Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?

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Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?

To answer this question, you need to understand the situation you are in as the victim of a motor vehicle collision. In Alberta the government has authorized private for-profit auto insurance companies to provide all the car insurance in Alberta. This is provided by a couple of hundred private auto insurance companies, but the bulk of the business in Alberta is held by less than ten private automobile insurance companies.

Because these private automobile insurance companies are for profit, the situation you are in is that you represent the largest expense item for a profit company and, therefore, it should be obvious that that insurance company is going to try to minimize any payout to you for your injuries in order to maximize the profits to the shareholders of their company. Obviously then your interests and the interests of the auto insurance company are diametrically opposed.

Secondly, when you are up against a private for-profit auto insurance company you are up against a multi-million dollar insurance company with unlimited resources to defend, deny, obfuscate and generally run you into the ground so that you give up and accept a very small payment.

Why you should hire a Personal Injury Lawyer after a car accident

The only way you can level the playing field is if you hire a personal injury lawyer who has experience in taking matters to trial. When you hire a personal injury lawyer who has experience taking personal injury cases to trial, then suddenly the insurance company is up against someone who has equal power in that. If the insurance company does not cooperate, the lawyer has the ability to take the matter to trial and have a Judge of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench order the insurance company to pay a fair amount. Suddenly the power dynamics and the playing field are level.

Secondly when you hire a personal injury lawyer, the lawyer has the experience to research similar cases to find similar injuries and determine what Judges have awarded in similar cases in the past. Our legal system is based on precedent.  See our How Much Is My Claim Worth but be cautious reading these cases as it takes years of legal experience to understand when a case is an acceptable precedent. By finding precedents with similar injuries we can predict what a trial Judge would order for your injuries and thus we can advise you what is a fair settlement amount without taking the matter to trial.

In conclusion then there are two primary factors which point to you hiring a personal injury lawyer for your car accident claim:

  1. The power in-balance which exists between you and the unlimited resources of an insurance company is levelled by the threat of having a Judge order the insurance company to pay, and
  2. The lack of knowledge and experience that you have regarding legal precedents is compensated for by an experienced Edmonton personal injury lawyer having the knowledge of legal precedents to properly evaluate your claim and obtain a fair settlement.
By | 2018-03-15T20:14:09+00:00 March 15th, 2018|Comments Off on Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?

About the Author:

Mr. Brent Handel, J.D., Q.C. is the head of the Personal Injury and Fatal Accident Group at Handel Law Firm.