Did you know that in Vancouver an average of about 15 fatalities resulting from road transportation related accidents are recorded annually? Aside from these, there are also about 300 serious injuries and about 3000 milder injuries also arising from road transportation related accidents.
About 60% of those who suffer serious injuries are either pedestrians or cyclists. Check out the statistic here. Though these road-accident related fatalities have been on the decline over the last two decades or so, people are still constantly faced with the danger of injuries arising from this and other situations.
This persistent risk is what has made the services of a personal injury lawyer very important.
Who is a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer is an attorney who represents a plaintiff or victim who has suffered one form of physical or psychological injury arising from the carelessness or negligence of another person, company, organization or even the government.
It is the task of this attorney to prove that the injury claimed indeed occurred as a result of the accident and also that the accident was the result of the negligence of the defendant. Aside from proving negligence on the part of the defendant or accused, the personal injury lawyer will also seek to get as much compensation as possible for his/her client.
While this may look like a very simple and straightforward process, without the assistance of an astute and experienced attorney, you may find yourself losing the case entirely or being awarded a very meager compensation.
When Should You Require a Personal Injury Lawyer?
There are two key factors that need to be present before a case for personal injury can be made. The first is an injury resulting from an accident and the second is an act of negligence that led to the accident.
Once these two are present in any type of accident anywhere, a case of personal injury can be pursued.
Here’s an example. A person is walking in the mall and suddenly slips, falls and fractures an arm. Upon inspection, it is discovered that the floor was wet and that was what caused the individual to slip.
We can prove from the above that an injury occurred as a direct result of an accident. We can also prove that the accident was the direct result of an act of negligence. This negligence could be on the part of the janitorial staff that failed to clean the floor or put up a sign notifying people that the floor was wet. It could also be a problem with the construction, maybe a leak somewhere.
Either way, that situation was not supposed to be. The management of the mall can therefore be sued for personal injury arising from negligence.
Remember that it can be anything or anywhere. Once those two components are present, you may have a case. The list of possibilities is quite long.
How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer in Vancouver
So now that we know why and when we may require the services of a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver, how does one go about it to ensure one gets the best outcome?
There are a few things that can help you make this choice with ease and also get the best result. We will carefully go through some of the very important factors to note during this process.
The first thing you need to take note of when choosing an attorney to represent you in such a case as this is the location the attorney operates in. It will be better and also more cost effective for you to choose a personal injury attorney based and operating in Vancouver.
Reputation and Peer Review
The next thing you need to look into is the reputation of the firm you are considering working with. There are two aspects to this. The first is peer review and the second is client feedback.
One way of knowing how well a firm can perform is by asking other lawyers. Talk to any of your friends or acquaintances who may be a lawyer or paralegal within the same city. Since they work in the same industry, they will likely know the professional reputation of firms within the area.
Another important information you want to get is feedback from previous clients. It is important for you to find out what their previous clients have to say about them. If you can find some physical references, do check them out. However, an easier way will be to visit independent review sites. Here, you will find independent reviews of clients who have had some previous dealings with the firm. What you see here will give you an idea of what to expect.
Area of Specialization
When pursuing a case for compensation for a personal injury, you need a firm or attorney who specifically specializes in this field. You do not want to hire a divorce lawyer or a tax lawyer or even a general practitioner. With specialization comes a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of this civil process, an understanding which will improve your chances of winning and getting ample settlement.
Experience and Past Results
Aside from specialization, you also want to find out how much experience the attorney or firm has. A good way to judge this will be by looking at their past records in similar cases. You certainly will want to go with a firm that has a high winning percentage.
Terms and Payment Options
Finally but very importantly, you need to understand the terms under which a firm will work. Most firms that specialize in personal injury cases will usually offer “no fee if no recovery”. This means that their fee is tied to the settlement you get. You will therefore not have to pay any fees if there’s no settlement.
Do not just leave it at this because you may run into some issues down the road. There is a difference between fees and case expenses. In some cases, a client will be required to pay case expenses in addition to the fees. This will also mean that even if the case is lost, the client will still be required to pay the case expenses.
It is therefore important that you confirm from the firm if they require that clients pay case expenses. You need to be clear on this before signing up with any firm.
Do not suffer in silence. With the help of the right personal injury lawyer, you can get justice and not have to spend your hard earned money treating yourself or quietly suffering a loss of income arising from the injury.