Stages of a Personal Injury Claim – Choosing a Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury as the result of negligence, an experienced personal injury lawyer can be an invaluable resource. But how do you choose a lawyer to represent your interests?
What to expect when choosing a lawyer
If you are injured in Ontario, there can be strict limitations on how long you have to notify other parties that you intend to advance a claim, and for beginning a legal action. Missing these deadlines can end your claim in many cases, so you need to find a lawyer who exclusively handles personal injury matters, and has experience with the type of claim you have. Whether it is a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, defective product claim, make sure that your lawyer has handled similar matters on behalf of accident victims.
At your first meeting, your lawyer will not be able to give you an accurate timeline for settlement of your claim, or tell you how much your claim may be worth. This requires consideration of the facts of your case. A good personal injury lawyer will be honest about your prospects, and how long a case might take; they will not make any promises before carefully reviewing the evidence.
What happens when you find a lawyer
When you first speak to a lawyer, and before they can discuss any details about your case, they will need to conduct a “conflict check” to make sure that they have never represented any of the other potential parties in your lawsuit. If you can, bring the full names of any people involved in the accident
Once conflicts have been checked and cleared, your lawyer will want to conduct an initial interview to discuss the facts of your case, and the applicable legal principles. They will review your potential claims, the injuries you have suffered, and the parties that may be responsible. If they feel that your claim has good chances of success, then you can retain them to represent you.
Here are a few important things to discuss with your prospective lawyer before signing a retainer:
- How often will you and your lawyer communicate?
- Do you prefer to communicate and provide instructions in person, over the phone, or by email?
- Does your lawyer charge fees on a contingency basis, or hourly? Ask for a copy of their retainer agreement to review
- How do they handle disbursements?
- Will they need a paid retainer up front?
- Are there any other lawyers, clerks or paralegals that will be working on your file?
Dedicated, experienced personal injury lawyers in Greater Toronto
Choosing a lawyer is an important decision, and should not be taken lightly. At Derfel Personal Injury Law, we offer accident victims peace of mind by providing professional, personalized service. With our team on your side, we will work to take as much stress as possible out of your personal injury claim, so you can focus on recovery.