If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury in a car accident or other incident, you may have questions. At Moustarah and Company we understand this is a stressful time, so we have compiled our top Frequently Asked Questions to help you get the answers and support you need.
What makes Moustarah & Company different from other Personal Injury law firms?
For almost two decades, Moustarah & Company has been successfully advocating countless settlements for clients. Our top ratings and reviews are a testament to our team’s passion and commitment; we ensure professionalism, expert knowledge, and compassion are an essential part of every clients’ experience with us. Our vast experience with many different types of personal injury cases gives us an edge to provide you with the best legal advice no matter the unique circumstances of your case.
We offer more than just injury law. Our criminal law experience is an indispensable asset working hand in hand with our personal injury practice. Most personal injury claims do not go to trial, but when it becomes necessary, you want the assurance of an experienced trial lawyer on your side. We recognize that a trial can be very stressful which is why we will work closely with you, staying sensitive to your needs, and advising you through every step.
I have been involved in a car accident; what should I do?
Your health and safety is the most vital thing to consider first. Always call 911 for emergency medical treatment if your injuries are serious. The direct course of action you take after being involved in a motor vehicle accident can have a significant impact on the outcome of a personal injury claim. Here are 5 critical steps to protect your rights to fair and full compensation:
- Inform the police: File a report with the police and retain a copy for your records. You may be able to report your incident online and still obtain the required report and police file number. Police reports are often critical in a personal injury claim.
- Exchange information only: Immediately get the name and contact information from the other driver and any witnesses if possible. It is important not to speculate on the cause of the accident or admit fault. Seek legal counsel prior to discussing the details, potential causes and circumstances of the accident with others.
- Document the Details: Take photos of the scene, property damage and any notable injuries to yourself and others with you. Immediately journal as many details as possible including time place, weather and lighting conditions, traffic signs and signals at the time of the accident. It is advisable not to trust these details to memory.
- Request a free Consultation with a lawyer before speaking with an insurance adjuster: If you have been in a car accident, your insurance company will need to be informed. However, you can request a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer at Moustarah and Company first. If you speak or meet with an adjuster, they will take your statement and the wording can be designed to lower your payout in the future. You should not feel pressured to sign any documents or speak with the other party’s insurance adjustor before consulting with one of our personal injury lawyers.
- Seek medical attention quickly: Even if your injuries do not require immediate hospitalization, it is advisable to see your doctor as soon as possible for a written evaluation. You will want to keep a log of all your medical treatments and consultations with health care professionals as well as any medical reports.
What if it is unclear who is at fault in my Motor Vehicle Accident? Can I still receive coverage for my medical and other expenses?
Absolutely. You may be entitled to what is commonly referred to as “no fault benefits” in the province of Alberta under Section B of the Insurance Act of the Automobile Accident Insurance Benefits Regulation. These benefits are
a contractual part of a driver’s insurance premiums and so individuals involved in a motor vehicle accident are entitled to these benefits under specific circumstances. Contact our lawyers at Moustarah and Company to discuss your eligibility to Section B
The Insurance company is offering me a settlement directly. Should I accept?
You are not obligated to report to, speak with, or sign any documents for the insurance adjuster of the other party of an accident you were involved in. Receiving experienced legal advice can make a substantial difference in your
final settlement because a personal injury lawyer works for you and is advocating for your rights. Many people who have experienced a personal injury are not aware that what is being offered is considerably less than the
compensation they rightfully deserve.
An insurance company may seek to deal with you directly with the objective of processing a claim quickly and with the smallest payout possible. Your focus should be on healing from your injuries, not dealing with pressure to quickly settle with an insurance company. At Moustarah and Company, we will handle all communications with the insurance company and lawyers for the other party – always acting in your best interests. Even if you have been directly communicating with an insurance adjuster this far and an offer is on the table, we would be pleased to provide an obligation-free consultation to evaluate the circumstances of your claim and whether the offer is reasonable.
Can I represent myself in my personal injury case?
Many people wonder if it is necessary to retain a personal injury lawyer to represent them. As an Albertan, it is your legal right to consider self-representation when bringing a claim for personal injury damages. Although this is certainly your right to choose, it is prudent to consider the challenges, upfront costs and complications involved with self-representation. So what are the advantages of choosing legal representation over self-representation?
- Benefit of having someone on your side – insurers don’t work for you!
It is in a personal injury lawyer’s best interest to work hard for you in obtaining the best possible and just outcome for your claim. It is in an insurance company’s best interest to settle quickly, and with as low a payout as possible. A personal injury lawyer is able to use their full understanding of the law to maximize your compensation. Especially, if your injuries are significant, you will want someone fighting for you so that you will have long term access to the support you need and receive your full rights to compensation. Proper legal representation can properly advise you if an offer by an insurance company or defense council is reasonable.
- Benefit of peace of mind – focus on recovery
Your physical, emotional and mental wellness is the most vital thing to focus on following a personal injury. The strain of dealing with legal paperwork, research, communication with multiple parties and proceedings can often
add stress and impede the recovery process. One of the most rewarding aspects of our work at Moustarah and Company is knowing our expertise, passion and experience is helping victims of personal injury focus on their
recovery while we fight for them.
- Benefit of contingency fees – retaining legal counsel can be less costly than you think
Our clients have the advantage of accessing the legal advice they need without upfront costs. We will carry the weight of all the many legal expenses that you would otherwise pay out of pocket and we get paid when you get
paid. In other words, a contingency fee is based on reaching a settlement agreement. Don’t be taken advantage of insurance companies and defense councels with deep pockets. They know, as legal expenses add up, time is on
their side and can use this against you. A good personal injury lawyer will ensure that the leverage of resources and balance of power are not unfairly being used against you because of mounting legal expenses and lengthy
- Benefit of protection – lack of legal knowledge can leave you vulnerable The legal system is very complex
Particularly in personal injury cases where fault must be determined, you will want a solid legal team behind you to minimize any vulnerabilities and potential liabilities that could be used against
you. Sadly many personal injury victims have unknowingly said or done something that damaged their case and could have been easily averted with proper legal guidance. Self-representation may seemingly have benefits, but it
is not an easy journey. If you are considering self-representation, we invite you to consult first with Moustarah and Company to discuss your options and make an informed decision.
Can I file a personal injury claim if it is a work related injury covered by WCB?
The workers compensation board (WCB) provides compensation for employees regardless of who or what was determined the cause of injury. Typically it is not possible to sue for worksite or employment related injuries.
However, if your work related injuries are not covered by Alberta WCB legislation or you believe that you may have a claim over and above the WCB compensation, we highly encourage you to contact our office for a free
I’ve heard that posting on social media can harm my case. Is that true?
A social media post could cost you thousands of dollars in personal injury payments even if it’s not about the car accident or incident you were involved in. Insurance companies often investigate social media posts to find pictures
and wording that may undermine your statements about your injuries and capacity. They may use your posts – about almost anything – to make it appear as if you are not as badly injured as you claim. What may seem to you
like an innocuous photo can be grossly taken out of context and used against you. We advise all of our clients to stay off social media while their case is ongoing– or at the very least think carefully before you post.
I’m concerned with legal fees but want to be properly represented. Will you still take my case?
At Moustarah & Company, you come first. We will not charge a fee until we win or settle your case. We invite you to contact us today to schedule a free, initial consultation. During this meeting, you will receive our legal opinion about your case, but you are under no obligation to hire us. We use contingency fees which means fees are contingent upon a successful outcome in your case. You are not required to pay up-front and will not be required to pay many out of pocket expenses prior to your settlement so that you can focus on recovering.
Is there a time limit to submit my personal injury claim?
If you wish to file a claim for injuries or damages caused to yourself or your property, for example an assault or a car accident, the time limit is generally 2 years from the date of injury. There may be extenuating circumstances
and we encourage you to seek legal counsel if you believe this is the case for you. At times victims of a personal injury are not certain whether their injuries are significant enough to pursue filing a claim. We always encourage seeking expert medical advice, keeping in mind that long term impacts can not always
be fully known immediately following an accident. Gather as much evidence and medical documentation as possible. It is of no risk to you to seek an obligation-free consultation with us to discuss the warrants of your case.
How can I know how much my claim is worth?
This a very complex question which is why legal advice is imperative – each situation is unique and will vary depending on type of injury, loss of income and a significant number of other factors including the impact to dependants, spouses and parents. This can be particularly complex in the case of wrongful death. Some of the most common criteria that our personal injury lawyers can evaluate when considering your claim value is:
- Pain and suffering including physical, mental and emotional trauma
- Injury type
- Out of pocket medical care expenses
- Wage or job loss
- Future care requirements
- Loss of capacity for daily tasks (frequently referred to as housekeeping)
With legal counsel on your side you can be assured of proper consultation with expert medical and occupational experts to properly ascertain what compensation you are fully entitled to.
How long will it take before I receive my settlement?
This depends mostly on how quickly you recover from your injuries. The insurance company may attempt to settle your file quickly, in order to reduce the amount of money they pay you. This may happen while you are still affected by your injuries and before your doctor can assess how your injuries may affect you in the future. At Moustarah and Company we will ensure we have a clear determination of the outcome of your personal injuries before a
settlement amount is reached. This process may take some time, but it is well worth it.
Once your injury claim is settled, it is not possible to reopen your claim. It is important to determine the full extent of the effects of your injury and how it may affect your earning capacity and enjoyment of life in the future. Regardless of the length of your claim, you will not be required to pay us any fees and legal expenses along the way until your case is properly settled. Once your settlement agreement is reached it typically takes approximately 6
weeks for clients to receive their payment.
What if I am not satisfied with my settlement offer?
We are dedicated to advocating for our clients so they receive the appropriate compensation they are entitled to for the circumstances of their case. If you receive a settlement offer you are not satisfied with, we can work with you to
negotiate a counteroffer based on the evidence available. For this reason, we strongly urge our clients to properly seek medical attention, document their injuries and health impacts, and journal as many details as possible immediately following an incident.
Still have questions?
We are proud to offer free consultations for our services on an initial visit with us. We welcome your questions and care about our clients. We encourage you to not suffer alone in your personal injury and with the many questions
you may have. You are under no obligation so it is risk-free for you. We are also proud to serve several municipalities and surrounding areas. We are willing to provide flexible options to communicate with you in whatever way is comfortable and even can support you in many languages. Connect with us today – we are on your side.