What Are My Legal Rights After an Auto Accident?
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you are entitled to assistance at the scene of the accident, and you deserve the best legal representation as you recover from your injuries.
Motor vehicle collisions are one of the leading causes of death from unintentional or negligent acts in British Columbia, and they create billions in health care costs each year. Not only do motor vehicle accidents place you, your passengers, and drivers of other vehicles at risk, thousands of pedestrians in B.C. are also injured by motor vehicles each year.
In fact, high-risk driving in B.C. contributes to an average of 143 deaths annually due to speeding or reckless behavior. Human condition causes like fatigue and intoxicated driving, as well as human actions like failing to use turn signals and improper passing, are cited as the leading cause of traffic fatalities. The total cost to the B.C. healthcare system is approximately $8.8 billion per year.
Klein Lawyers has advocated for motor vehicle accident victims in Vancouver and surrounding areas for over 20 years. Our firm includes an experienced team of auto accident lawyers, paralegals, and investigators working to make sure you are treated fairly by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) and receive the compensation you have a right to recover.
Your Rights and Responsibilities at the Scene
After an accident, the drivers involved are legally required to remain at the scene of the collision. This means that you have the right to obtain certain information from the parties involved in the accident under B.C. law.
The Motor Vehicle Act indicates that you are entitled to receive the name and address of all the drivers involved and the registered owners of each vehicle. If a peace officer arrives at the scene of the accident and requests information from the drivers involved, the parties have a duty to give all available information to identify the driver at the time of the accident. You are also entitled to detailed information regarding the liability insurance or responsibility for each vehicle.
A motorist who fails to stay at the scene of an accident may face criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada as well as the Motor Vehicle Act of British Columbia. Penalties include loss of drivers’ license, as well as fines and potential jail time.
Your Rights After the Collision
Dealing with the consequences of a vehicle collision can be stressful and frustrating. It is easy to forget to ask for certain information or know what you’re supposed to do at each step of the claims process.
Typically, it is important to collect as much relevant information as you can immediately after a collision. This may include images of vehicle or property damages, the peace officer’s reports, ICBC record information, subsequent medical treatment records, and any other data that you are legally entitled to receive.
Because claims adjusters do not have your best interests in mind, hiring a lawyer is important for pursuing full compensation after a car accident. When you have a dedicated auto accident lawyer on your side, you can rest assured that your interests are represented and you will have someone fighting on your behalf to ensure that you get the compensation you need for your medical expenses, replacement of property and lost wages. Under certain circumstances, your lawyer may also seek additional damages for pain, suffering, and mental anguish as a result of the crash. The legal process must take its course, but a lawyer will be able to help you through the often complex process.
In addition, as the ICBC notes, courts usually have the final say about liability and fault after a motor vehicle accident when there are appeals or disputes. This means that hiring a lawyer is crucial in order to determine how regulations and statutes such as the Motor Vehicle Act and the Criminal Code of Canada, among others laws, define liability and shape your legal rights after an accident.
Most people who are injured in a motor vehicle accident do not immediately know their rights, nor do they know how the injury claims process works. An experienced legal team will understand that and will work hard on your behalf to explain how the process will proceed. They will gather all of the important documentation, investigate the accident, and work to seek the full compensation you are owed.
Don’t trust your case to just any lawyer. Make sure to select experienced, compassionate legal counsel that has a track record of successfully handling car accident claims in British Columbia
Contact Us Now for Help with Your Car Accident Claim
Klein Lawyers will advocate for you by actively negotiating settlements, pushing the claims process forward, and by making sure you are providing and receiving all of the data necessary to maximize your recovery and defend your rights.
Our legal team consists of over 50 professionals, including a Motor Vehicle Accident Support Team. We charge fees only if we are successful in securing a settlement or court award in your case. Our team is skilled at assessing the facts of a case and will be able to determine what are likely to be the best claims to file in your situation. While you focus on your physical recovery and deal with the expenses and lost wages resulting from an accident, our lawyers will move quickly to secure evidence and pursue proper compensation on your behalf.
Contact us today by phone or through our online live chat or web form submission. We are also happy to schedule an in-person meeting with members of the Klein Lawyers team in our Vancouver offices to discuss your options.
At Klein Lawyers, we have represented injured people across Canada in single claims and in class-action lawsuits. We are committed to providing the best representation possible while securing the compensation you may be owed.