Factors a Personal Injury Lawyer Looks for in a Personal Injury Case

You drive by those billboards that mention consultations for a personal injury all the time. Perhaps you’ve wondered what happens in a consultation, or maybe you have been hurt and aren’t sure whether the grounds are there for a personal injury lawsuit. Get the legal perspective on what a personal injury lawyer looks for when evaluating a case.

1. Liability

Liability is critical for a personal injury case, because the injured person, the plaintiff, still bears the burden of proving that the other person, the defendant, was negligent in their actions.  If there is serious doubt that defendant was negligent, a lawyer may advise you of the risks of proceeding.  If there’s suspicion you were partly to blame—say, you were driving recklessly before another driver hit your car—then a lawyer may advise you of the implications of that.   If there is strong evidence the other side is liable—for instance, if witnesses saw a truck driver run a red light before hitting you—the lawyer will advise you of your rights in that situation.

2. Impact on Your Life

To succeed in a personal injury case, again, the injured person, the plaintiff, must prove that they suffered a personal injury.   This will usually flow from medical records, so seeing your doctor will be critical.  However, a good personal injury lawyer will want to look at the impact of the accident on your life, on your recreation, and the specifics of what losses that you, as an individual, have suffered as a result of the negligence of the other party.

If you were out of work for one week, this is an indication of a loss of function that your injury caused you.  If you do not miss any time from work, but you were unable to perform your household tasks and needed to get a family member or a professional cleaner to assist you, these are important.

To show an impact on your life, you’ll need to have documentation such as photos of wounds, bruises, and most importantly, you will need to advise your doctor of the difficulties you have and listen to their recommendations.

3. Financial Considerations

For you to obtain compensation from the other party in a personal injury case, the defendant (or their insurer) will need to pay. Thus, a good personal injury lawyer will check whether the defendant was insured.  If not, an uninsured motorist claim must be filed, and checks made to see whether the defendant has assets to satisfy a judgment from the court.   In some cases, it may not be possible to recover from a negligent party, but each case is different, and all avenues must be explored.  The safest claims are when the negligent party is insured (for the purpose of insurance is to pay for claims such as yours).

4. Minor Injury Cap

The NDP government in B.C. is proposing a cap on minor injuries that are sustained in motor vehicle collisions in British Columbia.  This is completely arbitrary and is only designed to help the financial health of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, the ability of the government to continue to take surplus income from ICBC that you paid your premiums for, and will strip your rights away.  You can be sure that if this passes, you will never get those rights back.

If you are walking on a sidewalk and you are struck by a small motorcycle, your soft tissue injury would be capped at $5,500.  If another person was walking down the same sidewalk and was struck by a cyclist that happened to have home owner’s insurance and assets, their soft tissue injury would not be capped. This is why these proposed laws are purely arbitrary.

These caps will not save drivers money on car insurance, nor will it help injured parties find redress.

Contact Becker Lavin & Wessler Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyers

As a reminder, if you are opposed to the minor injury cap, sign the petition and  write to your MLA directly. Your voice matters on this issue. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and are looking for assistance in handling your ICBC claim, schedule your free consultation and case evaluation with our team at Becker Lavin, & Wessler. With years of experiencing in navigating this confusing and ever-changing claims process, we have your best interests in mind.

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