You’ve recently been in a car accident, and the car accident injury claims process eventually crosses your mind. What is next? What should I do? Will I be ok? This is one of the most common questions we get “how does an injury claim work?”. We’ll help break down the car accident injury claims process in more detail below.
First Things First, Get Medical Attention
Shock, anger and fear are often experienced when injured in an accident. If you or others involved in an accident are in life-threatening condition, are unresponsive, or are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
If you feel dazed, confused, tired or unwell, do not drive yourself home. Although you may feel capable of driving, it may not be safe for you to drive, even if it is only a few blocks home. You may not recognize the severity of your injuries and your condition can rapidly change to life-threatening. Driving yourself home or providing a ride to others who are injured, may put your safety and the safety of others at risk.
Phone 9-1-1 if you are experiencing a medical emergency. Phone a friend or family member to meet you and help you get medical attention. Phone 811 in Alberta for Health Link, to help assess your injuries and for information on the nearest clinics and emergency departments.
Get Legal Advice
Motor vehicle accidents require thorough and timely investigation to ensure the crucial evidence in your case is preserved. This often involves a team of lawyers, accident reconstruction engineers and specialized analysts to work diligently to gather evidence so that your strongest case is advanced. Don’t wait to call us. Get legal advice as soon as possible after the accident so that you understand your rights and the car accident injury claims process.
Understand The Car Accident Injury Claims Process
Once we have been retained to act on your behalf, we inform the insurance companies involved that we are representing you. Do not speak with the insurance company of the other driver.
For a number of months following the accident, we will gather the medical documentation and evidence required to advance your case. Many people have never been in a car accident before or have never had any serious injuries. Others have medical conditions that have become worse from a car accident.
We understand that the trauma from a car accident extends far beyond your physical injuries. Our experienced team of Accident Lawyers listen to you to understand how your injuries have impacted your life, to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Statement of Claim
In many cases, a Statement of Claim is filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. A Statement of Claim is a legal document that formally starts the lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
In Alberta, typically a Statement of Claim must be filed within two years from the date of the accident, or you lose your right to sue. There are some exceptions to this, for example, if the injured person was a minor at the time of the accident. Make sure you understand your options and legal rights.
Do not wait until a few days before the limitation date to decide if you will pursue your case. We highly recommend that you get legal advice well before the limitation date and before you file a Statement of Claim on your own.
There are specific requirements for a Statement of Claim. If you want to recover compensation for the injuries you sustained in an accident, we highly recommend that you get legal advice. Phone us today so that you understand the process.
Negotiation and Calculating Damages
Throughout the car accident injury claims process, there is on-going communication and negotiation with the other driver’s insurance company. Offers are typically exchanged. Your lawyer contacts you to discuss offers and get your instructions on whether to accept the offer. For more information on how damages are calculated, refer to our Blog on calculating damages here.
Focus on Your Recovery
You may require treatment from several health care providers, such as your family doctor, specialists, physiotherapists, and chiropractors. Speak with your health care providers to determine the best treatment plan for you to recover from your injuries. Follow-up with your doctors and health care providers on a regular basis while you are recovering from your injuries.
If the claim is not resolved directly with the insurance company, the opposing lawyer may want to ask you questions about your injuries and how the accident happened. Your lawyer will discuss with you the questioning process so that you are prepared.
Claims may go to mediation. Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which a mediator facilitates discussion and the exchange of offers among the parties involved. Most often claims are resolved before trial, through mediation or another dispute resolution process. Remember that claims can take a number of months or years after the accident to reach a settlement, depending on the severity of your injuries and whether there is a dispute over who is at fault for the collision. Speak with one of our experienced Accident Lawyers today to understand the steps in your case.
Your lawyer will discuss with you offers of settlement so that you can make an informed decision. Your lawyer will help you understand how damages are calculated. Once your file settles, your claim is discontinued in court, if a Statement of Claim was filed. Remember that once you have accepted a settlement, it is final, and you cannot later sue the at-fault driver again for more money.
At James H. Brown & Associates, our experienced team of Accident Injury Lawyers fight for you and help you understand the process so that you are confident in your settlement.