No matter how they’re caused, personal injuries are traumatic events that often go beyond the physical; emotional and psychological trauma often follow the injury. While nothing can take this pain away, you may be entitled to compensation after a personal injury, especially if it was due to another party’s negligence.
Whether you were injured in a car accident, a fall, by faulty equipment, or any number of other possibilities, each situation must be handled differently. There are a few things you’ll need to know and do before moving forward with a claim.
British Columbia limitation dates
It is extremely important that you understand how long you have to make and settle your claim. The basic limitation period is two years after you have the right to file a claim. There are special limitations, however.
For example, in a case of negligence by a municipality, you have just two months to give proper notice of your claim. Cases of municipality negligence can involve accidents caused by city-owned vehicles, injuries on city owned properties, or injuries sustained due to a city police force. All limitations dates should be followed strictly, as failure to meet them often results in a total loss of claim.
Preparing for a claim
There are many steps you can take to prepare for a personal injury claim regardless of whether you’re involving an attorney. The first step is to seek immediate medical attention. There are several reasons for this, but you need to prove that injuries sustained were due to the accident.
The longer you wait on medical attention, the easier it will be for the defendant to claim the injuries could be from another source. Additionally, having medical records from the start makes filing your claim smoother, and keeping regular documentation of your medical expenses is important to your claim.
Another important step to take is collecting notes and any relevant photographic evidence. This includes photographs of any visible injuries after the accident. It’s also important to get visual evidence from the accident scene at the time, if at all possible. If not, it is still advisable to return to the scene and document the location and any signs or potential safety hazards that could add context to the accident.
Filing your claim
While it is possible to file a claim on your own, it’s recommended that you hire an injury lawyer for your case. This is especially true in personal injury cases where most attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t pay anything unless they win the case. The previous evidence you’ve collected can greatly help your attorney move your case along quickly. However, your involvement shouldn’t end there.
Continued communication with your attorney is important. You should be updating them with any changes in your medical condition, as well as telling them about anyone who tries to contact you about the accident. Questions from insurance companies or anyone else involved should be redirected to your attorney.
It’s also advisable to refrain from social media while the case is ongoing, but if you need to use it for work or other necessities, avoid posting anything you wouldn’t be comfortable showing in court. The defendant will do anything within their power to discredit you and the extent of your injuries.
While there’s no such thing as a guaranteed win, collecting evidence in the beginning and making an effort to cooperate with your chosen attorney provides the best chance to get the full compensation you deserve after a personal injury.