Even if you were partially at fault, you have the right to pursue a personal injury claim due to another party’s negligence. A personal injury claim is a legal action taken by an injured party to recover compensation for damages like medical bills, lost wages, and more. These cases generally require filing an insurance claim against the party that injured you. Insurance companies are not eager to hand out compensation, and they may try to delay your claim, offer you an unfair settlement, or unfairly deny your claim altogether.
If you are in Eastern Ontario and need legal assistance for your personal injury claim, an Ottawa personal injury lawyer can help. With decades practicing personal injury law, our lawyers know what it takes to get the compensation you deserve. An experienced lawyer will protect your rights and pursue a fair settlement for your case.
Our personal injury lawyers can meet with you in Ottawa for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
Ottawa personal injury attorneys will help compile evidence that establishes who is liable for the accident and assess the value of their client’s damages. They will work with accident reconstruction experts and medical experts that can testify for your case. The attorneys will also obtain any available surveillance videos and collect evidence of your lost wages and reduced earning capacity.
All of this is to establish these four essential elements of a personal injury claim:
Duty of Care
The defendant must have owed the injured a duty of care. An example would be another driver who owed the injured party a duty of care to drive in a reasonably safe manner and obey all traffic laws.
Breach of Duty
There must be evidence that the defendant failed to act in a responsible and considerate manner for others’ safety. An example of a breach of duty would be someone who drives while intoxicated. Driving while intoxicated is extremely irresponsible and deadly negligent behavior. In such cases, attorneys will secure police reports, eyewitness statements, and other evidence to prove the other driver was drunk.
Cause in Fact
The injured must prove the other person’s breach of duty caused their accident. An example would be if an intoxicated driver hit their car while running a red light. Lawyers may utilize testimony from accident reconstruction experts, eyewitnesses, and police reports that provide details of the accident to prove causation.
Finally, the injured must prove that the accident resulted in damages. An example would be if the accident caused them to suffer a head injury or a broken leg that prevented them from working for two months. Your attorney would present evidence of lost wages, medical records, and testimony from expert witnesses showing the impacts of their injuries.
Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me (416) 364-2000
Following an Accident
There are a few steps for someone to take following an accident to keep in consideration.
- Injuries to the spinal cord, head, or neck are extremely serious and require immediate medical attention. Regardless of how serious your injuries may be, you should always seek medical care and follow your doctor’s orders. Doing this creates a record of your injuries and their severity. It also makes evident to the insurance company the extent of the injuries you sustained.
- Get treated for your injuries. Getting treatment is one of the most important things you can do for your case. It demonstrates to the insurance company that your injuries were serious enough to warrant a visit to the doctor and that you are trying to recover from them.
- Be wary of communicating with the insurance company. As you recover, the insurance company will contact you to get details of your accident. Do not say or do anything that may weaken your case, and never sign anything or accept any offers without consulting a lawyer first.
Insurance companies are looking for any way to deny or lowball your settlement. They may try to record you and use what you say against you or ask you to sign documents that can nullify your right to compensation. It is important to secure a lawyer as soon as possible, as Ontario law only allows two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
Determining a Claim
There is no standard formula to determine the cost of a personal injury. The calculation depends on several variables, such as:
- The extent of your injuries
- Length of time you are unable to work
- Permanency of your injuries
- Your liability (if any) for causing the accident
Identifying these variables requires a diligent investigation of the accident’s facts, your injuries, and the evidence surrounding your case. Lawyers rely on medical records, wage records, testimony from expert witnesses like occupational specialists or doctors, and accident reconstruction experts to substantiate your claim.
Some of the damages available in a personal injury settlement include:
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost wages (both past and future)
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical expenses
As lawyers work to build their client’s case to prove liability, they must also contend with allegations from the insurance company that their client also contributed to the accident.
It is important to note that you may not be eligible to collect the full value of your damages if you contributed to the accident. This is known as contributory negligence. A judge or jury will determine your degree of fault in the accident. Your degree of fault, expressed as a percentage, will decrease your settlement value by that percentage.
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Consult with a Lawyer
You should not accept any settlement from an insurance company or at-fault party until you have had a lawyer review your claim. Ottawa personal injury attorneys want to make sure every resident of Ontario has access to supportive legal help. There are no hidden legal fees. If you do not get compensation, you pay us nothing.