If you’ve been injured in a car or motorcycle accident then you could be entitled to recover funds. This money can help you pay medical bills and long-term care bills that health insurance won’t cover. It can also help you repair your vehicle and replace your lost wages.
You’ll make your claim against the insurance company, but they won’t pay automatically. They also won’t offer a fair settlement automatically. You’ll need a skilled personal injury lawyer to help you negotiate a settlement that will help you and your family get back on your feet after the accident.
How long does it take to get a settlement from an Alberta car or motorcycle accident?
Much depends on when you file your case and whether it goes to trial.
You should stay aware of the statute of limitations. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim, but waiting only delays your ability to do so. We recommend calling in a lawyer early, perhaps even the day of the accident.
Attempts to negotiate a settlement on your behalf can begin when you reach MMI, or maximum medical improvement. This will help your lawyers get a sense of what a fair settlement might look like. Prior to reaching MMI, your lawyers will be gathering the facts of the case.
If the case does not go to trial (most don’t) we can usually help our clients reach a settlement within 18 months of MMI. If the case does go to trial it can last as long as 24 months.
Fortunately, we can also help you keep creditors at bay, especially those who might also be waiting for settlement money. Working with a lawyer gives you the ability to route all of these parties to us.
How can I prove my pain and suffering?
There are several methods for proving pain and suffering, since it really relies on two major factors: how extensive the injury is and how greatly it’s impacted your life. If you’ve suffered from spinal injuries, broken bones, have been disfigured by your injuries, have been paralyzed or have a traumatic brain injury, we can prove this simply by reaching back to your medical records.
We can also show that you may now need home care or that you can no longer work as a result of the injury. Pain and suffering isn’t a fuzzy, subjective measure. It can be backed by objective facts that point to all the ways your life has changed as a result of this accident.
What happens if you don’t accept a personal injury settlement?
You never have to accept the first offer that comes your way. If it’s not a fair offer your lawyers can always continue to negotiate on your behalf. A settlement can happen any time up until the point that a jury reaches a verdict.
There will come a point where your lawyer will likely advise you that you’ve reached a good offer work taking, but the choice is always yours. In some cases it may be profitable to push your case all the way to trial.
How big is my personal injury settlement likely to be?
It depends. Your personal injury case will include two, perhaps three types of damages.
The first type are economic damages. These are the specific-dollar amount bills generated from your accident. This includes all of your medical bills, physical therapy bills, and psychiatric bills. It also includes your lost wages, as well as a compensation amount for loss of earning capacity if you are unable to return to work.
The second type are non-economic damages. This is also known as “pain and suffering.” In Alberta this amount is capped at $370,000.
Finally, there are punitive damages, which happen when the other driver has done something that tends to be worthy of censure. This could be driving drunk, for example, or leaving the scene of the accident. In a truck accident case, there could be punitive damages if a trucking company knowingly forced their driver to violate Alberta trucking law.
When should you get a lawyer for a personal injury lawsuit?
If you have sustained massive injuries and you know the case is going to be expensive your best bet is to contact a lawyer as soon as you are medically capable of doing so. There is absolutely no value in waiting. Most motorcycle accident cases will fall into this category, as will most trucking accidents.
In a high-value case, the defendant, insurance company is likely to move quickly to try to get a head start. They’ll do whatever they can to place as much blame for the accident on your shoulders as possible. Alberta is a comparative negligence province. Each party is assigned a percentage of fault. Every percentage point of fault could cost you thousands.
We can file your claim for you, preventing you from making costly mistakes. The insurance company will be trying to harm your case from Day 1. Make sure you have someone advocating for you just as early.
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.
When you call Merchant Law you’ll be put in touch with a caring, responsive, and skilled Alberta lawyer who can help. Our lawyers have 30+ years of experience and a long track record of helping our clients get top dollar for their personal injury cases.
Don’t wait, and don’t try to do guesswork on whether your case is a good one. Call (780) 474-4878 to schedule a case evaluation today. We’ll determine the strength of your case and help you go through your next steps. Don’t let the insurance companies run roughshod over you and your family. Get the help you need to get the compensation you deserve.