suit if you bear a share of the blame.
A good lawyer can help you keep your fault percentage low if the facts of the case support you. The defendant’s lawyer will be working to make that fault assignment as high as possible. If you know you were following traffic laws and weren’t driving distracted on the day of the accident then it’s probably worth it to file a case.
The other issue is the extent of your injuries. It’s not that hard to get minor injuries paid for. The defendant’s insurance company will usually offer some sort of settlement early on in the process. The question is whether the settlement will cover your losses. If you have whiplash or a torn tendon then it probably will. If you’re facing life-altering injuries the initial settlement will probably be too low.
It’s unfair but it’s true: insurance companies work harder to avoid paying you at the moment when you need them to uphold their commitments the most. If there is a lot of money at stake then you’re likely to need to file a lawsuit if you’re going to get paid.
When should you call a personal injury lawyer for a car or motorcycle accident?
If you have severe injuries it’s important to call a lawyer as soon as you’re medically capable of doing so.
This is because if you talk to the insurance company first they will be trying to get you to say things or do things which harm your case. They may even try to draw out the process in a way that forces you to burn valuable time. They have been known to give accident victims the run-around until the statute of limitations runs out on their case.
If you hire a lawyer early, your lawyer can deal with the insurance company for you. In addition your lawyer will have plenty of time to put together the strongest possible case.
Why do motorcycle accident claims require specialist lawyers?
Motorcycle accident cases are typically far more complex than car accident cases. They require lawyers with extensive experience in motorcycle accident claims. There tends to be a lot more money at stake. Injuries tend to be a lot more extensive and life-altering.
This means insurance companies fight harder than ever to pin the responsibility for the accident on the shoulders of the rider. They are often aided in this endeavor by the stigma that many riders face.
How long will it take to get your claim paid?
It takes 18 to 24 months from the date you file your claim. You have just two years to file your claim after the date of the accident. The longer you wait the longer it will ultimately take to get the money you need to cover your expenses.
The length of time can be impacted by several factors. The facts of your case matter a great deal. If there is little room for dispute that the other driver was at-fault then the lawyers can move on to the settlement conference relatively quickly. If there were complicating factors like road conditions or shared negligence then it can take some time to even get the lawyers to agree on the issue of fault.
92% of cases do settle out of court, and this means you get paid faster. Those that go to court will take longer.
Injured in Hinton Alberta? Get the help you need 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.
The lawyers at Merchant Law have decades of experience with car and motorcycle claim cases. We have helped thousands of Alberta residents bring their cases to a successful conclusion and get the compensation they deserve for their injuries. You’ll find we’re responsive, compassionate, and passionate about helping you.
Contact us today for a risk-free case review. You don’t have to worry about paying a retainer, because we work on contingency. We’ll answer your questions, take a look at the facts of your case, and help you determine what your next steps should be. Call (780) 474-4878 to get started today.