If you have suffered traumatic injury or other serious personal injury as a result of someone else's negligent or intentional act, you may be entitled to receive compensation.
It's human nature to believe that when something bad happens, someone must be to blame. However, just because you have been injured does not automatically mean you are entitled to receive compensation.
Proving personal injury cases can be a challenge. Retaining the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer will help you determine if you have the right to make a claim and ensure will receive fair and adequate compensation for your injuries.
Generally, there are three types of "headings" of compensation that the court can award. For example:
- Past economic losses to date.
- Future economic losses.
- Compensation for "pain and suffering".
Past economic losses include things like:
- Income that you lost when you were too injured to work or while you were undergoing medical treatment.
- Out of pocket expenses for medical care and over the counter or prescription medication.
- Out of pocket expenses for home care, and medical care.
- Additional expenses you have for childcare while you attend medical appointments, or home cleaning or maintenance costs you have because your injuries prevent you from doing those tasks.
Past losses are usually fairly easy to determine because you can produce receipts, bills or estimates for the expenses you have incurred.
Future economic losses:
Loss of future earning capacity is the difference between what you were capable of earning over your lifetime before you were injured and the amount you are now capable of earning, taking into account your physical limitations. Future economic losses can also include medical and life care expenses and any other out of pocket expenses you may incur in the future.
There is no such thing as a crystal ball. As you can imagine, predicting future losses is a difficult exercise. Figuring out future economic losses often requires the retainer of an expert (actuary or economist).
Pain and Suffering:
You may be entitled to receive compensation for what is commonly referred to as "Pain and Suffering". Courts typically calculate awards for pain and suffering by comparing awards granted in other cases to people who have suffered injuries similar to yours.
The value of your claim will depend on many factors including the nature of your injuries, how well your doctors expect you to recover in the future, whether your injuries will affect your ability to work, how old you are, whether you had any pre-existing injuries that already impaired your ability to work and many other factors. Weighing these factors is extremely complex and one reason why you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney rather than waiting until later in the negotiation process.
Do You Really Need a Lawyer? Maybe. Maybe not.
You May Need a Lawyer If....
- The insurance company is trying to blame you for an accident that was someone else's fault;
- You have serious injuries;
- You want to focus on recuperating from your injuries rather than getting stressed out dealing with insurance company adjustors;
- The insurance company won't pay for medical treatment that your doctor says you need to recover from your injuries;
- The insurance company claims you have a "minor injury" or says you "should have got better by now";
- The insurance company blames your pain on previous injuries or pre-existing medical conditions;
- The insurance adjustors are harassing you;
- The insurance company wants you to settle your claim before you have finished your treatment or before you have fully recovered; or
- The insurance adjuster wants you to attend a so-called "independent" medical examination.
You May Not Need A Lawyer if...
- You were not hurt in the accident;
- You recovered within a few days or weeks after the accident; or
- You only had to attend a few medical or physiotherapy appointments before you fully recovered.
Think You Need Our Help?
You can contact McKiggan Hebert online or call us toll-free at 1-877-423-2050 or take a look at John McKiggan's Personal Injury Lawyer Blog for more information about Nova Scotia Personal Injury Claims.
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