July 24, 2015
Ensuring that the Calgary public is informed when it comes to their rights and responsibilities under Alberta's personal injury laws is a responsibility the lawyers and legal staff of Cuming & Gillespie take very seriously. This article is part of a series we are publishing on our website, alongside other information relating to specific types of personal injury cases, dedicated to explaining some of the basic terms, concepts, and parameters of a typical personal injury case. While the information in these articles is general in nature and may not apply to a specific case, it provides insights to the law and the legal system that everyone in Calgary can benefit from.
In a previous article, you learned that awards are granted by Calgary judges and/or juries in personal injury cases that go to trial. The injured party or plaintiff sues the person they believe caused their injuries—the defendant—and argues both for their liability and for a dollar amount based on the extent of their injuries, their direct expenses, their lost earnings, and their pain and suffering. If the defendant is found liable, the judgement amount to the plaintiff is the award.
Most personal injury cases in Calgary don't actually go to a trial, though. Instead, the plaintiff (or the plaintiff's personal injury lawyer) and the defendant (or the defendant's insurance company) come to an agreement before the case is brought into a Calgary courtroom. This is called a "settlement," and it is the most common way for injury victims to collect compensation for their injuries.
Many Calgarians are Unnecessarily Wary of Personal Injury Settlements
Despite the fact that the vast majority of personal injury cases filed in Calgary end in settlements rather than trial awards, many Calgarians are under the mistaken impression that a settlement means somehow settling for less. There is a belief that settlements are always smaller than what would be awarded in a trial, and are simply a way for all of the lawyers involved to make cases go away quickly.
In reality, most settlements for personal injury cases in Calgary are agreed to because both sides are good at predicting what would be awarded in a trial, and can agree on a similar number that provides fair compensation for the injuries at stake. Avoiding the risk, time and expense of a trial is no small thing, either; a settlement reached out of court leads to faster and more certain payments than a trial award. Your personal injury lawyer will keep your best interests at heart and discuss your settlement and trial options to help you choose the best course possible for your specific case.
Don't Settle on Your Own: Contact a Calgary Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a family member have been injured in the Calgary area, don't try to settle your case with the insurance companies on your own! Contact an experienced Calgary personal injury lawyer who can provide the knowledge and insight you need to get the compensation you deserve.
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