We’re here to dispel some of the common misconceptions about personal injury claims. There are a lot of myths about injury claims that prevent people from getting the compensation they deserve. In part, this is thanks to the highly sensationalized portrayal of lawsuits in television and the movies. But the reality is very different from what you often see in the media. For instance, did you know that most injury claims are resolved without you ever having to see the inside of a courtroom? Let’s explore some of the most common misconceptions we encounter about injury claims…
1. The myth: “My insurance rate will skyrocket because I filed a claim.”
The reality: If you are not at fault for an accident, your insurance premiums will likely not be impacted by a claim, although there are lots of other factors that go into premium increases. If you were partially at fault for an accident, any increase you might see in insurance rates could happen regardless of whether you choose to file a claim against the other driver. In short, filing a claim usually has zero impact on your insurance rate.
2. The myth: “I feel bad suing someone for their hard-earned money.”
The reality: In almost all injury claims, it is the at-fault person’s insurance company that pays the settlement. When it comes to Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVAs) in Alberta, the insurance company is usually responsible for paying the compensation on behalf of the person who was driving. There are a few instances where the at-fault individual may have to pay out of pocket, such as:
- The other driver did not have insurance;
- The other driver did not have enough liability insurance; or
- If the other vehicle was stolen or taken without consent, meaning the driver was breaking the law and driving uninsured.
Keep in mind that in order to drive legally in Alberta, you must have liability insurance.
3. The myth: “I’m not going to pursue a lawsuit because I’m not that type of person!”
The reality: You can be an ultra-nice Canadian who says sorry (and means it), and still file an injury claim. Insurance is there for a reason! We pay for insurance in order to ensure there’s money to cover the cost if we injure someone else. It’s important that you actually get the compensation you deserve if you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence. You can’t put a price tag on your health, but you may be able to get compensation for things like loss of income while you’re unable to work, the cost of medical treatments or therapies, prescriptions, loss of enjoyment or quality of life, and more.
4. The myth: “I heard there’s a claim cap, so I guess I won’t bother with an injury claim.”
The reality: Many cases don’t turn out to be capped AND even if some of your injuries do fall under the cap, there may be other areas that you could claim for. The first thing to know is that “the cap” only applies to certain soft-tissue injuries. Keep in mind that an insurance company might be quick to claim that your injuries are capped. In reality, there are several factors that determine whether an injury is capped, which includes things like how long your injury lasts, how severe it is, and how it impacts your life. A medical doctor must assess your injuries and, very often, it takes longer than a few weeks to accurately determine the long terms effects of an injury. These are just a few very important steps in understanding if your claim is capped. It is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer to determine what you’re entitled to. At Litco Law, consults are always free and it won’t cost you anything to speak with a member of our legal team.
In Alberta, you generally have up to two years from the date of an accident to make a Personal Injury claim in court, or your right to do so is lost forever. But it’s important not to wait as there may be other important deadlines or circumstances, that may affect the deadline or your claim.
Have questions? Contact us today to speak with a member of our legal team. It won’t cost you anything to talk to a lawyer. Consultations are always free and, if you do choose to file a claim, you don’t pay us anything unless and until your claim is resolved.