Oct 17, 2022
It can be a stressful and overwhelming time when you’ve been involved in an accident that has upended your life due to a serious injury. Not only are you dealing with the impact of the injury and working on recovery, but you also have financial obligations to consider. The last thing you need is a lawyer who doesn’t have the experience or knowledge to navigate your case in the best way.
A personal injury lawyer can help you receive compensation for loss of income, cost of medical care, pain and suffering, and more.
Before you hire a personal injury lawyer in Calgary, knowing a few key details can make the difference between receiving the compensation you deserve and a process that becomes a frustrating hassle. Here’s what you need to know before hiring a personal injury lawyer.
There are lots of different types of personal injury claims
“Personal injury” is an umbrella term that encompasses many different kinds of cases, including but not limited to:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Bike accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Consumer product malfunctions
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Poor elevator maintenance
- Garage door malfunction
- Dog bites
- Assault and battery
Every case is unique and your chances of success as well as the amount you may recover depends on a lot of facts unique to your situation. When looking for a personal injury lawyer, ask about their experience handling cases like yours.
Injury claims are unpredictable: good lawyers know what to do.
Personal injury cases (or bodily injury as we call them) can be unpredictable – some resolve surprisingly smoothly and our clients receive compensation without having done anything other than attending treatment; others take years and the client is directly involved in many steps. A knowledgeable lawyer recognizes the variety of different steps that must be taken and the pitfalls and opportunities of each. We are always careful to be realistic in setting your expectations and not overpromise your potential outcome.
When speaking with a lawyer, be wary of exaggerated statements in your favour, or promises of large sums of money. Many lawyers make such statements merely to try to win your business.
On the other hand, an experienced lawyer should still be able to make a rough prediction about your case and give you some cautionary information about the types of compensation you can expect.
But I can do it myself! Is my claim worth hiring a lawyer?
A common misconception with personal injury cases is that representing yourself can save you from paying legal fees. For the most part, this doesn’t ring true in our experience.
Even if you are keen to file a personal injury lawsuit, represent yourself, pay all the costs of the litigation itself and prove your claim, it is highly unlikely you would ever achieve the same amount of compensation that a capable, knowledgeable lawyer can obtain for you.
While you can certainly represent yourself, know that it comes with a huge risk of receiving less than your full entitlement to compensation. Good personal injury lawyers know how to navigate the system to ensure you receive the highest settlement possible.
Resolute Law Group offers personal injury legal services with fees paid on a “contingency” basis. Clients do not pay for legal services until and unless money is recovered.
Our fee for services is based on a fixed percentage of the settlement and we are paid only after you as the client receive your compensation. Furthermore, Resolute Law Group takes on the expenses of information-gathering while clients are injured and help clients receive wage replacement benefits while they’re out of work.
Many cases don’t go to Court
Most personal injury claims are settled prior to formal Court proceedings. Many settle at informal meetings such as mediation or Judicial Dispute Resolution.
However, the level of compensation you receive depends a lot on your lawyer’s experience IN Court. The best advice is obtained after the experience is gained. So, while many personal injury law firms focus on settling your claim so the parties don’t have to be questioned under oath, Resolute Law Group knows that sometimes the best result is obtained only when the insurance company is concerned When looking for a personal injury lawyer, be sure to inquire about their experience in both out-of-court proceedings and Court trials. A few questions to ask a personal injury lawyer:
- What is your experience with alternative dispute methods?
- How many personal injury cases have you taken to trial?
- What challenges do you expect with my case?
- Have you handled a personal injury case like mine before?
Limitations: You have two years to file a personal injury claim in Alberta
For Alberta residents, you must settle your claim or start a lawsuit within two years of the date you became injured. If you do not settle your claim or start a lawsuit within this time period, your claim will be barred, and you will be denied any compensation. However, there are some exceptions to this. You should seek qualified counsel to understand whether a limitation affects your claim.
Not all lawyers are created equal
Personal injury lawyers work on different business models associated with their preferences and experience. There are some excellent personal injury lawyers who practice alone, while there are other firms that have more people in their digital marketing department than we have in our entire firm!
Resolute Law Group was established to provide the finest legal services to people with good cases who need our help. Period. We don’t tell clients what they want to hear – we give them correct objective advice. We don’t “practice kindness” with opposing counsel or adjusters whose goal is to unfairly deny our clients their just compensation. We prosecute personal injury claims as long and as aggressively as necessary to get our clients what they deserve in their direction.
Some firms, regardless of size, are very capable in the areas they have chosen, while others try to do too many things for their size. Likewise, some personal injury firms are so large, virtually every aspect of a client’s claim is delegated to staff with no legal training while the lawyers administer and manage the firm.
Some firms also try to do it all. Be wary of “litigation” firms that also do real estate, draft wills, or do family law. These are all specialities and are quite distinct from advancing claims for personal injury.
Resolute Law Group only practises litigation law. All we do is prosecute and defend cases, either before the Courts are involved, or in the Court process. When you’re hiring a lawyer, also consider whether you’re hiring a lawyer, or hiring an untrained ‘paralegal’ or administrative assistant to handle your claim.
After a long time practising law and dealing with injured parties, our view is that clients with legal problems are best served by – you guessed it – lawyers. Our staff are diligent, smart and educated, so their involvement in your file is essential to take the administrative burden off the lawyers – who are here to prosecute your case and get you a good result.
Our belief, however, is that lawyers should focus on knowing the law and practising their art as they’re trained, and our staff should help out our clients’ cases with administration.
Ask your law firm whether a specific lawyer will be in charge of the case, and if so, whether they will respond to your phone calls, emails or requests for updates. If you’ve already hired a law firm and have never spoken with a lawyer about your case, consider who’s really running your case – the lawyer or the assistant.
You should be aware that this website does not constitute legal advice. If you have been injured, please get in touch with Resolute Law Group or another qualified lawyer immediately for a free consultation.