Avoid Mistakes When Hiring an Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer

            If you have suffered a serious motor vehicle accident, pedestrian accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident or slip-and-fall you may be looking for an Ottawa personal injury lawyer to help you claim the compensation you need and deserve.  Choosing the right personal injury lawyer is a very important part of the process.  It is very important to make the right decision at the outset of your case.  Although it is possible to do so, it is very difficult to change personal injury lawyers part way through your process.

Here are some very common mistakes to avoid when choosing your Ottawa personal injury lawyer:

 

            1.         Hire an injury lawyer who “drops in” to your hospital room following your injury.

It is increasingly common for personal injury lawyers, or people who work for them, to troll the halls of the trauma unit at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus or the Rehabilitation Center on Smyth Road looking for clients.  You should be very suspicious of any lawyer, or lawyer representative, who approaches you in the hospital and attempts to sign you up.  This is a practice that is frowned upon in the legal profession.  It is also a signal that the lawyer may be seeking to take advantage of your vulnerability.  While you are in the hospital you are unlikely to be able to do the research required in order to make the correct choice of Ottawa personal injury lawyer.

 

For example, while you are in the hospital you may not have access to the internet or if you do it may be on your hand-held device only.  A thorough investigation of personal injury lawyer would include a review of that lawyer’s web presence to see if that lawyer provides information about past cases, references and other resources.

 

            2.         Choose an Ottawa personal injury lawyer whose business card is handed to you by hospital staff.

Although this is less common in Ottawa than in other locations like Toronto, unfortunately, there is hospital staff who have arrangements with Ottawa personal injury lawyers to provide their details and to sign up patients in hospital.  Typically these relationships involve a kickback [monetary or in gifts or trips] to the hospital staff making the referral.  My own clients have received this type of approach from hospital staff and it is certainly a significant concern for the same reason that it is a concern when a lawyer approaches you himself or herself in the hospital.

 

            3.         Choose an Ottawa personal injury lawyer with a general practice who does not have a focus on personal injury.

Personal injury is a specialized area of law with many small particularities.

A lack of familiarity with the requirements of personal injury law, including statutory accident benefit law, can result in significant detriment to your case.  These lawyers may not have the knowledge to develop your damages [i.e. the amount of money you receive] as well as an experienced personal injury lawyer would.  It is of vital importance that the level of expertise of your personal injury be carefully assessed.

 

4.         Hire an Ottawa personal injury lawyer without a detailed consultation.

If you are asked to sign a retainer agreement or other contract without having had a thorough interview by the personal injury lawyer you should be concerned.  In order to assess the likelihood of success for the dollar value of a personal injury case a lawyer really must sit down with you and review your case in detail.  Sometimes it’s possible for this to happen on the telephone, and that may be preferable when you are from an outlying region and want to make a decision promptly.  However, if the contract comes first and the consultation comes second you should be concerned.

For more information about hiring an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer call Brenda Hollingsworth at (613) 860‑4529.

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