Injured in a car or motorcycle accident in Whitecourt? Was the other driver at-fault? If your injuries were extensive or catastrophic, you will need the help of an Alberta personal injury lawyer to make your claim and recover compensation for your injuries.
The more extensive your injuries, the harder the defendant’s insurance company will fight to avoid paying them. Meanwhile, you’ll need that money to pay medical bills that Medicare won’t cover, to replace your lost wages, and to pay for other damages caused by the accident.
How much is a car or motorcycle claim worth?
Every car and motorcycle accident case is different.
Every settlement consists of two parts. Some settlements contain three parts.
The first part covers your economic damages. These are your medical bills, long term care bills, and lost wages. Economic damages also cover damages to your vehicle. If you can no longer work as a result of your accident it may also include a lump sum for loss of earning capacity, to help you cover your future expenses.
Usually it is not possible to calculate your economic damages until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. Once you have, your lawyer can use your bills and projected future care needs to come up with a number.
The second part is the pain and suffering award. This award is a variable figure. There are no charts or tables to help an insurance company or a personal injury lawyer decide on what the number should be. Broadly, the award gets higher the more extensive your injuries are.
There is a third type of damage that happens in some cases: punitive damages. This is an amount used to punish egregious behaviour such as drunk driving, fleeing from the scene of an accident, or knowingly driving a vehicle that is not roadworthy. Punitive damages are not a factor in most cases but may be a factor in yours. Speak to your lawyer.
Who should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer for a car or motorcycle accident?
There are two measures of whether you will need to get a lawyer involved. The first is whether you were at-fault for the accident, and the extent to which you were at fault.
Alberta is a comparative negligence province. That means it’s possible for the courts to find that both parties are a little bit at fault. You can still make a claim as long as you were less than 51% at fault, but your award will be reduced by your fault percentage. There is a point where there are diminishing returns for pressing a claim.
You won’t necessarily know your exact percentage of fault when you speak to a lawyer of course, but you will know the facts of the case. If you were following all the traffic laws and were not driving distracted when the other driver hit you then you know you were mostly the victim of a negligent driver and should have a strong personal injury case.
Second, the extent of your injuries should help determine whether you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer.
If your injuries are mild there’s a good chance the other party’s insurance company will pay the claim without a lot of fuss, and you’ll get a sufficient amount of money to cover all or most of your expenses. It doesn’t make financial sense for the insurance companies to fight those claims most of the time.
You need a lawyer the most when your injuries are extensive. The time you need the insurance payout the most is when you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and long-term care bills that Medicare won’t cover. That’s the exact time the other driver’s insurance company is most likely to balk.
Note that you can get a consultation with a personal injury lawyer at any time. Our lawyers can look over the facts of the case and will tell you whether it’s worthwhile to pursue a lawsuit.
When should you involve an Alberta personal injury lawyer?
If you think you might need an Alberta personal injury lawyer then you benefit the most by retaining one early. There is no minimum amount of time that has to pass before you can make the call.
If you want to make the strongest possible case it’s a good idea to call a lawyer on the day of your accident if you are medically capable of doing so. If you are not, think about calling one as soon as you are stable enough. The more time you give your lawyers to build your case the better off you’ll be.
In addition, your personal injury lawyer can file your claim with the insurance company, ensuring you don’t have to talk to adjusters. This is a good thing as adjusters will generally try to lead you into making major mistakes which can harm your case.
How long will it take to settle your case?
You can expect it to take 18 to 24 months from the day you file to get a settlement. You should also be aware there is a two-year statute of limitations on cases. If you do not file within two years from the date of your accident then you will not be able to recover funds at all.
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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.
Our personal injury lawyers have decades of experience with car and motorcycle cases. Many of us have been bringing cases to a successful conclusion for over 30 years. We’ve handled hundreds of cases like yours and have helped Albertans all over the province get the money they need to rebuild their lives after major accidents.
Don’t try to go it alone. Call (780) 474-4878 today to schedule an appointment and no-obligation case review.