When you think of personal injury cases, you may have the television image of a person in a neck brace sitting before the judge and jury. But in actuality, very few cases end up in trial. Moreover, of those that do go to trial, most of these end up settling before the trial comes to an end. It’s not a numbers game, though, and whether your own claim goes to trial is largely dependent on the personal injury lawyer you hire, the value of your claim, the nature of your claim (i.e. are key issues in dispute or disputable) and just how persuasive the evidence is. The injury lawyers you hire can better advise you on if your case is likely to see a trial or not; although no attorney can say for sure whether your case will go to trial.
You’ve Been In An Accident…Now What?
The first and most important step to take after having been in a vehicle accident is to obtain the medical attention you need. Additionally, you or a family member document important facts such as your ongoing injuries and limitations. Obtain all the names involved and contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident (check the police report … usually eye-witnesses are listed. If you hire an attorney, they can do this for you).
Take a little time and write down your version of what happened as soon as possible, while it’s still most present on your mind. If you or someone you trust can, make sure to take accident scene pictures and or video, to provide evidence to support your claim. With this information, you should then make an appointment with an injury lawyers who specialize in these types of cases and dealing with insurance companies.
The Time Is Now
Langley Law-Related Facts and Services
Langley ICBC Centre: 6000 Production Way, Langley BC, V3A 6L5.
Langley Police: RCMP Detachment – 22180 – 48A Avenue, Langley BC, V3A 8B7
Langley Hospital: Langley Memorial Hospital – 22051 Fraser Hwy, Langley BC, V3A 4H4
Langley Courthouses (nearest):
If you have an injury suit to discuss with an attorney or you need to find car accident injury lawyers, it’s important you have an initial consultation as soon after your accident or injury as possible. While time may have passed without you seeking counsel, it’s not too late for you to contact someone, now. Most attorneys have an evaluation form you can fill out or a toll free phone number your can call in British Columbia to arrange a consultation (you can schedule a free consultation with our featured law firm by calling the posted telephone number or filling in the form to the right).
Note that injury claims have limitation dates (i.e. deadlines), so it’s important for you to speak to the best injury attorney possible to be advised of your rights and receive appropriate legal advice. The attorney can advise you on the importance of maintaining proper records, knowing who you should and should not be talking to and the importance of following your doctor’s instructions explicitly. Obtaining this advice early on from an ICBC lawyer in the case of a motor vehicle accident can help you avoid problems later on in your case.
You vs. ICBC
While most of people in Langley and throughout B.C. have insurance coverage through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) to protect us in case the worst happens, when the worst does happen, ICBC is typically not on your side. Insurance companies have their own best interests and pocketbooks in mind. Their business is to collect as much money in premiums as possible while paying on as few claims as they can.
They have trained representatives who review injury claims, denying and minimizing them as much as possible. While they may give the appearance of being on your side, wanting to help you settle your claim quickly, they are simply using a variety of tactics to low ball your claim. Instead, you need to hire a skilled solicitor who is competent in handling automobile accidents before insurance companies to represent you and negotiate the best settlement in your case.
For example, disputes arise over who was at fault (not always, but sometimes) and how much a claim is worth, especially when injuries are permanent, whether it’s a permanent brain injury or chronic pain from severe whiplash (to give a couple of examples).
Do I Have A Case?
Just because you have a car accident does not mean you have a viable claim. By talking with ICBC lawyers, you can ascertain if your case has merit. Overall, the basic criteria you need to look at in deciding whether you have a case is:
- Did you suffer damages?
- Was the other party negligent?
- Did the other party’s negligence cause your injuries or damages?
While you may have a good case and a valid claim, it’s also possible you may not be able to collect on the claim. Other conditions that should be examined include whether the other party had insurance or not and whether or not they have other assets that could be used to provide you with compensation.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
Many factors go into the figuring out of your claim’s value. The value of your claim goes up or down depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, the amount of your medical bills, how much money was lost in wages, any property damage and other monetary losses. Pain and suffering as well as future disability due to the injury are also taken into consideration. After all that is looked at, variations also occur because of the amount of insurance the defendant has, the number of assets owned by the defendant or any partial fault on placed on the injured victim. Another point to consider is how quickly you personally want to settle the claim versus a long time litigating. A quality personal injury attorney, however, should be able to give you a good picture of the claim in question and a general idea of how much money you should be able to expect.
Experience Says It All
When shopping around for a Langley personal injury lawyer, look for one who has the experience and ability to win your case. Injury law should be their primary focus, not just one of many fields she or he practices. Additionally, they should have successfully handled cases similar to yours. You should get along with the attorney you choose, feeling comfortable to turn over all the details of your accident to them, trusting them to provide you with the best possible outcome.