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The Three Hardest Things to Argue Without a Lawyer When Pursuing a Negligence Claim

July 28th, 2020
Nivedita Misra
LLB, Lawyer

Tens of thousands of Ontarians suffer personal injuries every year as the result of motor vehicle collisions, slip and falls, medical negligence, workplace accidents, defective products, and more. Unfortunately, the injured parties often do not understand their legal rights in the context of a personal injury, causing them to be inadequately compensated. 

While it can be tempting to self-represent in order to save money or because you believe that your case will be just “another file” to a busy law firm, doing so will likely prevent you from recovering the amount of monetary damages that you’re entitled to – or possibly, any at all. In this article, we are going to examine the three hardest things to argue without a lawyer in the case of a negligence claim, and why legal guidance is highly advisable in moving forward.

1. Interpretation of the Law, Cases, and Statute

When being presented with a negligence claim, it’s important to remember that the lawyers who represent the at-fault party’s insurance company have a thorough understanding of personal injury case law. This is what they do for a living and they rely on this knowledge to maintain their livelihood. Their goal is to protect their client’s best interest, whether this means proposing an early settlement or taking the claim all the way to trial.

Being represented by a good lawyer that has equal experience and qualifications as the opposing counsel is vitally important in terms of understanding your case and what it is limited to from a legal perspective. A legal professional will effectively apply the relevant facts and skillfully argue the statutes with supporting case law to further your case. They will be able to provide invaluable guidance with respect to the initial assessment of your injuries, as to immediately determine how best to move forward in their interpretation and application of the law.

2. Understanding the Legal Language

Legal phrases such as “threshold”, “causation”, and “loss of competitive advantage” are important when it comes to a negligence claim. These phrases are referred to as legal language or “legalese”, which is defined as the “formal and technical language of legal documents”. Understanding the full complexity of these phrases and where to apply them can be difficult if you are not doing so on a daily basis. 

Understanding how to incorporate legalese into the structure of your arguments can be time-consuming and difficult without having undergone legal training. For example, it is important to understand the difference between such concepts as general damages and special damages, otherwise known as economic and non-economic damages. While both of these terms are known as ‘standard’ damages and are awarded in personal injury lawsuits, how do you differentiate one from the other?

There is limited information available as a legally untrained member of the public when it comes to representing yourself effectively in a negligence claim. This lack of knowledge can be compared to attempting to fix your car without going to a mechanic. A mechanic has learnt the language of vehicles and has obtained the relevant knowledge to understand the issues that may arise and find efficient solutions. As someone who has never previously worked on a vehicle, it’s unlikely that you would try to fix your own brakes, on the chance that something catastrophic occurs while you were driving. If you wouldn’t take this chance on your car and opt to leave it to a professional, why would you take this chance on your family’s financial security?

3. Assessing the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

If you do not have a lawyer on your side that works in personal injury matters, how do you assess the value of your claim? While case law is readily available to members of the public, comparing previous cases with similar circumstances may not always be effective. No two personal injury cases are exactly alike, making it difficult to value personal injury claims off of previously won monetary damages. Although victims of an accident may appear to have similar cases, they will often have significantly different injuries, diagnoses, trajectory of recovery, and outcomes to their cases. 

A lawyer has many tools and methods that they will use to estimate claim value, regardless of the time at which their client’s injury occurred. These may include:

A lawyer can also help you decide if you need additional services and expertise that may be relevant to your case. For example, it may be suggested to hire a forensic accountant, who is often called upon to assist lawyers and insurance companies in calculating the economic losses resulting from personal injury. At the end of the day, expenses incurred by any experts hired comes out of the compensation that you receive from your claim. A legal expert will help to determine whether or not these expenses are required.

A Lawyer Will Provide Necessary Guidance

When it comes down to it, the guidance that you receive from a legal expert will be invaluable when pursuing your negligence claim. A lawyer can guide you on which experts you need to see, provide valuable knowledge on attendant care services and clinics, and ensure that all necessary steps are followed in order to file your claim. At the same time, they will help keep you on the right path and allow you to focus on your recovery.

When you have suffered an accident, letting your body heal should be your first priority. Whether you have suffered physical pain or emotional trauma, the injured party may find difficulty in focusing on anything beyond getting from one day to the next. The stress of doing constant research, worrying about court deadlines, and communicating with opposing counsel, is one that the injured party does not need and will only prolong their mental and physical suffering. 

How Gosai Law Can Pursue Your Claim For You

It is Gosai Law’s utmost priority to ensure that you receive the monetary damages that you’re entitled to. We understand that you may have reservations about working with a law firm for a variety of reasons. Having said this, our fees are based on contingency – that means if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid either.

We can also promise you that our approach to our files is always person-driven, and never number-driven. When you contact us to communicate about your file, our clients can rest knowing that we understand your file completely. We work very hard to not only make sure that our clients are kept informed every step of the way but that they are aware of both the positives and the drawbacks to their claim. 

While many legal professionals work with templates of previously worked on cases to process their claims, we work solely on a case by case basis. We examine your relationships with your family, children, spouse, friends, and employer, as well as your day to day activities, so we can focus on telling your story. By ensuring that we have an in-depth understanding of your life pre and post-accident, we can help to ensure that when you get your settlement, you’re happy and satisfied.

What Are My Next Steps in Pursuing a Negligence Claim?

Gosai Law is happy to provide you with a free consultation in order to determine the best way to move your case forward. Our lawyers specialize in acts of negligence such as medical malpractice, critical injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and more, and will be with you every step of the way in pursuing your negligence claim. 

While our physical office location is currently closed, we are continuing to be an advocate for your case remotely. Please reach out to us at (905) 595-2225 or contact info@gosailaw.com for more information.

 

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