An accident or injury may leave you in shock and your mind completely baffled, as you try to chalk out your next move. From filing an insurance claim to seeking medical assistance, personal injury cases can be intimidating. In the worst scenario, the other party responsible for your injuries could deny liability, or their insurance company may settle the claim by offering you an amount too low to pay for your damages. This is where a Personal Injury Lawyer comes in.
Your personal injury lawyer plays a vital role in negotiating with the at-fault person’s insurer and if that does not pan out, represents you in court so you receive the compensation to handle your damages and expenses. Therefore, it is important that you be truthful and divulges as much information as possible to your lawyer. Leaving out the tiniest of detail could be detrimental to the case.
Here are 10 things you must discuss with your personal injury lawyer to avoid any complications through the process –
1. Previous injuries or accidents
If you’ve had any prior injuries or accidents, then you must inform your personal injury lawyer of the same. In court, the defence lawyer will try their best to blame your injuries on a past accident to restrict the compensation you are liable to receive. Most victims do not realize that the insurance company too, will go through your previous medical records to look for signs of an accident or injury. Holding back such vital details can make it harder for your lawyer to defend you from false allegations.
Filing for bankruptcy might be embarrassing and certainly not something, you would wish to publicize. Nevertheless, if you have or are planning to file for bankruptcy, then that must be brought to the knowledge of the personal injury lawyer immediately, as it will have a significant impact on handling the injury claim.
If the personal injury claim was made before filing for bankruptcy, then under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of Bankruptcy pertaining to the laws of Ontario, the injury claim becomes an asset of the bankruptcy estate and the client must reveal claim on bankruptcy petition as such.
3. Intentions of filing a divorce
If you are going through a divorce or are planning to file for it, you must inform your personal injury lawyer of the same. An injury claim that arises during or before divorce may cause confusion as your spouse might be entitled to receive a portion of the settlement amount under the Family Law Act of Ontario.
4. Criminal history
Any felonies or misdemeanours, including those from juvenile records, must be brought to the attention of your personal injury lawyer. Understand that the defence party will check your background thoroughly to look for ways to disgrace you, and any misdeed or crime that proves you a fraud or untrustworthy may adversely affect your chances of receiving the compensation.
5. Recent injuries following the accident
Inform your personal injury lawyer of any recent injuries – even those that may seem minor – you might have suffered after the accident. Your lawyer needs to be prepared to argue against false claims when the defence lawyer tries to establish that you are seeking compensation for injuries unrelated to the accident.
6. Details of the accident
Your personal injury lawyer needs to know every detail of the accident – the date and exact time, incidents before and following the accident, etc. You must also tell him/her what role you played in the accident, even if that means being at fault partially. Missing out on the most minute detail could affect your chances of getting the compensation you rightfully deserve.
7. Lost wages and medical expenses
The medical expenses incurred due to a major injury will likely add up to a substantial amount. Besides, the physical and emotional trauma may keep you from work, resulting in the loss of pay or wages. However, in such an event, you will need to provide authentic evidence to bolster your personal injury claim and for that, you will need to be honest with your lawyer.
Previously lost wages – in other words, income that was lost up to the point where the victim’s claim is resolved following a court trial or settlement out of court – are comparatively easy to prove. Once established that the injured party has been unable to resume work due to the injuries sustained in the accident, documentation and testimony from their employer will be needed to confirm the injured party’s absence from work and the earnings that they would have received had he/she remained on the job.
Future lost wages are more difficult to prove, as the injured party usually recovers to some extent that will eventually allow them to resume work on either a full-time or part-time basis. The middle ground makes it somewhat challenging for the personal injury lawyer to prove the victim’s future loss of wages. Nevertheless, it is unlikely for most injures to award future lost wages for a period beyond the person’s retirement age.
Therefore, you must inform your personal injury lawyer about your lost wages and medical expenses upfront.
8. ‘Off the records’ employment
Consider the following instance – You are looking to earn some extra money so you take up an assignment from home and work alongside your regular job. You might be working sluggishly from home while recovering but the defence lawyer will take advantage of the situation and try to establish that you are healthy and able to resume work, and hence, the loss of pay/wage under the personal injury claim does not apply. Therefore, your lawyer must be informed upfront about any monetary gains you might be receiving off your employment records.
9. Prior legal problems
If you have been previously involved in any legal matter, then inform your personal injury lawyer of the same before making a claim. Your lawyer must know about the charges filed and the details of the problem so they can be better prepared to deal with it and keep the information out of a trial if need be.
10. Medicare and injury expenses
Inform your personal injury lawyer if you have opted for Medicare to pay for the injury expenses while awaiting the personal injury claim to settle. The settlement will take much longer in case you fail to disclose the information. Your lawyer needs to report the claim settlement to the federal government within the stipulated time so they can file a lien and settle the claim.
The relationship between the client and the personal injury lawyer is based on trust. You trust the lawyer to perform an excellent job and your lawyer expects you to be transparent and honest throughout the procedure.
At Claim Settlement, our network of lawyers we connect you with have over 20 years of experience in handling personal injury and accident cases and have helped clients recover the maximum compensation in claim settlements. Our initial consultation is absolutely free and you don’t pay your lawyer until you receive the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered an injury or been in an accident call us at 1-833-892-5246 for a free consultation or e-mail us at email@example.com