You’ve been in an accident or incident.
At the scene, you were surprised, perhaps even shocked.
If it was safe to do so, you might have quickly assessed what happened. Was it a major accident or a minor one? If the former, with injury, death, or damage over certain limits, you are required to report it to the police. If the latter, with none of the above (including no apparent injury), you are not.
You probably knew not to accept fault at the scene, just to exchange contact and insurance information. However, consider what might happen if you do not report, and the other party does, claiming injury and/or more damage, or even criminal behaviour on your part. You might appear to be avoiding reporting, both to the police and to your insurer.
Keep in mind, the police are not lawyers or judges. Their role is to investigate the accident on the basis of what they see, find and hear.
That’s why it’s important to have qualified legal representation.
A Voice for Your Legal Rights
You need a personal injury lawyer to assess whether any person or party can be found negligent, and whether there is a risk of liability, or even criminal charges.
There are many, many ways that negligence may be indicated. Actions that you think are perfectly normal may be interpreted otherwise. There may even be a third party in this accident, such as another vehicle, pedestrian, the community that maintains the roads or surroundings, or even the vehicle manufacturer.
There can be many legal consequences and significant costs associated with even a minor accident:
- injury (sometimes belated) to either party
- financial losses by either party
- liability for those various losses, such as income loss, loss of use, medical costs, or disability
- criminal charges or civil claims
Then things can get even more complicated, depending on the severity of the injuries or incident.
The Lasting Effects of Personal Injury
In a major accident, with apparent injuries, there is usually treatment at the scene and/or in hospital, with medical diagnoses and records.
But those injuries sometimes have lasting, unexpected outcomes, resulting in claims due to life-affecting changes (which can lead to long-term expenses). Treatments can run years in length, consequences can be life-long, and expenses can be astronomical, affecting the injured party, family members, employers, and their insurers.
If you are the injured party, you need a personal injury lawyer to explain and make your case, often against the legal team of the insurer of the other party. You need someone who can defend your right to fair compensation for what has happened, and what may be to come.
Anything less can become a burden on you and your loved ones.
Count on David Gardiner to Help
If you have been injured in an accident or slip-and-fall, your interests are best served by a personal injury lawyer who knows your rights, to protect you from unsubstantiated claims, possibly against the legal team of the insurer of the other party. A personal injury lawyer can fight for your case and ensure that your voice is heard.
Contact me today if you’ve been injured. I’m a qualified, experienced personal injury lawyer based in Ottawa. I’d be happy to answer questions and help you find out more about your rights.