by Peter Buxton, trial lawyer
DO I HAVE A CLAIM?
- Claims for injuries, loss and expense re unique. No two of them are the same. If you are injured as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another person, you may have a claim for money damages for your injuries, loss and expense resulting from that negligence. One of the most common types of claim is for damages arising from a motor vehicle collision.
- Note that in British Columbia the time limit for bringing most claims for damages is two years from the date that you realized that you suffered a loss. This is usually the date of the motor vehicle collision.
WHAT ARE MY DAMAGES?
- You may have a claim for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of the amenities of life. These are known as non-pecuniary damages and they depend on each individual, the circumstances of their injury and their lifestyle and how it has been affected. Non-pecuniary damages are not fixed in value but depend upon established case law. Your lawyer can research the law and give you an opinion of the value of your claim for pain, suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life.
- You may also have a claim for general damages that might include past wage loss, future loss of opportunity or capacity to earn income, past expenses caused by the injuries sustained in the accident and the future cost of care to put you in the same position as if you had not suffered the effects of the negligent act of the other person. Medical opinions from your doctors and other care givers will help your lawyer calculate the duration and amount of these benefits.
- Any benefits that you are entitled to through disability insurance from your work, Employment Insurance sickness benefits, or Social Assistance may be deducted from your claim for loss of income.
- The value of your claim cannot be fully calculated until your lawyer is able to obtain the medical and economic information and evidence to prove the claim. Your doctors and other care givers are important to your claim and your lawyer will consult fully with them to develop your claim and bring the proper evidence to bear at settlement or trial.
HOW LONG WILL MY CLAIM TAKE TO SETTLE?
It is impossible to give an estimate of how long your claim will take to settle. It depends on many factors such as:
- Liability – can it be easily determine who was responsible for the injury? Will the other party (often represented by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) admit or contest liability?
- The injury – How serious is the injury? Is it a minor injury or something that will affect you for your entire life?
- Although it cannot be easily estimated how long your claim will take to resolve, it is always your decision whether you wish to settle your claim or not.
- Your lawyer will work with you to obtain the best evidence to help maximize the value of your claim and achieve a fair settlement, perhaps using mediation or trial to get a result.
- You should be careful not to rush to a settlement before you know the full extent of your injuries and your doctors can determine whether or not they will continue to affect you in the future. Only then can you, with the help of your lawyer, put a value on your claim and begin the settlement process.
If you have any questions about this post or relating to your motor vehicle accident or injuries contact me today for a free consultation by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 604.372.4550 ext. 207.
Visit my website at https://panlegal.ca/peter-buxton-qc