1.   What are my rights after a car accident?
  2.   What should I do first after being involved in an accident?
  3.   Do I need a lawyer if I am injured in a vehicle accident?

Answers

  1.   What are my rights after a car accident?
  A.   If you are the passenger in a car, a pedestrian, a cyclist or the driver of a car that was not at-fault you also have the right to sue. You can also sue the at-fault driver for economic losses such as lost income incurred due to a vehicle collision.
     Persons injured in car collisions are entitled to sue an at-fault driver for permanent and serious disfigurement or permanent serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function, as well as any income losses.
     The amount you can recover is reduced by amounts received by way of accidents benefits. You can also recover legal costs incurred in pursuing your lawsuits.
     Any law suits must be commenced no later than two years after the collision. As well, certain notices and documents must be prepared and sent to the at-fault driver within 120 days of the collision Failure to meet these deadlines can affect your recovery. Be sure to call a personal injury lawyer experienced in dealing with collisions.
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  2.   What should I do first after being involved in an accident?
  A.   If you are injured in a vehicle collision you must notify you own insurance company within 30 days of the date of the collision, otherwise the insurer can take longer to process the application. That might even affect how much you recover from the driver who is at fault.
     Write down the name, address and phone number of anyone who witnessed the incident. Also, record all trips to health care providers such as the emergency department or your family doctor.
     If you are hit by a drunk driver see a lawyer immediately. Sometimes you can sue a tavern and increase your recovery. If you think there was a roadway defect, you must give notice to the appropriate party within 7 days. In fact, if anything other than a car was involved in the crash you may be able to increase your recovery significantly. Delay in the investigation will complicate your case.
     If you think there was a defect in the brakes of your car, your seatbelt, or anything else that contributed to the collision or your injuries, before getting it repaired, be sure to provide the insurer or insurers an adequate opportunity to inspect the alleged defect.
     Although you have two years to sue, you must send out certain documents within 120 days of the collision. Missing the 120-day document deadline may affect what you are able to recover in a lawsuit. Missing the limitation of two (2) years to sue for your damages however will extinguish your right of recovery. There are discoverability exceptions in the law, but you will need to consult a personal injury lawyer to make that determination.Ensure you meet all of the necessary guidelines by calling a personal injury lawyer experienced in representing collision victims.
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  3.   Do I need a lawyer if I am injured in a vehicle accident?
  A.   Insurance companies may tell you that you don't need a lawyer if you have been injured in a vehicle collision. Independent advice about whether you need a lawyer should be sought only from a lawyer and not from your insurer who may desire to minimize its obligation to you.
     You have many rights and obligations under the current car insurance laws. Delay in pursuing compensation may negatively affect your recovery. Be wary of an insurance representative who says "we'll take care of everything" or "you don't need a lawyer" - it is in the insurance company's interest to pay out as little as possible to you.
     Persons injured in vehicle collisions are entitled to recover accident benefits and sue an at-fault driver for permanent and serious disfigurement or permanent serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function.
     To successfully sue, a number of deadlines must be met starting within 120 days of the collision and a number of documents must be prepared. The current law governing car crashes is very complex. Interpreting that law and insuring all steps are taken to maximize recovery is time consuming, and requires the knowledge and experience of a professional. Only a lawyer acting in your best interest can properly prepare your case to ensure you maximize your recovery.
     Get the facts and know your rights from a source you can trust - a lawyer acting on your behalf. Call a Kitchener personal injury lawyer experienced in dealing with car crashes immediately after the crash.
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