Suffering from a personal injury can be devastating. Fortunately, most personal injury cases (over 90%) are settled without the added stress of a trial. Although a claimant is not legally required to hire an Ottawa lawyer to claim compensation, in many cases it is strongly recommended, and here's why:
1. Although hiring a law firm in Ottawa seems like an unnecessary expense, hiring a lawyer gives you an additional line of defense during a vulnerable time. Unless you have extensive knowledge of the claims process along with a good understanding of what your case is worth, settling without legal assistance can mean not getting what you're entitled to. It's easy to accept the first offer you're given, but sometimes this amount is not sufficient in comparison to the injury. Having an experienced Ottawa lawyer provide you with a second opinion on your settlement offer can help ensure the amount you're given is appropriate to the damages incurred.
2. Should you disagree with the first settlement you're offered, you'll have to reject and renegotiate the amount. Unfortunately, without experience, navigating negotiations can be intimidating. Having an Ottawa lawyer by your side can be very useful in coming up with fair negotiations and considering all your options. In some cases an attorney can even help you negotiate how your payments will be received (i.e. monthly or lump sum) and help you determine which way will be most beneficial.
3. Your injuries can change; unfortunately, even seemingly minor injuries can worsen in time. In major personal injury cases having an attorney handle the claim is advised because understanding and determining compensation for severe injuries can be a complex process. In these cases there may be several forms of compensation that you're entitled to, such as pain and suffering. Without the legal advice of a law firm in Ottawa, you could miss out on claiming all appropriate forms of compensation. A law firm in Ottawa will also consider your injuries and advise you when to make a claim. This can help avoid a situation where you've accepted a settlement before the full extent of your injuries is known.
4. Your insurance company isn't always on your side. In fact, it rarely is. One reason people feel they don't require a lawyer is because they have insurance, without realizing the main objective of most insurance companies is to shell out as little money as possible. Sometimes the threat of legal representation is enough to have your insurance company take your claim seriously.
Opting for an Ottawa lawyer even if you plan settle can help eliminate stress during a difficult time and make sure your case earns rightful compensation. While trying to find the right law firm in Ottawa for your case, make sure to ask for referrals and schedule an initial consultation to interview candidates. Even for seemingly minor injuries, legal representation will work in your best interest to make an unfortunate situation a little brighter.