What to Look for in a Good Personal Injury Lawyer
Choosing the right personal injury lawyer for your case can be a daunting process. There are a number of factors to consider, including the complexity of your case, the lawyer’s expertise, how comfortable you are with the lawyer, and what the lawyer costs. If you are injured after an accident caused by someone’s negligence, hiring a good personal injury lawyer for your case will be an important decision for you.
Focus of Practice
Dealing with a personal injury case can be overwhelming, and it may be tempting to take your case to a generalist lawyer you may have dealt with before. While this can be convenient, the best step you can take when considering hiring a lawyer is to seek an experienced lawyer for the matter you are dealing with. Much like doctors, lawyers can have specialties. A personal injury lawyer deals with personal injury law on a daily basis and is familiar with relevant case law. By contrast, you may risk having lower-quality representation for a personal injury matter if your lawyer is not current on personal injury law.
Years of Practice
Choosing a lawyer with many years of experience in personal injury law can be important to have a successful case, particularly if your matter has some complexity. Lawyers who have practiced for a number of years will be well-equipped to deal with various aspects of your case, including filing claims and dealing with time limitations. A lawyer with extensive experience can more easily navigate your case, and you can be confident in the work he or she is doing. This experience will help the lawyer focus on other aspects of the case, such as finding the right type of doctor to assess your specific problems and recommend treatment.
You may also wish to ask whether a team of lawyers, or a single lawyer will be working on your case. This is dependent on a number of factors, including; the lawyer you choose, the complexity of your case, the degree of injury, and monetary aspects of the case. If your lawyer can draw from the experience of a team of lawyers at the firm, your case is likely to be all that much stronger against the opposing side.
Personal injury cases are more often than not resolved before a trial begins. In many cases, there is a strong incentive to settle the case early on for both parties. This may be what is best for your case, though each situation depends. Nevertheless, you may wish to examine whether or not the lawyer you are dealing with has trial experience if your case progresses to that point.
Personal injury lawyers with trial experience have valuable insights to offer you and are willing to fight for you beyond settlements and negotiations.
Research and Resources
Personal injury law can be very nuanced. Experienced legal counsel can advise about how to approach various stages of a lawsuit, including an insurer’s request for an Independent Medical Exam. In Greenidge v Allstate Insurance Company, 2018 ABQB 266 (CanLII), the issue at stake was whether Allstate Insurance Company could discontinue section B benefits to Ms. Greenidge because she refused to attend an Independent Medical Exam (IME) without a videographer present. In other words, did the insurer breach the policy by failing to accommodate her request to video record the IME? The insurer argued that since it was the medical examiner’s policy not to allow the taking of pictures, video recordings or audio recordings during the IME, Ms. Greenidge’s was effectively asking the court to rule against them even though they had the legislated ability to select their chosen medical practitioner. Unfortunately for Ms. Greenidge, she lost the case, was responsible for Allstate’s legal representation costs, and her benefits were discontinued.
A personal injury lawyer is knowledgeable and skilled when it comes to arguing a case. McLean v Parmer, 2015 ABQB 62 (CanLII) is one example, where the regulation could have capped the general damages if her injuries were “minor,” as her doctor suggested.
Ms. McLean was hit by a city bus and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, chronic pain and soft tissue injuries. She tried managing her work after, but the accident ended up delaying her career. Instead of determining that her injuries were minor, the judge determined that the injuries resulted in “serious impairment,” as the accident impacted Ms. McLean ability to work and study and she required extensive treatment. Ms. McLean was awarded a total amount of $172,155, including $60,000 for pain and suffering.
Contact Braithwaite Boyle Accident Injury Law for Next Steps and Additional Information
Our personal injury lawyers have a reputation for results. The vast majority of our lawyers have 20-30 years of experience in personal injury law. We can provide you with high-quality representation for your personal injury case. Our lawyers serve Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer and the surrounding areas in Alberta. We also serve clients in British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and Yukon. Call us at 1-800-661-4902 today.