What to Do with Claims Served After Car Accidents
Over 100,000 motor vehicle accidents are reported to the police in Canada every year. Many of these cause severe injuries and even fatalities. Many clients ask us what they should do after receiving a Statement of Claim because they were involved in a car accident. It can be stressful to receive a Statement of Claim, especially if you were at fault in the accident. Keep reading to learn what you should do if you are ever involved in a car accident.
What Is a Statement of Claim?
The Statement of Claim is a legal document sent to a victim after an accident. It is a formal demand for payment and often includes legal language and threats. It’s important to note that just because a Statement of Claim has been sent does not mean you are at fault for the accident. You may have been in the right!
What Should You Do After Receiving a Statement of Claim?
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
After receiving a Statement of Claim, the first thing you should do is to contact your insurance company. They will be able to help you understand what you should do next, but they can also offer you guidance and advice on how to handle the situation. Calling your insurance company is essential because they can help you figure out who you should retain to represent you.
2. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If your insurance company suggests you retain a personal injury lawyer, they will likely recommend the lawyer they hire for you. However, there are many personal injury lawyers across Canada, and it is essential to do a bit of research. You can start by visiting our website or calling us for a free consultation. We can help you understand how to handle a Statement of Claim, and we can even help you decide if you have a case to take to court.
3. Respond to the Statement of Claim
While your insurance company and personal injury lawyer can help you decide what to do with a Statement of Claim, it is ultimately up to you to respond to it. If you do not respond to it within 30 days, you can be sued. Keep in mind that you do not have to respond to the statement of claim if the amount demanded is less than $100,000.
4. Collect Evidence
Once you have retained a personal injury lawyer and decided to respond to the Statement of Claim, the lawyer will ensure that you have the necessary evidence for your case. Suppose the Statement of Claim lists the injuries you suffered after the accident. In that case, your lawyer will collect the medical records and any other evidence that shows how you were injured.
What Happens Next?
Once you respond to the Statement of Claim and give the evidence to your lawyer, they will decide how to proceed. They can request that the case be settled or can file a Statement of Defense. If a Statement of Defense is filed, the case will likely go to arbitration, mediation, or a trial. The case will probably end up in arbitration or mediation if an insurance company sends the claim statement. Still, if a private party sent the Statement of Claim, the case is more likely to end up in a trial.
If you ever receive a Statement of Claim after an accident, contact your insurance company first. They will help you ensure you are protected, and they can also provide you with advice and guidance. After you contact your insurance company, contact your personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will provide you with information on how to handle the Statement of Claim and determine if you have a case.
Hamilton Cahoon is an association of independent practices serving Medicine Hat and the surrounding area that practices law in matrimonial or family law, estate planning, civil litigation, corporate, real estate, and personal injury law. We can assist you in all your legal matters, including personal injury claims, ensuring that you have the right guidance and information and know what to expect. If you need personal injury lawyers in Medicine Hat, call Hamilton Cahoon now!