“Accidents happen” – it’s a common phrase used when unforeseen events occur. Its purpose is to show just how powerless and helpless human beings can be in preventing certain calamities. The reality, however, is that there are many accidents which can be prevented. Regardless of whether the accident could have been prevented or not, there is help available.
If you are ever involved in an accident where you are not at fault, you can always seek legal redress. You need not just sit at home waiting for your wounds to heal, trying to continue with life as if nothing ever happened. Canadian law protects people who have been injured as a result of the mistakes of others. In fact, you can sue the negligent party – the person who injured you – for compensation in what is referred to as a personal injury case.
It is, however, important to understand that such cases are rarely simple and straightforward. Once you make your intentions of following up on the matter known, chances are that the negligent party will do all they can to ensure that you do not win. Therefore, if you live in Alberta, it would be a good idea to enlist the services of a qualified Alberta personal injury lawyer. So what exactly can a personal injury lawyer do for you?
It is the job of the personal injury lawyer to prove that indeed there was negligence on the part of the ‘tortfeasor’ (the negligent party) and consequently see to it that you get paid for the damages caused by the accident. This can be complicated because the burden of evidence lies upon you (the plaintiff) and your legal counsel. Negligence is the bone of contention – in this case, it is defined as failure to do something that a reasonable individual ought to have done, or doing something that a reasonable individual would not have done – and it must be proven by the plaintiff.
When an accident occurs, a number of things can happen. Those involved might be injured, property might be damaged, or death may occur. If your property is damaged or lost entirely, then the task facing the injury lawyer will be to ensure that you are compensated in full. If you are injured, the lawyer will work to have the negligent party pay for your rehabilitation and medical bills. Your lawyer should also work hard to ensure the negligent party compensates you for lost wages as a result of injuries suffered as well as physical pain caused by those injuries.
If death occurred as a result of the accident in question, then a number of things will have to be determined. If the deceased had dependents, then the lawyer must negotiate a settlement, or convince the court to compel the tortfeasor to provide for the dependents’ needs until such a time that they are no longer dependent. A lump sum payment is the most common form of settlement or award when dealing with this kind of case, but in certain cases the payments may be spread out over a number of years. The negligent party can also be compelled to bear the cost of the funeral and also pay those left behind for mental anguish caused by the loss of a loved one.
A good number of personal injuries are caused by impaired driving. This is where a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs causes an accident and injures innocent bystanders. If you are involved in this kind of accident, a personal injury lawyer can help. In rare cases, your lawyer may have to prove to an Alberta court of law that indeed the driver was not sober when the accident occurred. Impaired driving causes scores of deaths every year. In these cases, it wouldn’t be right to say that most such accidents are preventable. In reality, nearly all impaired driving accidents are preventable.
In addition to impaired driving, other cases that an injury lawyer can represent you in include slip and fall, medical malpractice, defective products, dog bites, and wrongful death just to mention a few. If you are dealing with a defective product that caused harm, and a large manufacturer is involved, then you can be sure that they will do what they can to defend against the lawsuit. Such manufacturers usually have lots of money and teams of lawyers – weapons that they use to fight off any cases against them. A loss to them could mean bad publicity which of course is bad for business.
What all the above means is that even if the manufacturer is clearly to blame for the accident, going it alone can be very difficult. In such cases, it is always important to speak to very experienced personal injury lawyers who are not afraid to take on the so called “top dogs.”
Accidents like those caused by impaired driving can be very debilitating financially, physically and mentally and you need not just accept that and move on. If you have a genuine reason to believe that someone could have done something to prevent the accident from occurring, but did little or nothing to that effect, then you may be able to bring them to account under Alberta law, and get the compensation you deserve.
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