By: Sunny Brar
If you or someone you love has been in a personal injury incident, these are some of the steps you should follow.
1. Take Pictures and Videos
If there was an accident or injury, take pictures and videos of the scene and injuries immediately. If you cannot take the picture/video, ask a friend or family member. This is refutable evidence that will help you if there is a legal case.
2. Seek Medical Attention / File a Police Report
If you have been injured, you should seek the appropriate medical attention. Go to the emergency room, urgent care centre or family doctor as soon as possible. This is vital to your health and potential legal case. Insurance companies only consider your claim as reasonable if you receive medical attention 72 hours after the injury. Be honest with your healthcare provider. You should mention all minor-to-major issues and pains to the healthcare providers.
Moving forward you should document all your injuries and medical conditions. Keep your health care provider informed about any changes to your health. You should keep a detailed storage of all your medical information and of any treatment you receive in relation to your injury.
If there was a car accident, report it and file a police report. This is a very important document and should be completed.
3. Document Witnesses
You should document if there were any witnesses to your accident. If there were, get their contact information. These witnesses are key if you are going to launch a legal case.
4. Notify your Insurer of the Accident
You should notify your insurer of the accident as soon as possible. If you want to claim statutory accident benefits, you must inform your insurer of that intent within seven days of the accident, or as soon as it becomes feasible given your injury.
Next, you should file the appropriate benefit forms within 30 days of getting them from your insurer. If you have a severe injury you can file as soon as it is feasible.
Third, you should research if you have other insurance coverage through your employer or other sources.
5. Statute of Limitations
If you want to file a legal claim for your injuries, you should be aware there is a 2 year time limit from the time a reasonable person would have become aware of an actionable injury that you suffered. Translation, if you want to sue someone, do it as soon as possible. The longer you wait the worse off your case becomes.
If you want to sue your insurance company to force them to pay your benefits, you must do it within 2 years of when they refused to pay.
6. Gather Evidence and Documentation
If you are launching a legal case against someone in relation to your injury then you should gather evidence and documentation. In a personal injury case, your lawyer must prove that your injury was caused by someone’s negligence. This proposition is only supported through evidence and documentation.
You should start collecting copies of all documents that relate to your injury. This includes copies of your medical records, insurance policies, police reports, witnesses, pictures/video of the accident/injury, prescription receipts, accident benefit proof of claim forms, wage verification forms, T4 slips, and anything else. Keep a record of all your out of pocket expenses and all the associated receipts. Retain receipts for expenses, as they are needed to document your claim.
Additionally, it would help your legal case and credibility, if you write a document describing what occurred before, during and after your accident. This will help you recall the specifics of the events later. Court cases can take a long time to be heard, so this document will help jog your memory.
7. Do Not Sign Anything & Do Not Talk About Your Case
You should not sign any document or side deal after your injury. At this stage you do not know what you are legally entitled to, signing a document could result in you losing legal entitlements. I recommend that you should speak to a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will help you determine if your injury is suitable for a legal case and the extent of your legal entitlement.
Moreover, you should not talk about your case. You need to be wary of telling your family and friends about your injury, do not give specific details. You should only discuss your injury and case with your doctor (who is bound by patient-doctor privilege) and your lawyer (who is bound by attorney-client privilege). These privileges mean, these respective individuals cannot go tell your insurer or the court, what you tell them. Your lawyer should always be there if you are talking about your case.