Every year, over 140,000 Albertans get into car or motorcycle accidents. If you’re one of them then you’re about to face a number of challenges, especially if you’re suffering from severe injuries like crushed bones, multiple fractures, disfiguring lacerations, spinal injuries, or traumatic brain injuries.
While the at-fault driver’s insurance company is supposed to compensate you for your injuries, the reality is that they rarely do so voluntarily. You will usually have to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to get your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages paid for. The more your case is worth the harder it is to get insurance companies to do the right thing.
Is it worth it to sue after a car or motorcycle accident?
It is not worth it for everyone to sue. If you have extremely minor injuries or mere property damage then the other party’s insurance company will usually pay up without complaint if the lines of fault are relatively clear. As long as the settlement they offer is enough to cover your expenses you’re usually better off taking it than you are pressing the matter and taking it to court.
If you have severe injuries then it is very important to file a personal injury lawsuit. It’s sad but true: the more you really need that money, the worse off you are, the less likely the insurance company is to pay without a fight.
Another thing you want to look at when attempting to decide whether a lawsuit is the right course of action for you are the facts of your case. In Alberta you can sue as long as you were less than 51% responsible for the accident, but the more “at-fault” you were, the less you can actually recover. There are diminishing returns in a personal injury suit if you, too, were breaking traffic laws or driving distracted.
If you know for sure the other driver was negligent and you were not, then it is generally worth it to sue.
What makes a motorcycle accident case different from a car accident case?
If you’re in a motorcycle accident then you will want a lawyer with extensive experience in motorcycle cases. These cases tend to be more difficult and more intensely disputed than car accident cases.
One reason is that most motorcycle accidents result in more extensive injuries than most car accident cases. In many cases these accidents are life-altering, when they aren’t fatal. This means the defendant’s insurance company scrambles to pin all the blame on the rider so they don’t have to pay. In wrongful death motorcycle cases they’re even willing to do this to the dead rider who isn’t around to defend themselves, despite being well aware they’ll leave the rider’s family in a financial tailspin.
Another reason is that the lawyer will have to go back and reconstruct the facts of the case. Often riders are unconscious after the accident. They can’t take photographs. They may not even remember what happened when the accident occurred. This gives the defendant, insurance company a head start when they go to craft a narrative.
You need a lawyer who can tell a compelling story of why you deserve compensation. You need a lawyer who can get around the stigma about riders that helps defendant insurance companies wriggle out of responsibility. It is possible to win motorcycle cases in Alberta, but your lawyer will need a great deal of skill and experience to get the job done correctly.
What causes most motorcycle accidents?
Statistically, most motorcycle accidents are caused by passenger vehicles. In most cases they either make improper left turns or improper lane changes which cut the rider off. These facts have done very little to eliminate the perception that riders cause the vast majority of accidents.
Yet these statistics do aid our lawyers as we seek to reconstruct the facts of your accident and determine what really happened.
How soon should you call a personal injury lawyer?
If you think you have a case it’s a good idea to bring in a personal injury lawyer as soon as you’re medically capable of making a call or a decision. You should even consider doing so before you deal with the insurance company for the first time.
Many people mistakenly believe they can only call a lawyer after they’ve dealt with the insurance company, or after they’ve reached maximum medical improvement. The insurance industry likes to forward this myth. Yet if you deal with the insurance company first, you open yourself up to some game playing on the part of the adjusters.
We’ve heard of adjusters who tried to string clients out well past the statute of limitations to keep them from recovering funds. They’ve gotten clients to sign statements which ultimately undermine their cases. They’ve asked leading questions which get clients to make statements which can shift the blame for the accident onto their own shoulders.
It’s far better to send a lawyer to deal with the insurance company for you from Day 1.
Hiring a lawyer is a risk-free decision. If we decide to take your case, we work on contingency. This means we don’t get paid until we bring your case to a successful conclusion. You don’t have to worry about paying a retainer or a high hourly rate. You just have to worry about forging a relationship with a lawyer you trust.
Injured in Olds, Alberta? 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.
We’re extremely experienced personal injury lawyers with decades of successful cases behind us. We help people in Olds and throughout the province. We’re known as some of Alberta’s toughest litigators and negotiators, and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a risk-free case evaluation today. Call (403) 225-7777 to speak to one of our lawyers today.