What do You Need to Know About a Personal Injury Lawyer in Canada?
According to the laws in Canada, personal injury refers to any kind of physical and psychological damage inflicted on a person due to the negligent act of another. Personal injuries may be caused by instances like motor vehicle and workplace accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability incidents that may occur in public places or in someone’s private property, and the use of defective products.
In Canada, the personal injury law is a tort law and so, the victim of such an injury is entitled to receive monetary compensation from the guilty party. This measure not only eases the difficulties of the victim and/or his loved ones to some extent but also acts as a deterrent to future acts of recklessness. A personal injury lawyer in Canada helps his clients fight for justice and receive the compensation due to them.
A Personal Injury Lawyer is Kept Busy in Toronto and Vancouver
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of individuals filing personal injury claims in Canada. Such instances are noticeably higher in the urban regions of the country and especially in populous and heavily industrialized cities like Toronto and Vancouver.
Toronto is the largest city in Canada and is also the provincial capital of Ontario. It is one of the most populous cities in North America and is home to about 3 million people. The city is the financial, cultural, industrial, and entertainment hub of the country and houses five of the largest banks in Canada and many renowned corporations such as Bell Media, Rogers Communications, Magna International, Sun Life Financial, Torstar, Four Seasons Hotels, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, and Hudson’s Bay Company.
On the other hand, Vancouver is a thriving industrial center of Canada and is home to the forest products production, mining, aerospace, biotechnology, television and film production, animation, video games and software development, and tourism industries.
Rapid economic progress and industrialization has seen the number of vehicle accidents rise in both these cities. According to an online resource of the National Post, Toronto records one of the highest instances of car collisions with bicycles and pedestrians in Canada. On the other hand, a report by the City of Vancouver cites that there are about 150 car-bike collisions every year on the streets of the city.
The above-mentioned statistics are grim. Bu these are not the only types of personal injury cases that come up for trial in these two cities. So it is evident that a personal lawyer is kept busy in Toronto and Vancouver because they provide a range of legal and paralegal services to their clients.
Legal and Paralegal Services Provided by Personal Injury Lawyers
A personal injury lawyer in Toronto and Vancouver should have at least a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B), a Juris Doctor (J.D.), or an equivalent degree and hold a license from an accredited body to be able to practice. He can provide both legal and paralegal services like advising to his clients and helping them fill out the forms required to be submitted as part of the process for claiming compensation.
In this context, it is worth noting that a personal injury lawyer also helps his clients calculate the claims that they are entitled to receive for their losses. This is a complicated process because it involves calculating the amount for the medical expenses incurred, the cost of loss of earnings (both projected into the future), and the costs resulting from the loss of consortium and the reduction in the quality of life. Sometimes, a lawyer also helps his client by negotiating with the insurance agent of the guilty party for a fair settlement.
However, insurance agents are notorious for downplaying the guilt of their clients so that they do not have to pay the compensation amount. In such instances, the victim has no choice but to go to the court. A personal injury lawyer helps his clients by representing him in the court, like the small claims court, the traffic court, or the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. The lawyer then has to collect the necessary evidence and analyze the various bits of information to form a foolproof case that will work in favor of his client.
Evidence to prove a case of personal injury may sometimes be of a complicated technical nature, like when an individual has been the victim of medical malpractice or needs to prove that he was not at fault in a vehicle accident. The success of these cases depends on the expertise of the lawyer especially when it comes to deciphering and analyzing complex clues.
How to Choose a Competent Personal Injury Lawyer in Toronto and Vancouver?
Given the complexity of most personal injury cases, it is advisable that victims and/or their loved ones seek the services of a competent lawyer who specializes in such cases. Choosing an efficient personal injury lawyer is not easy considering that many hundreds of legal professionals practice in large cities like Toronto and Vancouver.
While searching for a competent personal injury lawyer, check the credentials and accreditations of a professional. Apart from holding a law degree from a reputable institution, a lawyer should also be licensed to practice in the city. Testimonials and referrals will additionally help you shortlist professionals and also give you a fair idea about how easy or difficult it is to work with a particular lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers in Toronto and Vancouver offer free initial legal consultations for half-an-hour. After you have pared down your list of lawyers, you should schedule an initial consultation with some of them.
During the consultation, present the particulars of your case to the lawyer. Ask him whether he has handled similar cases and if so, what is his success rate? You should also ask how he will charge you for his services—a flat fee or billed by the hour. This is a critical criterion for choosing a personal injury lawyer especially if your case seems to become a long-drawn one.
Every bit of effort you put into your search for a personal injury lawyer to handle your case will pay you back multiple times. An experienced and competent lawyer can help you win your case and certainly give you a fighting shot which is what you needed in the first place.