How Does The Legal Process Work?
Many personal injury claims can be resolved outside of court. If you have to sue, the first step is to issue a Statement of Claim against the responsible driver. In Alberta, you must file this document within 2 years of your accident to preserve your rights. Do not delay; your lawyer requires time to collect proper evidence for your claim and to meet legal deadlines.
If your claim cannot be settled with an insurance adjuster, then a Statement of Defence filed on behalf of the responsible driver will ultimately answer the claim. The amount of your settlement will be determined by your ability to prove that your injuries are or were caused by the accident. You will need evidence from your medical caregivers, private investigators, and independent and expert witnesses.
More serious claims require formal legal proceedings such as “Questioning”.
Questioning allows each lawyer to ask the opposite side questions which are relevant to the case. The questions and answers are under oath and recorded by a court reporter. After the Questioning, each side reassesses your claim and settlement discussion may occur. Under the Rules of Court, litigation must proceed to some form of alternative dispute resolution. As such, your claim might be subject to mediation or Judicial Dispute Resolution.
In the unlikely event that a settlement is not reached, your case would go to trial and be presented to a judge. He or she will hear the evidence and make a ruling as to who was responsible for the accident and the value of the damages you suffered.
The Value Of Your Personal Injury Claim
We will attempt to determine the fair value of your claim throughout the course of your matter.
Remember that your claim may have many parts that must be considered, some of which are:
- General Damages which compensate you for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life;
- Economic losses are geared to recovery for any impact for missing time from work or failed/delayed career advancements;
- Special Damages compensate you for your actual out-of-pocket expenses in relation to your recovery; and
- Cost of Future Care is paid to compensate one in advance for projected expenses that one will require in the future as a result of their injuries.
How Can I Afford A Lawyer?
You may be wondering how you can afford a lawyer, especially if you are unable to work and therefore have a limited income after the accident. Most lawyers will take your case on a percentage of contingency fee basis. This means you do not have to pay for legal services until your claim is settled and funds are received from the other side. Fee agreements are usually based on results: your lawyer does not get paid unless your claim is successful.
At Vogel LLP, we are very experienced in the field of personal injury claims. This information, however, does not replace legal advice. Please call our Personal Injury Lawyers Calgary for a free consultation if you have suffered a serious personal injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you with your claim.