Let the negotiations begin
The road to recovery after a motor vehicle or motorcycle accident can be challenging enough without the pressure of having to deal with insurance companies.
That’s where we come in. At Bodnaruk Law, we’re not afraid to fight for your right to fair and equitable compensation if you’ve been injured.
We promise there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we’ll help you get there.
Types of claims
Bodily Injury Claim against the insurers for the other driver, for which you may claim compensation for pain and suffering, loss of present and future income, loss of opportunity, loss of housekeeping, cost of future care, and payment of out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Property Damage Claim for any property damage you suffered as a result of the accident.
- Liability which identifies who is responsible for your injuries
- Medical evidence to substantiate the claims you are pursuing as a result of your injuries
In many cases liability is not disputed, and the negotiation or litigation is focused primarily on the medical evidence to determine the value of your claim.
1. Information gathering and negotiation
This stage takes place during the first year or two following your accident. During this period, you should receive regular treatment for your injuries, and you should provide us with regular updates of your treatments, progress and recovery.
When your doctor determines you have reached maximum recovery, we’ll obtain medical reports, charts and treatment notes from all of your treatment providers. These will cumulatively provide us with the medical evidence we’ll use in drafting a settlement proposal to the other driver’s insurance company. This is when settlement negotiations begin.
We work with you throughout this process and discuss any offers as they are received.
In this stage, counsel for the defendant insurers will ask you questions about the accident, your pre-accident health, the injuries you suffered as a result of the accident, and how your injuries affected each aspect of your life. All of this is done under oath.
To ease any anxiety you may have about this stage, we’ll prepare you prior to your attendance, and we’ll be right beside you while you’re being questioned so we can object to any questions which are irrelevant or ask about privileged information.
3. Battle of the expert reports
After Questioning, the defendant insurer may continue to take the position that you suffered only minor injuries in the accident. To support their argument, the insurers may require you to attend a Defence Medical Exam in order to have their medical expert assess your injuries.
We often use our own Independent Medical Exams to diagnose your injuries and assess the future prognosis of your injuries. We use other experts to report any ongoing functional capacity issues you may be experiencing. In some cases, we also use economic reports to calculate your past and future loss of income, cost of future treatment and the economic loss associated with any loss of housekeeping ability.
The use of expert reports often leads to productive settlement discussions with the defendant insurer.
At Bodnaruk Law, we prepare your case as if it were going to trial even though your case will likely settle at some point without the necessity of proceeding to this stage. If your case has good evidence, especially medical evidence, your case will mostly likely not proceed to trial. In fact, the vast majority of injury claims are settled during the first two stages; only 1-2% of all injury claims end up going to trial.
However, if there continues to be a dispute over liability, the medical evidence, or the value of your claim, the final step is to proceed to trial.
Settlement of your claim may occur through negotiations with defence counsel, private mediation between both sides, or mediation at the Courthouse with a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (JDR). Mediation is non-binding, which means that you can’t be forced to agree to a settlement of your claim. There are significant risks and costs for each side in proceeding to trial, which is why trial is usually considered as a last resort.
It is your right to proceed to trial if defendant insurer is unwilling to settle your claim.
How long will it take to settle your claim?
Settling your claim as quickly and efficiently as possible is in everybody’s best interest. However, the timeframe is completely dependent on the extent of your injuries and how long they take to heal. A fair assessment of your long-term prognosis can only be made once you have completely healed or further improvement is unexpected. Only then can we determine appropriate compensation and move to settle your injury claim.
Some injury cases settle within two years of the date of the accident. If there is a dispute over liability, or your injuries are more serious, it may take longer to settle your claim.
What kind of outcome can you expect?
We are focused on preparing the strongest case for your claim and negotiating the best outcome, so we are extremely diligent about investigating every relevant aspect surrounding your accident and the impact of the injuries you sustained.
It’s important for you to be realistic about your expectations since injury claims are complex and detailed, and no two are alike. When all is said and done, and the matter is brought to a fair and equitable conclusion, we know you’ll be satisfied and relieved.