Sustaining a severe injury can be overwhelming and impact both employment and family life. Starting the process of hiring a personal injury lawyer can reduce the stress of the unknown and provide key advice to determine the best course of action.
For your ease of reference, here are some of the top questions we get asked about personal injury law, including how to know if you have a case, how to find a lawyer, and how to get started.
How do I know if I have a case?
The only way to know for certain if you have a case is to receive legal counsel. If you think you might have a personal injury claim, we encourage you to consult with a lawyer. That being said, here are some indications that you might have a case:
1. You sustained an injury that requires medical care.
As the name suggests, in order to have a personal injury case, you must first have a personal injury. Most often, this injury is a physical injury as well. Neuropsychological injuries can have grounds for a case. Proving an injury takes into account evidentiary rules established in Canadian courts.
2. Someone else caused said injury.
In Alberta, a person is responsible for their own actions. Injuring yourself in your own home is unlikely to have a case in the province. For your injury to be considered a personal injury case, the injury must have been caused – directly or indirectly – by another person. Examples of this include impaired or distracted drivers, careless drivers, and poor property maintenance.
3. The person who caused the injury had some sort of responsibility to you.
So, you’ve sustained an injury and it wasn’t caused by your own actions alone. The next question you’ll want to ask yourself is, “Did that person have any obligation to you?” In other words, was there an expectation that you should be kept safe?
All drivers have a duty of care to other users of the road, both pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. Property owners or tenants may also have obligations to the public. The standards of care are determined by case law. Legal counsel has studied these rules and sometimes appears in court to prove the levels of liability.
4. As a result of the serious injury, you’ve suffered some type of loss that the law recognizes.
The injury must have some level of significant impact on your life. This loss can come from loss of function to do work at your employment, home and hobbies, increased pain, some medical expenses, and expenses. Legal counsel can guide you through the rules and cases for each area of compensation or argue your case before the Court.
How do I find the right lawyer?
Finding a lawyer while dealing with a personal injury leaves a lot of people feeling overwhelmed. To find a lawyer who is right for you, make sure you ask a few questions of your own to assess their experience and professionalism.
We’d recommend the following questions to help form a baseline:
- How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
- Have you taken claims like mine before?
- How are your fees set?
- Should I pursue this, what would you think my options are?
Make sure to find a lawyer who communicates with you well and who has experience with cases like yours.
How do I get started?
Should you need a personal injury lawyer, we encourage you to contact us today. We’ll guide you through the process, answering any questions you may have regarding your claim or our practice.
Contact us today to get started.
About This Article
These questions have been edited by R. Travis Bissett who has been practicing for 15 years in this area and is head of the personal injury practice group of the firm.