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Did you know that, on the average, each person will go through at least three or four accidents involving motor vehicles over the course of their lifetime? Now, of course, some people are fortunate enough to never have to go through that kind of horrible experience. But, you know, if we take the total number of all traffic accidents and distribute them equally, everybody would get a minimum of three or four tossed onto their plate. If you ever wondered about the various types, causes, effects, and even history of car crashes and the like, you can get a fair bit of information about it from this article.
Experiences like these can have all kinds of awful consequences for everyone involved, and even for the uninvolved people from their environment as well. These consequences can be different kinds of physical injury in various degrees of severity, all kinds of property damage (not just for vehicles, but for homes or public spaces as well), not to mention emotional distress and mental disturbances for the participants. In the worst case scenarios, they can even result in the death of a loved one. For all of these reasons, when it comes to dealing with the legal side of such an event, you want to make sure that you have a reliable and expert representative to help you through the ordeal. If this is your first time looking for a personal injury attorney in the British Columbia area, we put together a little guide to help you figure it out.
Make sure that you do all your research
When you are injured, scared, angry, and damaged for peace and property, the last thing you would want to do is sit down and read through customer reviews for hours on end. We totally understand that! However, believe us when we say it is well worth the effort. For one, it will save you money in the long run – imagine paying the fees and everything only to discover that your attorney was a horrible choice and that you need to repeat the whole story with a different one.
So do your research. Googling for something like “Vancouver personal injury law firm” will net you a bunch of results, and you will need to sift through them. You need a lawyer that has top tier knowledge of their trade and as much experience as possible, and not everyone will have that. Sometimes a great marketing piece covers up severe inexperience, or even a scammer operation, so never trust the slogans. Do your independent research on each office name, ask your friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations, and set your priorities right from the start.
Do you want to fight like a lion for the highest possible compensation, and get every penny that your trouble has cost you? Or do you just want to get your compensation quickly, and put the whole ordeal behind you, rather than spend months, or even years, in the courtroom? Determine what exactly you want to achieve, construct a best case scenario, and look for lawyers who will fit that idea.
Interview everyone and ask all the questions
Once you have come up with a list of prospective attorneys for your claim, you need to have a proper conversation with each of them. This is especially important for Vancouver residents because attorneys in British Columbia are actually allowed to advertise to people who have had car accidents and such, even if they have zero practice in those kinds of cases. In other words, chances are high that you will bump into someone without proper training, knowledge, nor experience.
Therefore it is essential that you have interviews and ask about every relevant aspect of your potential new lawyer’s practice. To get some ideas for going about it, you can check out this useful blog post: https://www.allbusiness.com/questions-to-ask-when-interviewing-a-lawyer-1328-1.html
There are some essentials that you should always inquire about. An experienced lawyer with a legitimate practice will be able to answer them no problem, and will also be more than willing to do so. Ask them about how many claims of this type they had handled in the past, and if they had gone to court over them for a full trial. You will want to know how much experience they have when it comes to handling appeals as well. Another piece of information that you should never shy away from requesting is how much do they typically exceed the insurance company’s offer.
Compare your final candidates
One same lawyer will never really be the default first choice for different people, so you need to be careful when making your final decision. Your chosen attorney needs to understand the specifics of your particular situation, can effectively operate with your communication style, and knows the right “battle strategy” for netting you the max damages possible.
One excellent starting point for comparing potential lawyers are the contracts of the retainer. What a lawyer may charge you is dictated by the relevant legislation, but retainer agreements are often heavily loaded with confusing clauses that end up costing you way more. Keep an eye out for these three things:
Insurance policies – their primary purpose is to protect the interests of the law firm. When it comes to taking out an insurance policy, in nine out of ten cases it is mandatory, so make sure to carefully examine how much you will have to pay for it.
Disbursements are expenses that a law firm incurs on behalf of their client. It is only fair to pay them back but mind the payment schedule. Many companies charge them before the case is settled, or charge interest on their disbursement, thus drastically reducing the amount of money you actually get from your case.
Finally, sometimes your attorney will pass your case to someone else at the company. Make sure you have “accurate representation” – that the same person will see your ordeal through from start to finish.