If you had a plumbing issue, would you call a plumber? Probably. Unless you’ve had proven experience fixing leaky pipes, trusting a licensed professional would be your best bet. We think the same holds true regarding motor vehicle accidents. There are many misconceptions regarding driving laws and accident best-practices. Your best option is always to consult a trusted lawyer who knows the law like the back of their hand. Here’s just a few reasons why:
The law isn’t always black & white
According to the Ontario government, collisions caused by distracted driving has doubled in less than 20 years. It would make sense that distracted driving laws are becoming stricter and more enforced. You are probably thinking your GPS, morning coffee and Bluetooth are all legal devices to use on the drive, right? Well, it depends. The CAA says that more than a quarter of all car crashes involve phone use – including hands-free devices. If you’re ever in an accident, each and every factor distracting you from driving perfection can and will be used against you in court. Click here to see what the Ontario government has outlined when it comes to defining distracted driving. The ultimate test is whether your driving was negligent in causing an accident rather than legal.
Myth or fact?
Have you been told that legal consultations will cost you? This is a myth. Despite common belief, legal consultations are often free. If there’s been an injury, small or serious, even with nobody at-fault, it doesn’t hurt to consult with a lawyer. In fact, nearly all personal injury lawyers only charge a fee for their services after the matter is resolved as a percentage of the damages recovered, so there is no upfront payment.
Are you assuming that you won’t be qualified for care coverage after an accident? This is also a myth. Several seriously injured individuals have avoided legal help because they truly believed they would not qualify for care. The truth is, unless you are a legal professional, you will not be able to assess the situation properly, nor accurately determine just how much you could be entitled to. Your best option is to consult a lawyer who has a much better understanding of the situation you’re in and the potential outcomes.
Have you been told that your insurance rates will be negatively impacted if you consult with a lawyer after an accident? Yet again, another myth. We always hear “I don’t want my insurance rates to spike,” but the truth is, insurance rates go up based on a variety of factors, none of which include speaking to a lawyer or claiming accident benefits.
The law is complicated
One of the biggest medical, let alone legal mistakes a person involved in a car collision can make is not seeking medical attention. After an accident, it is common for those involved to disregard how badly they may have been injured as they recover from the shock. So let’s say you’ve been in an accident and you’re feeling some neck pain, and decide to call your insurance company to talk about care. They may ask “how much pain are you in?” or “how are you doing?” All it takes is a response like “it’s not too bad” or “I’m doing okay” for them to dismiss your injury and deny funding for your care. Speak to a trusted lawyer before consulting any insurance companies to understand clearly how to answer certain questions, and how to avoid others. Or better yet, let the lawyer do the talking while you worry about getting better.
If you have any further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to message us here.