How do I File a Claim if I Have Been Injured in a Car Accident in Nova Scotia?
Car accidents have gotten especially worse as distracted driving and speeding are on the rise, as well. Some of the most frequently observed scenarios responsible for crashes in Nova Scotia include, but are not limited to:
- Drunk and drugged driving
- Failure to react appropriately to changes in weather/road conditions
- Failure to heed traffic signals
- Texting while driving
- Traveling at excessive speeds
- Ill-advised lane changes
- Motorist fatigue
- Errors in judgment
- Inattentive/distracted driving
- Improper loading of cargo in large trucks
- Defectively designed or manufactured vehicles and/or components
Being involved in a car accident can leave you shaken, confused, and devastated, especially if you suffered any injuries as a result. The first thing on your mind is likely how to make sure you and your loved ones are taken care of, and where to begin in addressing property damage to your car; in other words, how can you become whole again?
Filing a claim is sometimes the furthest thing from your mind in these circumstances. And yet, that is sometimes the only way to ensure that you receive what you need in order to address your medical bills, any lost wages, and any pain and suffering you have endured.
If You Have Been in an Accident
If you are involved in a collision, make sure that you and everyone else involved are OK and seek medical attention in case you incurred any injuries. In addition:
- Exchange information for everyone involved and any witnesses. That not only includes insurance information but driver’s license information, license plate numbers, contact information, etc.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, vehicles involved, injuries, etc.
- Contact the police to obtain a police report
- Contact an experienced accident lawyer to obtain assistance to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve
- Do not talk about your claim with those involved in the accident—remember that insurance companies are trying to minimize payouts
- Track your injuries and medical conditions and expenses, including anything that is worsening or getting better. This also includes any ways in which your life has been affected—events you had to miss, every day activity you can no longer participate in, etc. This also includes a record of any missed days at work due to your injuries
- Do not settle your claim until you understand the full extent of any injuries you have experienced. This can include full recovery and/or understanding the full extent of any injuries and disabilities involved
- Ultimately, be patient. Claims, when properly resolved, can take years
You May Need to File a Claim and Not Know it: Understanding Concussions
As anyone who has suffered from one will tell you, you have no idea how bad it is to suffer from a concussion until you have one. Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries that can result from whiplash-type injuries or a blow to the head, altering the brain’s ability to function normally by affecting the nerves. As a result, even simple tasks can become extremely difficult because the brain itself is not producing enough energy to meet these basic demands. For example, driving a car, going grocery shopping, and exercising can become dangerous and involve nausea and dizziness.
Specifically, some of the common symptoms of concussions include:
- Adversity to light and noise;
- Inability to work;
- Vestibular dizziness;
- Mental fogginess; an inability to focus and concentrate; and sometimes read/remember what you read;
- Lack of memory skills;
- Memory and emotional issues, such as anxiety and depression;
- Migraines; and
- Sleep disturbances; sometimes even severe insomnia.
Concussions are also unfortunately common: According to some estimates, close to 3,000 new brain injuries occur every year in Nova Scotia alone. Many people are unaware of the deadliest issue of all — someone experiencing a second blow to the head after already having experienced a concussion. A certain percentage of concussions develop into post-concussion syndrome, which can last for years and is often a hidden condition.
As a result, if you have experienced a concussion in a car accident, do not rush the healing process; instead, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer here in Nova Scotia to obtain information about your rights and options.
Filing for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability
Many who have been involved in debilitating car accidents apply for CPP disability, believing that their injuries and years of paying into the program have earned them the right to receive those benefits. However, CPP will often turn applicants down, claiming that their injuries are not “severe” or” prolonged” enough unless they work with a lawyer to ensure that justice is done.
If you have been turned down for CPP benefits, you have the right to request reconsideration, as well as file an appeal so that a review tribunal will hear your case. You also have the option of taking the case to Federal Court, as well as the appeal division of the Social Security Tribunal of Canada, which makes decisions on CPP.
If you have been denied CPP benefits as a result of a car or slip and fall accident, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers here in Nova Scotia to find out more about your options.
The Process of Filing
As part of your claim, you and your lawyer will:
- Notify the individual and/or the insurance company that you are filing a claim. You want to make sure that you work with an experienced accident lawyer in doing so so that you are not taken advantage of by any insurance companies, which will likely try to lowball any estimates and try to convince you that your entire claim is capped;
- Your lawyer may file a Notice of Action and Statement of Claim, outlining the facts of your case, such as what injuries you sustained and a description of your losses;
- You and your lawyer will also supplement any filing with additional information, such as medical expenses, police reports, loss of income documentation, and other relevant evidence; and
- You and your lawyer may also engage in settlement discussions.
In Canada and Nova Scotia the types of damages you can recover include:
- Compensatory (or “actual”) damages for pecuniary loss: These include consequential and expectation damages;
- General (“non-pecuniary”) damages: for non-monetary losses that are difficult to assess. These include losses related to disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, pain, suffering, etc.;
- Pecuniary (“special”) damages: those that can be financially measured, such as medical expenses;
Some of the most common damages that people recover as a result of car accidents include those related to cost of care, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment in life, future earning capacity, income and valuable services, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
You are Not Alone: Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers Today
Assessing damages in personal injury claims can be challenging when you are dealing with injuries that cannot necessarily always be measured with a number, such as those suffering from chronic pain and other conditions where the issue is persistent. The car accident injury lawyers at Preszler Injury Lawyers have helped countless clients throughout Nova Scotia and surrounding areas to obtain the compensation that they need to get back on the road to recovery. We have been assisting victims of car accidents, slip and fall accidents, long term disability claims, as well as other injury matters since 1959. Our national presence across numerous provinces in Canada has resulted in thousands of claims being settled. Our clients are never treated like file numbers, and instead, we devote an entire legal team to each and every one of their claims, ensuring constant communication and updates as claims progress. We also make sure to treat our clients like family, where our lawyers are not paid unless you are, and we will come to you when your injuries prevent you from traveling to our offices.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident here in Nova Scotia or surrounding areas, contact our personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation to find out how we can help. Regardless of how severe your injuries are; we are ready to fight on your behalf to obtain the compensation you need to get back on the road to recovery. We also help clients with disability benefits, bicycle accidents, dog bite injuries, wrongful death, motorcycle accidents, sexual abuse, medical malpractice, slip, trip and fall accidents, birth injuries, truck accidents, premises liability, snowmobile and ATV accidents, defective products, and more.