Insights & Articles
When Should you Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer if You’re Injured in an Accident?
This article was written by McKenzie Lake Lawyer, Catherine Shearer, and originally published by Guelph Today.
Catherine Shearer, partner, and personal injury lawyer at McKenzie Lake Lawyers in Guelph says, “Oftentimes the injured person is dealing with a mild traumatic brain injury or post concussion syndrome, as well as other physical injuries. It’s not until after a couple of weeks or months, when they’re not progressing or recovering the way they had expected that they even think about hiring a personal injury lawyer.”
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
Especially if it’s a motor vehicle accident, there’s a lot of interplay between different legislation. There are a lot of moving parts. Catherine Shearer says, “It’s not really something you can navigate on your own. There could be mistakes made in applications or insurance paperwork leading to arbitrary denials.”
For a claim to be successful, deadlines must be met. Deadlines depend on what type of injury claim is being made. There is going to be a lot of forms and paperwork to complete. In those first couple of weeks, an injured person may not be feeling their best. Shearer says, “Having a lawyer in place allows you to focus on the treatment and recovery that you need while having the peace of the mind knowing that the claim is also being taken care of.”
Depending on the type of claim there may be different limitation or notice periods, some as short as 10 days from the date of incident.
Initially, you may receive calls from multiple insurance adjustors. Shearer says, “Part of a lawyer’s job is to ensure that forms are filled out correctly and the appropriate level of benefits are assigned. Hiring a personal injury lawyer immediately let’s the injured person focus on their recovery and helps reduce some of the stress involved because the process can be extremely overwhelming.”
Shearer points out, “It’s easy for the insurance company to deny claims when the right evidence is not before them, or a case hasn’t been made, or there is no one advocating for the injured person.” Shearer adds, “A lawyer also helps to level the playing field because the insurance company wields a lot of power and is also the one that determines if you are eligible for compensation or benefits.”
A Lawyer Reduces Delays
A personal injury lawyer can reduce delays in the case and increase your chances of receiving better and fairer compensation. Often claimants who aren’t represented by a lawyer are undercompensated.
People will call Catherine Shearer admitting that they’re in over their heads and asking her to review the insurance company’s offer for settlement to determine if it’s fair. Shearer says, “I’m looking backwards through more than a year on a file and seeing things that were missed or done incorrectly. Often, I’m seeing a treatment course that was not ideal and offers from an insurance company that are less than what the injured person ought to be entitled to.”
If you haven’t missed any limitation dates, you can course-correct, but it’s easier and faster for everybody if a lawyer is handling the file from the beginning. Shearer says, “The lawyer knows what needs to be proven. It’s easy for us to collect the requisite evidence to help substantiate a claim. It also makes your case stronger and moves it along faster.”
You Have Nothing to Lose
Very often individuals think that a lawyer is too expensive or that they can manage on their own, not realizing that they have easy access to a personal injury lawyer.
Almost every personal injury lawyer will offer you a free consultation and if they do not, consult another lawyer. Catherine Shearer stresses, “There are no legal fees unless you win. Unless you are getting compensated for your injuries, the lawyer doesn’t get paid for their time. There is no downside to contacting a lawyer because it’s not going to cost you anything upfront in most cases.”
One of the best ways to find a reputable personal injury lawyer is to ask a lawyer you have already worked with such as a wills and estates, family law, or real estate lawyer for a referral. The lawyer you have worked with will typically know one or more reputable injury lawyers.
If you have suffered an injury in an accident and would like to learn more about your rights and your options, Catherine Shearer would be happy to speak with you about your next steps.
Her initial consultation is free. Contact Catherine Shearer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (226) 203-1243.