Personal injury claims are complicated. For example, can you calculate how much for a broken arm?
Clearly, it’s difficult to put a price tag on the sufferings and losses due to a personal injury. And many victims don’t know how to protect their interests.
So, here we will tell you how to start a personal injury claim, so you get the right compensation.
How to Start a Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury claims can arise from a variety of situations, such as:
- Car accidents
- Slip and falls
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability, etc.
If you can claim damages successfully, you can obtain compensation for a range of losses and damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- And future care needs
But, know that filing claims for these damages varies depending on the type of injury and the province or territory where the injury occurred.
The tips below will give you an overall idea of the process, and you can take the necessary steps:
1. Seek Medical Attention ASAP
Seeking medical attention is crucial after an injury. On top of that, it should be your top priority.
Also, the injury might seem minor, but you should check the issue with a healthcare professional. This way, you can be sure you don’t have any underlying injuries that may worsen over time.
Moreover, delaying medical treatment can harm your personal injury claim further. For instance, insurance companies may argue that your injuries are not really that serious. Also, they can claim that it was caused by something other than the accident.
Additionally, seeking medical attention creates a record of your injuries and treatment, which can help support your compensation claim later on.
2. Notify the Responsible Authority
In general, it’s always a good idea to report any incident that causes you injury or harm to the appropriate authorities. This can help protect your legal rights and ensure you can obtain compensation for your injuries.
Here are the top 3 reasons why you should report an incident:
- It creates an official incident record, which you can use as evidence in your personal injury claim.
- It helps to establish who was at fault for the accident, which is important for determining liability and obtaining compensation.
- The law might require you to report the incident based on the type of accident or injury.
Who should you report to? You should report your incident to a managerial body or property owner.
3. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Contacting a personal injury lawyer is crucial when starting a personal injury claim in Canada.
Adding to that, a personal injury lawyer early on can help you:
- Protect your legal rights
- Navigate the claims process
- Maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and damages
What to look for in a personal injury lawyer? Consider factors such as:
- Track record of success in handling cases similar to yours
Also, schedule a consultation with a few lawyers to discuss your case and see if you feel comfortable working with them.
4. Gather Evidence
Evidence can help establish the facts of the case, demonstrate the extent of your injuries and damages, and support your compensation claim.
To gather evidence related to your accident, your personal injury lawyer will work with you, which may include:
- Medical Records
- Witness Statements
- Photos and Videos
- Police Reports
- Expert Reports
- Employment Records
- Insurance policies, contracts, etc.
5. File Your Claim
The next step is to file your claim. By filing a claim, you initiate the legal process. Also, it formally notifies the defendant that you are seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.
However, the specific process for filing a claim may vary depending on the province or territory where the accident happened and your claim type.
The process generally involves preparing and submitting a formal document known as a Statement of Claim to the court or insurance company.
Once you file a Statement of Claim, the defendant can respond to your claim.
6. Negotiate a Settlement
Typically, settlement negotiations take place after you file your claim. Also, it will involve discussions between your lawyer, the defendant’s lawyer, or the defendant’s insurance company.
During settlement negotiations, your lawyer will work to determine fair and reasonable compensation for your injuries and damages. The process involves reviewing medical records, employment records, and other evidence to calculate the economic and non-economic costs associated with your injuries.
Then, your lawyer will present a demand letter to the defendant or their insurance company, outlining the damages you seek and the evidence supporting your claim.
Finally, your personal injury case may proceed to trial if you don’t settle. That means you will need to present your case before a judge or jury. They will decide the outcome of the case based on the evidence.
Starting a personal injury claim in Canada involves several key steps, including contacting a personal injury lawyer, gathering evidence, filing your claim, negotiating a settlement, and potentially going to trial.
Each of these steps can be complex. Thus, it requires careful attention to detail. That’s why working with an experienced personal injury lawyer is important to guide you through the process and protect your rights.
By taking these steps and working with a skilled lawyer, you can increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Get further clarification regarding personal injury cases in the following questions.
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Canada?
The time limit or statute of limitation for personal injury varies among cases and provinces. Generally, you get up to 2 years from the day you were identified injured to file a claim. However, in the case of medical malpractice, you might have 30 years to ask for compensation.
What Is Personal Injury Compensation?
You are entitled to monetary compensation for a personal injury if it’s not your fault. The amount will vary depending on various factors involved in your case. However, the payout should cover expenses like medical bills, lost wages, etc.
What Are Damages for Personal Injury?
You can make claims for damages like:
- Pain & suffering
- Past and future medical costs
- Loss of earnings
- Less employable
- Loss of care & companionship
Also, there are other damages, and they are case-specific. If you aren’t sure what damages you can claim, you must consult a personal injury lawyer.
Do Personal Injury Claims Go to Court?
Yes, but not all of them. Typically, most of the cases resolve in trials. However, if you suffer from serious injury, medical negligence, or there is a liability for death, the compensation is even more uncertain. So, the court deals with cases like these.
How Long Do Most Personal Injury Claims Take?
It can take 2 months, but it can be 2 years too. The time your case takes depends on the influence of the accident on your life. Additionally, it can take time for trials if both parties can’t agree on the settlement.