By Michael R. Brooker
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident or other incident, you know the consequences can be significant, and sometimes even catastrophic.
Not only are you dealing with the pain and suffering resulting from your injuries, but you may also be dealing with the emotional and financial stress caused by a reduced ability, or complete inability, to work or even carry on with your usual daily activities.
You understand that you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but really don’t know where to start.
You’re not only trying to cope with your injuries by seeing doctors and attending treatment, but you’re also trying to handle the paperwork, deal with calls from insurance people and sort out what benefits you may be entitled to. You may also be dealing with the financial impact of being off work as a result of your injuries.
Seeking professional advice from a personal injury lawyer is a very important step in protecting your rights and ensuring that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. And seeking that advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer with a reputable and ethical law firm is key.
“Burchell MacDougall is an established, well-respected firm, and we take pride in our 5 Point Promise to our clients,” explains Mike Brooker, a personal injury lawyer with the firm’s Wolfville office.
Burchell MacDougall’s 5 Point Promise commits that our lawyers will:
- Provide effective and affordable legal services.
- Keep clients informed of the progress of their file.
- Return client calls as promptly as possible.
- Listen to client concerns.
- Treat clients with courtesy and respect.
“Building a strong relationship based on trust and communication is our priority,” Mike says, “Our clients have direct access to their lawyer, and their lawyer knows their file. We don’t treat personal injury like an assembly line, but give our attention to each case through every step of the process.”
And it can be a long process. Although the notion of a ‘quick resolution’ sounds ideal when you’re initiating your claim, it isn’t always possible or the best option for the client.
“The goal of personal injury law is to achieve fair compensation for our clients, without the added stress of litigation,” Mike explains, “We try to resolve a case at the earliest stage in the proceedings as possible; but keep in mind that can still take years.”
A claim cannot be properly quantified until you have recovered from your injuries, or until the recovery has plateaued and the residual impacts from the injuries can be assessed. In a worst case scenario, the injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident can have a lasting or permanent impact on your life.
“We advise clients to follow their doctor’s orders, do everything they can to maximize their healing, and return to their normal lifestyle as quickly as possible,” Mike says, “Then we’ll assess the actual damage resulting from the injury.”
While you are in treatment and recovering from your injuries, your lawyer keeps the at-fault party’s insurance provider updated on your progress, both medically and financially. They also attempt to initiate a dialogue for ultimate settlement discussions. Your medical history, including past injuries and pre-existing conditions, must be assessed, and your employment background must be considered if there is a loss of income claim involved. And, ultimately, the defendant’s negligence must be proven.
“We come up with a number, and the insurer comes up with a number. If they’re close, we have a settlement. If not, litigation may be necessary,” he explains, “We have good relationships with insurers and try to avoid court trials, but, especially when larger settlements are involved, litigation is sometimes unavoidable.”
“The process certainly can be stressful,” Mike concludes, “But we often see immediate relief in our clients once their case is settled. Keep in mind, though, no amount of money can compensate for good health.”
This article is for information only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions or would like further information, you should consult a lawyer. Click here for more information on Burchell MacDougall’s personal injury practice.