Sometimes a car accident causing a personal injury cannot be avoided. Even the best driver might suffer a moment of distraction, or lose control on a slippery road. And any collision, regardless of the speed or number of vehicles involved, can cause serious injuries, which can take several weeks or months to heal from and recover.
The most common personal injuries after a collision are:
- Head injuries that can be include surface level damage such as cuts or bruises, or deeper damage including concussions and brain injuries.
- Neck injuries, ranging from whiplash to injured discs and paralysis.
- Shoulder injuries including sprains and broken bones, which can limit mobility and cause chronic pain if left untreated.
- Spinal cord and back injuries, such as strains and injured vertebra. These can be the more deceptive personal injuries, as their symptoms can sometimes take a long time to surface.
- Internal injuries such as fractured ribs, organ damage, and internal bleeding. These are some of the most dangerous injuries, and can be fatal if they are not treated immediately.
- In cases of major accidents causing severe personal injuries or loss of life, psychological damage such as anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and depression.
When Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
In Ontario, many of your medical expenses after suffering a personal injury in a car accident are paid by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, or OHIP. But while this covers a number of expenses for hospital stays and medical care, there are costs that it does not cover. OHIP does not cover drugs, long-term expenses, caregiver costs, or loss of income during your recovery time. Likewise, if you have suffered a head injury that damaged your jaw, it does not cover dental costs.
In an ideal world, your insurance company would fill in the gaps left by OHIP by providing the coverage and compensation you require. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
Even if you have purchased an extended policy, your insurance company may not want to pay out, and might assess you as requiring less compensation than you actually need. In a worst-case scenario, your insurance provider might reject your claim on a technicality, leaving you without support. It might also declare you to be at fault even if you are not, and impose unjust penalties. If your claim has been rejected, it might try to keep you in an appeals process long enough to wait out the two-year statute of limitations, preventing you from filing a dispute against them.
The best protection against this is to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A qualified personal injury lawyer can ensure that your documents are in order, that you are receiving the correct amount of compensation after your claim is filed, and if your insurance claim has been rejected, represent you in court and get you the justice you deserve.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
For best results after suffering a personal injury in a car accident – either for an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit – there are a number of steps you should take as soon as possible:
- Stop and remain on the scene. If there are any injuries or damage to any vehicles, contact 911.
- Gather as much information as possible. This includes documenting the scene and the accident as best you can, and getting the identifying information of whatever police officers appear on site, as well as a copy of the police report. If there is another vehicle involved, this includes the license plate and insurance provider of the other vehicle, as well as the identity, contact information, and driver’s license number of the other driver. Take pictures if you can.
- Seek immediate medical attention for any injuries you have suffered, and have the attending doctor document them. Also, have your family doctor conduct a thorough examination to find and document any additional injuries or emerging symptoms.
- Document how any personal injuries you have suffered have impacted your life after the accident. This includes any pain and suffering, no matter how small, as well as any impairment to your daily routine, from work to recreation.
Why Lerners after a Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury after a car accident, Lerners Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Our qualified lawyers have the experience with auto insurance and insurance law you need to help you or your loved ones navigate insurance claims and the legal landscape, and help you get the compensation you need and deserve. And if you cannot come to us – if you are recovering in the hospital or at home and are unable to travel – we will come to you, as well as provide a free initial consultation.