What Does It Really Mean To “Sue For Injuries”?

To sue for injuries in the most basic sense, suing, or threatening to sue, is how injured parties obtain compensation. When injured in a motor vehicle accident in Edmonton, the injured party sues the responsible party (also known as the defendant) under the law of negligence. If you are interested in learning more about negligence law, kindly see our blog post here.

Suing for Injuries in Edmonton – The Process

Between obtaining a cost-free consultation with one of our experienced accident injury lawyers and being handed a cheque, there are multiple steps in the litigation process.

Whenever you sue for injuries in Edmonton, the at-fault party must be “put on notice”. This is always step one. Notice is affected with a letter outlining the date of loss, location of the accident, and individuals involved.

Once the defendant has been put on notice, the lawsuit has begun; but you have technically not sued anyone. The notice letter provides nothing more than an intention to bring a claim against the defendant. And in some cases, notice will suffice to bring both parties to the negotiating table; but in other circumstances, an injured party must formally sue the defendant.  

Prior to filing a statement of claim with the appropriate court, no one has been sued. Upon filing the statement of claim, the formal litigation process has begun. Failure to file a statement of claim within two years of an accident will result in your claim being barred.

Suing For Injuries in Edmonton – The People Involved

If you have been involved in a car accident in Edmonton and are looking to sue for injuries, you will be suing the at-fault driver. When filing a statement of claim, you (or your lawyer) must name the driver of the vehicle and the owner(s) of the vehicle (assuming they are different people).

Although you are technically suing the owner-operator, they will likely not be paying the value of the lawsuit. If the defendant driver is protected by a valid auto insurance policy on the date of loss, that insurance company will cover costs associated with the lawsuit. This is called the “duty to defend” which is standard in auto insurance policies.

Despite suing the owner-operator, the lawsuit is handled almost exclusively by the defendant’s insurance company. The insurance company is put on notice at first instance and unless a statement of claim is filed, the defendant driver will likely not know an action has arisen out of the accident.   

Suing for Injuries in Edmonton – What You Can Sue For

Upon retaining an experienced personal injury lawyer, they will launch a claim on your behalf and claim compensation under 5 distinct “heads of damage”.

  1. General damages – Also known as pain and suffering. This is typically the largest source of compensation and what most people associate with the phrase “suing for injuries”.
  • Loss of income – If applicable, your lawyer will claim for past loss of income (time missed from the date of loss to the date of settlement) and loss of earning capacity (compensation claimed for estimated future losses beyond the date of settlement). In some cases, loss of income may represent a larger portion of compensation than do general damages.
  • Special damages – Also known as out-of-pocket expenses. Our team advises clients to keep records of all out-of-pocket expenses as they may be recoverable against the defendant’s insurance company. Examples of special damages include fuel costs, medication, and assistive devices.
  • Loss of housekeeping capacity – There is a dollar value associated with an inability to clean your home. A claim may be launched under this head of damage notwithstanding the fact that replacement labour has not been hired.
  • Cost of future care – Should you require ongoing care for physiotherapy, counselling, or pain management, our team will launch a claim to recover these costs.    

Have You or a Loved One Been Injured?

Talking with an injury lawyer is the first step on the road to justice. Unlike many large law firms in Alberta, James H. Brown and Associates’ injury lawyers are ready to speak with you right away. With over 250 years of combined injury law experience, James H. Brown and Associates has become Alberta’s trusted name in accident injury law, with a proven record of precedent-setting results and successful settlements for our clients. Read on to learn more about what you can expect in your car accident settlement, as well as to discover how James H. Brown and Associates is ready to stand up for your rights every step of the way.

Contact us today to speak to a lawyer and book a free, no-obligation consultation with James H. Brown and Associates.

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