You may think that calling a car accident Lawyer is only necessary if you've been injured in an automobile accident, but that's not true. Even if no one is physically hurt -- or you don't believe you're physically hurt immediately following an accident -- you should always call a personal injury Lawyer. There are many ways that a Lawyer can help you after you've been in an accident, and they can guide you and tell you exactly what you need to do in order to keep yourself safe and take the best possible care of your vehicle and yourself.
Why You Need a Car Accident Lawyer
There are lots of different types of Lawyers. That's because the law is extremely extensive. There are many different papers and court documents that need to be filed, many previous cases that Lawyers may cite when they're making their arguments. Lawyers have to choose a specific branch of the law to focus on because there are so many details related to every single case and so many specific pieces of paper to file. A car accident Lawyer specializes in personal injury. While this can include any type of personal injury, injuries resulting from car accidents are the most common causes.
A car accident Lawyer may also be known as a personal injury Lawyer. These professionals know exactly what you should do after you've been in an accident, and they can tell you where to go and what to do next. Being in an accident is a traumatic experience. Even if you don't think you've been hurt, you should still consult with a car accident Lawyer. They can tell you how to best move forward and the steps you need to take when it comes to filing an insurance claim, making a police report, and dealing with the immediate aftermath of a car wreck.
Even if your accident occurred hours or days before, you can still use the professional services of a car accident Lawyer. Sometimes, injuries don't show up for even a few days after an accident. Sometimes, the process of filing a claim or getting the money you need from the other person involved in the accident isn't as simple as it should be. There are many reasons why you might need the services of a car accident Lawyer. Whatever they are, there are many options available to you.
Finding a Good Car Accident Lawyer
Do you know how to begin the process of finding a car accident Lawyer? There are lots of different law firms out there, and you probably know of several personal injury Lawyers who advertise on the TV, radio, and on local signs around our town. Most car accident Lawyers will only charge you if you win your case, and most cases are never taken into a courtroom. Insurance companies and businesses prefer to settle out of court, and almost every single personal injury case is decided this way.Start by looking for law firms and personal injury Lawyers in your area. All layers are licensed to practice law, so you now that they have studied and fulfilled all the requirements to legally practice law. Whichever Lawyer you choose, you'll end up with a professional who knows the law. Many Lawyers have their own websites where they display their credentials, customer testimonials, and other relevant information.
It's always a good idea to know how to contact a Lawyer or a law firm because there will be many times in your life when you have need of legal services. In addition to helping with personal injury cases of all kinds, business Lawyers can help you with real estate issues, custody and divorce problems, and inheritance issues. Among Americans over age 65, 50% have up-to-date wills. It's always wise to have a will, even if you think you don't have a lot of assets, to avoid fights and arguments that can poison relationships. Knowing how to find a good Lawyer means you know everything you need to know whenever you have legal troubles of any kind.
I was a cyclist involved in a car accident. What are my rights?
In short, the same as those of a driver or passenger. Liability may be handled differently, but the cyclist maintains a right to claim against the at-fault driver and seek benefits from the applicable insurer. Your car insurance is meant to provide accident benefits if you're involved in a car accident. It does not matter whether you were actually driving a car. As long as you have car insurance, your accident benefits should kick in. If you don't have car insurance, the at-fault driver's insurance will provide accident benefits. Either way, you should be covered by a policy. If neither of you has insurance, there's still the motor vehicle accident fund which acts as a safety net in cases where insurance is not available.
Typically, there's an assumption that the cyclist was not at fault. This does not mean you can pedal around with no regard to surrounding traffic. You still have to be diligent and you still owe yourself an obligation to proceed with reason. Any contribution found on your behalf will reduce the value of your claim. You can be deemed contributorily negligent if you don't wear the proper protective gear, or if you don't abide by the rules of the road.
Seasonal changes in traffic will often give rise to increases in car accidents involving cyclist. A good portion of the driving population does not properly adapt to these changes. This causes drivers to make assumptions they shouldn't make: disregarding their blind spot, failing to keep track of cyclist in the bike lane, opening their doors without thinking of oncoming cyclist. Unfortunately, the injuries are often devastating. Even with protective gear, the force of direct impact may leave the cyclist with serious, life-changing and permanent injuries.
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What should I do if I am injured and someone else is responsible?
As a litigation Lawyer, I am often retained weeks, months or even years after a client has suffered an injury as a result of another’s negligence. Ideally, if you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should contact a Lawyer promptly to review the circumstances of the incident. I routinely meet people for a no obligation consultation to discuss matters such as liability, limitation periods and evidence that must be preserved.
At the scene of the accident, you should take several steps immediately, whether it is a motor-vehicle accident or a slip and fall, a dog bite or injury caused by a defective product:
- Identify who is responsible (i.e. exchange of information). If possible, take photographs of obvious material damage (in the case of a motor vehicle collision, take photos of the other party’s car as well as your own);
- Record via photographs or notes how the incident occurred (e.g. slip fall on uneven pavement); and
- Identify and obtain contact information of any witnesses to the incident – this is crucial, as witnesses can be lost forever if not identified at the scene.
As a Lawyer representing injured people, I have found that taking these easy steps can be the difference between having a long drawn out fight about legal liability and moving to a meaningful discussion about compensation reasonably quickly.
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What if I or the other driver don't have insurance?
Answer: Ontario's auto insurers provide accident benefits and liability insurance. The accident benefits claim and the tort claim both work together toward covering your losses stemming from the accident. So, what happens when one of the parties involved doesn't have insurance? I've listed the most common scenarios:
A rear-ends B. A doesn't have insurance. B does have insurance:
The standard Ontario insurance policy includes coverage in-case the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured. B's insurer would be on the hook for the accident benefits and the damages caused by the at-fault party as well (tort claim).
A strikes B (a cyclist). A has insurance. B doesn't have insurance:
In this case, it's up to A's insurer to provide both accident benefits in addition to compensation for the damages caused by A.
A is a pedestrian struck by driver B. A is injured. Neither A nor B have insurance:
In this circumstance, plaintiffs turn to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. The fund may provide:
- Accident benefits
- Death and funeral benefits
- Compensation for personal injury or property damage (except for vehicles)
Although the fund does not work exactly like an insurer, it does provide a safety net for injured parties with no accessible insurance policy.
Need a Personal Injury Lawyer? Contact a licensed professional today and get your FREE no obligation consultation.