When do you need to get a lawyer after a car accident?
Having a lawyer represent you can help ease the stress of dealing with the aftermath of an accident. When you hire a lawyer, the other driver’s insurance company must communicate with your lawyer, and cannot contact you directly. Your only obligation is to speak with your own insurance adjuster. Your insurance company will confirm that your treatment costs are covered and that your vehicle will be fixed.
You may want to hire a lawyer after a motor vehicle accident if:
- You received any minor or major personal injuries as a result of the car accident
- The car accident involved any fatal casualties
- You require medical treatment
- If you suffer emotional trauma, pain and suffering, loss of companionship
- There is a dispute over which driver was at fault
- The other driver is uninsured or paperwork does not look accurate (police report, insurance communications)
Should I hire a lawyer for an accident that wasn’t my fault?
Yes. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can also help ensure you receive fair compensation by arranging assessments with medical professionals, researching case law regarding your injuries, and determining your financial losses such as lost income. For Alberta accidents, your lawyer can also assist you in understanding whether or not your injuries fall under the Minor Injury Regulation.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer also has the benefit of protecting you from any suggestion that you were partly responsible for the accident, which is called contributory negligence. Your lawyer will investigate the circumstances of the accident, obtain a copy of the police report and witness statements, and ensure that liability of the accident is properly determined. This will help ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, without a reduction for contributory negligence.
Involved in a motor vehicle accident in Alberta or the Northwest Territories?
Ahlstrom Wright can help.
Should I hire a lawyer for an accident that was my fault?
If you were responsible for the accident, then you cannot claim damages from the other driver’s insurer. In this case, you do not need to hire a personal injury lawyer to sue for damages. If you are at fault, your insurance company will hire a lawyer to defend you.
It is best to speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to ensure you protect yourself. We recommend that you speak with a personal injury lawyer before contacting the insurance company representing the other driver. However, you should speak to your own insurance company as soon as possible.