Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers
The City of Hamilton reports approximately 9,500 motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) per year. Nearly 1,500 of these accidents involve injury and/or fatality, and many are caused by distracted driving or aggressive driving. It’s estimated that now approximately one-quarter of accidents involving injury/fatality are caused by distracted driving, most often through use of a cellphone by the driver, although the offense may also include:
- Programming a GPS
- Eating or drinking
- Smoking or vaping
- Reaching for objects
In Ontario, there are stiff fines for distracted driving, including fines of up to $3,000. Novice drivers can have their licenses revoked, and repeat offenders can receive license supensions.
Aggressive driving is also the cause of a lot of injury/fatality collisions. The category includes speeding, running red lights, tailgating, and road rage. Of course, impaired driving is also a contributing factor to many injury/fatality accidents. While these behaviours are not necessarily evidence of negligence, they will certainly be considered during any legal action stemming from an accident.
What should you do if you are injured in a car accident in Hamilton? What are your options? The answer is: it depends. Each situation is unique, and it’s important to get the right legal advice, based on your circumstances. Working with a good personal injury lawyer, who can guide you through filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit, can help you to get the compensation you deserve.
WHY DO I NEED A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER?
Sometimes accident victims are reluctant to contact a lawyer because they are worried about finances. Other times, people reach out to lawyers they’ve worked with on business negotiations or family issues, simply because they are already familiar with them. But when dealing with injuries, it’s important to partner with a personal injury lawyer who has knowledge of and experience with this area of the law. Personal injury lawyers understand the legal system, the insurance system, and the medical system – and all three of these will be factors in your case.
There are certain deadlines that must be met when filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit, and a personal injury lawyer will be cognizant of these and ensure that you meet them. The paperwork involved in an insurance claim is complex and exacting; there are numerous forms that need to be filled in. In addition, the right medical records and evidence of expenses have to be submitted to your insurance company. If forms are completed incorrectly or if the required information is not received on time, your claim can be delayed or denied by the insurance company. Obviously, a personal injury lawyer who knows the system will be able to navigate this process more successfully than you (or a lawyer without experience in these matters) can.
Of course, your situation may also involve filing a lawsuit against a negligent driver. A personal injury lawyer can advise you about this option and can take the case to court if that becomes necessary.
HOW IT WORKS
Fortunately, better personal injury law firms in Ontario understand the impact of an accident on injury victims, which may include PTSD or other psychological effects as well as physical injuries. When someone is injured in an MVA, they are often unable to work, and they may need help with household tasks or personal care. This can put a terrible strain on household finances at a time when there may already be a lot of stress on the family. That is why Sokoloff Lawyers don’t charge up-front hourly fees; rather, your lawyer will get a percentage of any compensation that you receive. This is called a contingency arrangement, and you will sign a contract with your lawyer specifying the percentage. With this type of contingency arrangement, if Sokoloff Lawyers takes your case, you can be sure that they feel you have a good chance of recovering damages. You also know that the firm will be working hard for you: they don’t get paid until you get paid.
In addition, Sokoloff Lawyers will provide a free initial consultation with one of their legal professionals, where you can ask questions and decide whether or not to engage the firm. It’s a good idea to write down the details you remember about the accident as soon as you can. You can also keep a journal that details the effects of your injury: what are your symptoms, what are your pain levels, what tasks are difficult for you to do. Write a list of the questions you’d like to have answered, too, and listen carefully to how our lawyer answers. It’s important that your communication style matches the lawyer’s. If you prefer to communicate in a language other than English, it’s likely that we have you covered — Sokoloff Lawyers is a multi-ethnic firm, and we offer multilingual services.
Don’t be afraid to ask our lawyer about their experience. Sokoloff Lawyers are trial lawyers, and although most personal injury cases are settled out of court, if yours goes to trial, you’ll want who knows their way around a courtroom. The right lawyer can make a world of difference to your case.