Immediately following a serious car accident, you may no doubt be in a tremendous amount of pain, disoriented or confused. Car accidents can no doubt result in substantial pain and psychological distress, which can cause you to be confused at the accident scene. From our experience, older adults are at greater risk than younger adults for life-threatening injury after car accident, although terrible accidents can no doubt cause widespread pain to a person at any age – especially if the car accident victim suffers severe head, thoracic or lumbar spine injuries. However, when the unthinkable happens to you, it’s important to remember that your number one concern is your physical health and safety. If you have been involved in a car accident in Ontario, it’s important that you know beforehand the best way to handle the situation. Here are a few pointers to try and follow –
We understand that you may be in a severe amount of pain, but it’s important that you remain calm as you can with paramedics. EMS will assist, treat and extricate patients from the scene of an accident, they can administer drugs and if necessary, perform live-saving procedures, administer IV’s, bandage your wounds, administer medication, perform respiratory procedures if you have blocked airways, all while transportation patients to the hospital.Critical decisions are often made by paramedics in moments of patient triage to help car accident victims, they will prioritize who is the most hurt, identify serious injuries and make life saving decisions. It’s important that you remain calm if you were hurt in a car accident, and not cause conflict especially during head and cervical stabilization. In serious car accidents and head-on crashes, severe trauma to the oral cavity and facial injuries are quite common, which can cause significant hemorrhage and increase the chance of airway aspiration. It’s important that during these critical moments, if you are awake, to not fight positioning or your body or head so that you can allow for oxygenation and ventilation, or the possibility the worsening a possible cervical spinal cord injury. If you’ve been in a serious car accident, try to remain calm at all times. Paramedics are experts, and highly trained.
Hospitals, such as the Hamilton General Hospital, will normally have a very experienced social workers that if necessary, and if asked, will normally suggest several lawyers to you and your family who they believe are experienced, local, a part of the community, hard working and have a track of success. This is quite typical – as many experienced social workers are fully aware that you may need assistance upon discharge, with home accommodations, assistive devices, attendant care, etc.
However, if a stranger the does not look like he or she is employed by the hospital (this type of persona is typically called a runner) comes to talk to you and your family about personal injury lawyers, you should avoid them at all cost. For example, and unfortunately, we have seen personal injury lawyer paraphernalia, water bottles, pens, pads etc. in the intensive care unit, on a victim’s night table, even prior to them evening waking up! This we believe is unethical and unacceptable. It’s important that you do not talk to strangers about hiring a personal injury lawyer. It’s likely that these strangers receive kickbacks by personal injury lawyers for the referral of your claim to their firm.
What about doctors, nurses and hospital staff? As for orderlies and hospital staff, cleaning staff, nurses, radiology techs, ultrasound techs, surgical techs, physical therapists, radiation therapists, medical assistance etc. – they typically will not approach you or your family. There is absolutely nothing to gain from hospital staff unilaterally approaching you to suggest a law firm or a particular lawyer. If this happens, be very, very weary.
In our experience, the only medical personnel that will suggest a personal injury law firm is a medical doctor or a social worker. If you have suffered a very serious injury, you will get to know your medical doctor or surgeon through daily rounds. You will likely talk about your injuries your accident, what’s in store for you, your prognosis – in short daily conversations. With this, it’s not uncommon for patients to ask their medical doctors if they should contact a lawyer. Most doctors will refer patients to the social worker’s advice or recommendations. However, it’s not uncommon, if that medical doctor has a very close friend or a relative that is a successful personal injury lawyer, to make the suggestions as a simple matter of friendly assistance.
The best way to think about personal injury law firm referrals while you are in the hospital is to be extra cautious of any uninvited recommendations to you. If strangers approach you to discuss a personal injury law firm, then there’s a chance there is a kickback involved and they should be sent away. It’s always best to go through friends, family, referrals, coworkers etc. who might know a personal injury lawyer that can help you.
It’s very important that you get your legal help arranged sooner rather than later if you have been involved in a serious car accident. There are numerous things that a personal injury law firm can do for you prior to her discharge from the hospital or rehabilitation centre. For example, you have the right to hire your own occupational therapist and if you don’t, your insurance company will hire an occupational therapist from a firm that they typically deal with.
Our law firm deals with very experienced occupational therapists that are highly knowledgeable with not only car accident claims, but with the insurance process. Hiring the right occupational therapist could make a major difference in your recovery and claim against the driver that cause your injuries. For example, these professionals with can assist with your discharge home, provide attendant care services so you are not alone, ensure the right personal support workers are in place, ensure assistive devices are installed in your home such as a grab rails or a ramp to help you access your home with a wheelchair or fitting a stair lift in your home. The right occupational therapist can assist by completing the necessary insurance forms and treatment plans to ensure your overall safety upon discharge and return home. If you wait to retain a personal injury lawyer, then you will be dealing with the complex no-fault insurance maze on your own. You will be caught dealing with your insurance company’s preferred providers – that you may be stuck with. Hiring a personal injury lawyer sooner rather than later could ensure that the right people are hired – now – who will be with you through the life of your claim, and who will fight to ensure you get the benefits you deserve.
Hiring a personal injury law firm early in your case also means that the claims process could get started earlier. Investigations could be made, witnesses could be interviewed, we can assist with your employment situation, we can help you get onto long term disability now to assist with cash flow, we can locate the driver that cause your injuries, we could put the at fault driver on notice and, overall, we can conduct a proper and thorough investigation in order to maximize your case value. You need a protective buffer to serve between you and the insurance company, who has a vested interest in minimizing their losses.
If you have suffered life changing injuries in a serious car accident, it’s important that you talk to an experienced car accident lawyer as early as you can. It’s important that the lawyer you speak to is specialized in serious car accident claims since the auto insurance regime is brutally complex. Your lawyer can help set up the proper occupational therapists to assist with your transfer back home after your inpatient rehabilitation, ensure that your home is modified to receive your injured condition as well as ensure that any accessible devices are acquired so as to assist your mobility.
The ultimate objective for any car accident victim, even with injuries as serious as a spinal cord injury, is that he or she returns home and plays a positive role in his or her community. Suitable accommodation, the supply of equipment and specific rehab services should be set up to welcome you home – which are not free. Your car accident lawyer will ensure these services are funded and paid for, in advance, and make sure that the proper people are set up to be involved in your care. Returning home with serious injuries, or a spinal cord injury, is without doubt a new and challenging situation. Don’t navigate the insurance system without a helping hand. It will never be to your benefit in the end. Finding the right lawyer can be difficult, but retaining the best car accident lawyer is worth the effort. Be wary of lawyers who give you answers you want to hear or promise you how much money you will receive before they even know anything about you or your damages. Be also wary of lawyers that are suggested to you by nurses and orderly – it almost always not an ethical suggestion to make.
You will no doubt receive advice from your doctors and physicians, your lawyers, and other professionals connected to your case. They will advise you on the best decisions and actions to take that will help your case, your healing, and your recovery. For example, we always advise that our clients avoid the use of social media or exercising extreme caution before posting anything to any channel. Insurance companies will investigate your claim, and due to the fact that social media plays a significant role in today’s digital culture, they will examine your social media posts to search for clues that you are actually injured. Therefore, we will advise you to stay away from these platforms, and it is integral to follow this advice.
Fro a clinical perspective, Car accidents often result in a wide variety of complex symptoms and injuries – and rehabilitation after major trauma is not easy. Once you have recovered sufficiently from a traumatic injury and are well enough return home your rehabilitation will no doubt depend on your individual needs. Whether you are undergoing inpatient rehabilitation or ambulatory (community based) rehabilitation, it’s important that you participate to a plan that is tailored to your needs. Remember – if you are advancing a claim for compensation because someone hurt you in a car accident, you must prove the extent of your injuries. If you chose not to attend rehabilitation despite the funding to do so, it will be difficult for a Judge or Jury to understand your losses. Not only will you satisfy evidentiary requirements to prove your case, but People with serious injuries, and spinal cord injuries nowadays are living longer and achieving greater functional independence as a result of improved medical, rehabilitative, and pharmacological management of their injuries and pains. Don’t negate the medical treatment that is prescribed and advised by your medical experts. It will not help anything.
There’s no doubt that serious car accident injuries cause functional limitations, reduced participation in daily activities, and altered quality of life. You may suffer physical and psychological chronic conditions that will not only impede your return to an acceptable quality of life, but also require lifelong management. If you have suffered life changing injuries in a car accident we can help. Contact our Hamilton car accident lawyers now by filling out a consultation or connect to one of our operators via live chat. You can also give us a call at 905-333-8888 at your convenience.