Determining when to hire a personal injury lawyer is important in the aftermath of many different types of accidents. When injuries result from an accident, it is important to obtain appropriate information such as who may be responsible or who may have witnessed the accident. You may need to be appropriately compensated for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. The legal system is an effective tool to hold reckless and negligent parties responsible when their actions result in serious personal injury.
You were involved in an accident.
In British Columbia, injury victims can file a personal injury claim when they are involved in an accident. There are several types of accidents that can warrant a personal injury claim:
- Medical malpractice – Medical mistakes are far too common and can be devastating physically and emotionally. In order to be compensated for personal injuries resulting from medical malpractice, you must prove that a medical provider such as a doctor acted negligently and that their action or inaction caused your injuries. Medical providers and their employers (healthcare facilities) are very well insured and represented by their own lawyers. You only have two years from the date of your injury to file a medical malpractice claim.
- Dangerous premises – Sometimes referred to as Occupiers Liability accidents due to the role the Occupiers Liability Act plays. If you are hurt on someone else’s property, like a slip and fall accident, you may be able to make a personal injury claim. The law sets clear standards for owners and property managers to keep properties safe and hazard free.
- Defective products – Manufacturers and sellers have a duty to ensure the products that are sold to consumers and brought into homes are safe. Products that are defective, either because they were designed poorly or because mistakes occurred during manufacturing that resulted in a dangerous product, violate the public’s trust and a victim’s right to safety. Companies are more careful with their products when the perpetrators of defective products are held accountable.
- Wrongful death – When an accident is serious enough to result in death either in the immediate aftermath of an accident or in the days or weeks after, those the victim leaves behind may have a wrongful death claim. Claims can be brought by children, parents and grandparents, and spouses, including common law spouses. Claimants can receive damages for related financial expenses such as funeral costs and loss of financial support (for the family member). You may also receive damages for loss of guidance, companionship, and care.
- Boating accidents – When the weather warms and British Columbians head to the water for a boating trip, fun ensues. Unfortunately, so can chaos and accidents. This is especially true when alcohol is involved. Boating accidents may not happen as often as motor vehicle accidents but they can be just as devastating. The Marine Liability Act is a federal Act and dictates under what conditions a victim or their family can sue a boat owner. In boating accidents, alcohol is involved 65% of the time. Boating accident victims can be owed substantial damages if the person causing the accident is drunk while operating a boat.
- Dog bites – Dog bites can cause serious wounds including punctures, infections, and deep bruising. Serious dog bite incidents can cause permanent disfigurement and a lifetime of medical needs. Many of these unfortunate incidents are avoidable. Holding dog owners accountable helps mitigate future incidents.
- Bicycle accidents – Many provinces and municipalities have attempted to make riding a bicycle a fun, healthy activity and mode of transportation; however, drivers hurt dozens of cyclists each year. Cyclists are often defenseless in the face of drivers unwilling or unable to follow the law or put the safety of others first. The injuries from a bicycle accident can be life-altering and last long after the incident.
- Pedestrian accidents – Similar to cyclists, pedestrians are defenseless in the face of reckless drivers. Thousands of pedestrians are hurt in accidents each year, most of them involving motor vehicles. BC averages nearly 60 pedestrian deaths per year. This is much too high. If you or someone you love is a victim of a pedestrian accident, get help from experienced lawyers who know the law and care about your case.
You need help with a claim.
Not every accident warrants filing a personal injury claim. However, if any of the following conditions reflects your situation, you should be obtaining expert help to confidently file a claim. In the case of defective products, dangerous premises, and wrongful death, you could take the offending party to court, with their insurance companies paying you the compensation you are owed in the event they are found negligent.
When to get help:
- You or a family member were hurt or killed in an accident.
- The insurance company is acting in bad faith.
- There is a dispute about who is responsible for the accident.
- You were unable to return to work and need to file for disability insurance.
- Your initial claim with the insurance company was denied and you need to file an appeal.
- You want to focus on your physical and emotional recovery instead of dealing with paperwork.
- You are struggling with finances as a result of your injuries.
- You need a strong and experienced advocate fighting for what’s right.