5 Questions an Alberta Personal Injury Lawyer May Ask During the Initial Consultation

Nervous about your free consultation? Wondering what to expect? 

Believe it or not, your initial consultation with an Alberta personal injury lawyer will be a fairly straightforward affair. Here are some of the questions you can expect us to ask you. 

#1) What happened, and when did it happen? 

In Alberta you have 2 years past the date of the injury to file a claim in court. If you’re past the statute of limitations there’s nothing we can do for you.

Ideally, you’ll file your case much earlier. If possible, we recommend speaking to us before you speak to your insurance company, shortly after you receive medical treatment for your accident. This means evidence and witness accounts are much fresher and much less prone to disappearing.

The facts of the case, of course, also matter a great deal. If it looks like you may be partially at-fault for the accident we will have to evaluate how much of an impact your actions will have on the outcome of your case. We’ll have to evaluate the potential defendant’s conduct as well. 

#2) What injuries did you sustain?

Without injuries, there is no personal injury case. So we’ll need an extensive account of where and how you were hurt and how those injuries are impacting you right now. If your doctor has already told you how they are likely to impact you, we’ll need that information too.

We’ll want to see medical bills and records if you have them available to you at the time of your consultation. This will help us get a sense of the facts of the case. 

#3) What treatments have you received, and how quickly did you receive them?

The treatment you’ve received so far can help us properly evaluate your case, even if you haven’t reached maximum medical improvement yet. Certain factors may make a big difference. For example people who get treatment directly after their accidents tend to have stronger cases than those who wait for weeks before they go to the doctor. 

#4) Have you talked to the insurance company?

It’s usually better if you talk to a lawyer before you talk to the insurance company. If you’ve signed documents or accepted a settlement already we might not be able to help you. Even if you haven’t done either of these things we’ll need to know about any conversations you’ve already had.

If you haven’t talked to the insurance company yet, great! We can file your claim for you and communicate with them on your behalf. 

#5) Have you been able to work? 

If your accident keeps you from working then you should be entitled to compensation that covers your lost wages. If you’ve lost your ability to work then we should account for loss of income and earning capacity compensation. 

What to Bring to Your Free Consultation

Bring all photos, documents, medical records and bills, police reports, and insurance company communications that you’ve gathered since the accident. You should also bring the names and numbers of any witnesses who you may have gathered. 

Together, we can determine what your next steps should be. Remember, the consultation is absolutely free. We also work on contingency, so if we take your case you don’t have to worry about paying a retainer or an hourly rate.

About Donald I.M. Outerbridge

Donald became the Executive Director of Merchant Law Group LLP starting in 1993, nearly 30 years ago. His experience managing law firms at various levels and in multiple provinces across Canada goes back even further to 1981.