If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident, you likely have countless questions. What do you do next? Are you entitled to compensation? How long will it take? No matter the nature of the accident, there are two people who you should not waste any time in speaking to: a doctor and a lawyer.
Ultimately, every injury is different, and there is no “one stop” answer as to what the outcome will be. However, there are certain things to expect throughout the process. If you are injured through no fault of your own—whether you were in a vehicle that was hit by another vehicle, a passenger in a vehicle where the driver was at fault, or slipped on an icy sidewalk or an unmarked hazard—you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
The vast majority of injury cases in Newfoundland and Labrador settle outside of court, but because the Limitations Act sets strict time limits on when a legal action can be started, your lawyer will often engage the court process by filing a Statement of Claim, thereby ensuring that time does not run out. It’s for this reason that it’s crucial to not delay in speaking to a lawyer.
Compensation in personal injury cases depend on a vast number of factors, but can be broadly grouped into two categories: pecuniary and non-pecuniary. Simply put, pecuniary damages are those that can be quantified with a dollar figure, and non-pecuniary are not as easily assessed. The time you miss from your regular employment as a result of your injury is a pecuniary loss, and your pain and suffering is a non-pecuniary loss. You are entitled to be compensated under both these “heads” of damages after an accident. We recommend using a diary or a calendar to keep track of every way the injury affects your day-to-day life, so you can remember it down the road.
When you begin the process, it’s important to be aware that whether the case settles or whether it proceeds to a trial, the amount that you ultimately receive is the full and final amount for that injury. As you have checkups with your family doctor, physiotherapy, massage, or chiropractic appointments, surgeries, or any other medical treatments, your lawyer will be requesting regular updates from your health care professionals, to determine the scope of your injuries as well as your overall prognosis.
It’s important to be realistic with your time expectations; it may take months or even years before there’s a clear picture of the nature of your injuries and the extent of your recovery, and this is the only way to ensure that the amount you receive in compensation is actually going to compensate you for your loss.
At O’Dea Earle, we have a dedicated team of personal injury lawyers available from Day One to help you navigate any issues with insurance companies, other lawyers, or any other unexpected hurdles, at no cost to you until the matter successfully resolves. Being in an accident is a painful, stressful ordeal, and there’s no way to turn back the clock on someone else’s mistake – if you’ve been injured, you owe it to yourself to book a no-fee consultation to see if an experienced lawyer can help make this difficult time easier to manage.