In today’s society, it is easy to dismiss injuries from accidents or claiming “there is nothing we can do about it”. Unfortunately, many people fail to realize that these injuries may permanently cripple their life and their enjoyment if left untreated. Combined with rising medical costs and expensive treatments, it is virtually impossible to pay for these costs since many injuries are not covered by the provincial or state insurance, popularly known in Ontario as the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). The government also cannot compensate for out of pocket expenses, lost earnings and general pain and suffering that an injured person goes through.
What many people don’t know is that injuries caused by accidents can result in possible financial settlement if you find the right legal representative to assist you in claiming damages. At Opara Law PC, as personal injury professionals, we can help you examine to the extent of liabilities from the other party that cause the injury, and further help you reclaim costs from medical expenses, treatments, lost earnings etc. Consider the following points when hiring a personal injury lawyer:
Is your Case Actionable?
One of the first hurdles is knowing whether your case is actionable, that is, whether you can sue or not. Personal injury can cover many different kinds of accidents such as motor vehicle accidents, faulty product injuries, assaults, slip and falls and many more. Most personal injury law is governed by a set of common laws known as torts. Without legal training, it is hard to differentiate which incidents are considered torts and allows victim to claim damages. Here are a few tips to help you if you are unsure whether your motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or personal injury is caused by torts:
Intentional Tort – if the injury was caused deliberately by another person, then there is a high possibility that the person doing the harm is liable for damages. There are many intentional torts that cross over to criminal law, hence it is important to know that tort and criminal law are two very different and distinct areas of law. A person who is found “not guilty” in a criminal proceeding may still find themselves in tortuous liability.
Unintentional Tort– if the injury was caused solely by accident, you will have to consider all the circumstances that led to the accident. If someone was being reckless, it is possible to claim damages for negligence. If the person who did the harm did not safeguard themselves to prevent the accident from happening, that person may be held tortuously liable for the motor vehicle accident, slip and fall or personal injury.
In any case, if you are unsure whether your case is actionable or not, it is better to consult a lawyer. At Opara Law PC, we provide free consultations for all personal injury related matters, including motor vehicle accident, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, long term disability, short term disability, slip and fall, trip and fall, accident benefits claims, home insurance claims, air flight accidents, brain injuries, orthopedic injuries, chronic pain, wrongful dismissal claims, toxic mould exposure, automotive recalls, drug recalls, pharmaceutical warnings, asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, airline warnings, workplace suspensions, among others. As personal injury lawyer, we are skilled and trained professionals in recognizing laws regarding torts generally and personal injury in particular. Therefore, we can help you make the right decisions to address your personal injury concerns.
Know Your Own Case
After a motor vehicle accident personal injury, it is easy to be confused about what to do. Motor vehicle accidents that lead to long lasting damage, also called catastrophic damages, such as loss of consciousness (coma) or broken limbs can be difficult to forget both physically, psychologically and emotionally. However, it is important to know the details of your personal injury no matter how minor the details may be. Here are some tips to consider when you want know more about your own case along with some sample questions:
Who? – Who are the parties involved in the incident? Is the person you are claiming damages from your employer? Your neighbor? Or someone else entirely? Are you the only person injured? Or were there other parties also injured as well?
What? – What exactly happened at the scene of the accident? What are some possible causes to the accident?
When? – When did the accident happen? Did it happen at night or daytime? Was it snowing or clear? Was it raining or normal weather?
Where? – Where did the accident happen? Was the place a public or private area? Was the area cordoned off as dangerous? What is the closest intersection to the location?
Why? - Why did the accident happen? Was someone being neglectful or negligent of their duty? Did someone forget a particularly safety precaution? Did someone fail to do what they were required to do?
Being Realistic About Cost Recovery
While it is acceptable to be upset or angry at the parties that caused the injuries, it is not acceptable to use the legal system as a means of vengeance. The purpose of claiming damages from the other party is to recover the monetary amounts stemming from medical/treatment expenses, lost earnings and for a certain extent of pain and suffering from the injury. It is inappropriate to ask personal injury lawyers to claim additional damages that are unreasonable, especially if the lawyers have already calculated an amount for the case. Any sort of monetary claim will need to be justified in court and backed up with evidence. Here is a list of things to consider when calculating the costs:
What is the extent of the injuries? – How much damage did you suffer from the personal injury? Grievous injuries are likely to attract more damages than minor injuries.
How long did it take for recovery AND rehabilitation? – A person may have to go through several months, if not years of recovery to resume their normal activities. It is wise to keep track and anticipate how much time you need to recover.
How did the accident affect you psychologically? – Injuries (especially catastrophic injuries also called long lasting injuries) can be very traumatic to the personal injury victim or pedestrian. They might suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or acquire a phobia that can be related to the accident (one frequent example is recurring nightmares for those in serious car accidents and constant headache). It is important to note the state of your mental health. If there has been a recommendation for psychological evaluations, it is possible to claim additional damages for treatment.
Remember that if the claim is too ludicrous or exaggerated, it is possible for the courts to reduce the damages claimed even if the action was successful. On the other hand, the court can deem an unrealistic claim to be vexatious and dismiss the case altogether if it does not appear to have merit. Thus, it is important to be realistic, honest and forthright when calculating damages.
Helping the Lawyer Help You
If you are unsure of anything relating to personal injury, it is always better to ask your lawyer before proceeding to do anything. We are here at Opara Law PC to assist you and answer all your questions. A common misconception for the injured party is to feel entitled to damages. The circumstances leading to the accident plays an important role in determining whether the injured party is entitled to damages and what the amount of the damages should be. An injured party’s carelessness might result in contributory negligence, thereby reducing his recovery or completely shutting them out from recovering damages. Regardless of the sense of entitlement, the most important thing is to be consistent under the law. There are strict procedures that the lawyer must abide by to maximize the chance of success in your case. Even if you know something that might hurt your case, it is better to be candid about your facts and tell your personal injury so that they see what they can do to remedy the situation. At Opara Law PC, we strive to package your case to realize maximum damages for you.