Mistakes happen. Part of our job at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers is helping people better understand the law, and how car accident insurance works in Ontario.
Today the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog is pleased to share Brian Goldfinger’s list of Top 6 Mistakes which people make after a serious car accident in Ontario.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious car collision, Brian Goldfinger and the team at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers urge you to read this list carefully to make sure that the same mistakes don’t happen do you or your loved ones. Your health is important and so is your case. Don’t get hurt twice.
Mistake #1 Not consulting a personal injury lawyer right away. Brian Goldfinger’s law firm lets it be known that speaking with anyone on our team is FREE. Most, if not all of our cases are taken on a contingency fee basis meaning you don’t pay, unless our law firm wins for you. That means that it costs you ZERO to speak with a personal injury lawyer to get FREE legal advice on your claim. It only makes sense to take advantage of this free consultation as most lawyers who work on an hourly rate basis would not offer such a service to the general public.
Mistake #2 Signing Forms from the Insurance Company which you haven’t read or don’t understand. Brian Goldfinger has seen that certain insurance adjusters, and certain insurance companies are more aggressive than others when it comes to dealing with their clients and getting information from the. This will often mean a push by the insurance adjuster to meet with the injured accident victim to obtain a statement, take photos and to sign forms which you likely have never read, or don’t understand. Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you. Get an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you along the way to ensure that you don’t get hurt twice.
Mistake #3 Letting good evidence die. What does Brian Goldfinger mean when he says “don’t let evidence die“? Good question. Bumps, cuts and bruises heal. Saying that you had a bump, cut or bruise is one thing, but having a photo of that injury is a more effective tool. If you don’t take a photo of your injury immediately, it will heal. When it heals, you won’t have an opportunity to present that photo evidence to a Judge or Jury at trial. The evidence will be gone (dead evidence). Photos and visual aids are far more effective tools to substantiate your injuries to an insurer, judge or jury vs. verbal evidence. A saying “a picture says a thousand words” holds true in a Court of law. The same theory of letting evidence “die” also applies to witnesses. It amazes Brian Goldfinger that so many clients state that there were witnesses to their accident, but the fail to get their names or contact information. If the injured party, or their friends/family don’t get the names and contact information of the witnesses, then who will? The police? The fire department? The ambulance personnel? In a perfect world, witnesses hang around for hours to give statements to the police, but the world is far from perfect. If you can, get the names and contact information of the witnesses right away and give that information to your personal injury lawyer. Don’t let the evidence of the eye witnesses disappear.
Mistake #4 Filling our forms the wrong way. There are A LOT of forms after you’ve been involved in a serious car accident in Ontario. Most, if not all of the OCF claim forms will likely be new to you. Some are easy to complete. Others are not. Some are necessary for your case. Others are not. Some need a doctor or a health care professional to complete. Others do not. Understanding which forms to complete and how to complete them is not an easy task. It’s very helpful to get a personal injury lawyer involved for the completion of the OCF claims forms to ensure that the right forms are completed, the right way.
Mistake #5 Giving a Statement without a personal injury lawyer. Insurance adjusters will want to take a statement from the injured accident victim as soon as possible. The insurer wants the accident victim’s best recollection of the events surrounding the accident. This entails setting up an in person statement sooner rather than later. There is no legal obligation to participate in a statement. There are obligations to participate in an Examination Under Oath (EUO), provide a Statutory Declaration (in writing) or provide certain information to the insurer of the at fault driver. This is basic information like your date of birth, date of loss, address and a few other details about the accident. Aside from that, there are no legal requirements for the injured accident victim to provide a sworn, written and recorded statement to the insurance company of the at fault driver or to your own insurer save in exceptional circumstances where an Examination Under Oath is required. Don’t fall in to that trap.
Mistake #6: Failing to co-operate with Police or Doctors. It amazes Brian Goldfinger the amount of people who either fail to, or refuse to co-operate with police or with their doctors. Not sure what it is! If the car accident is not your fault, you have no reason NOT to co-operate with the police. Even if the accident is your fault, you have a legal obligation to co-operate with the police so please do so. In addition, Brian Goldfinger sees a lot of innocent accident victims who refuse to follow their doctors orders and take medication, see specialists or get treatment which is covered by car insurance. If you are legitimately injured and want to get better, then there is no better way to recover than to follow your doctors’ orders. Failing to co-operate with your doctor is not a good sign to the insurer that you are injured or motivated to recover. It also shows that you are failing to mitigate your injuries/losses which is not a good sign either. Do good and co-operate!