Any injury cases, motor vehicle, slip and fall, malpractice, you can find yourself a lot of trouble by what you say to whom and when. What you say to the hospital or doctor(s) can be seen by the adjusters and the lawyers for the defendant.
You may think speaking to your doctor is entirely confidential…but in a lawsuit or injury claim it may not be.
You can start “putting your foot in your mouth” from the very first moment you call dial a claim to report your accident.
You can keep on “putting your foot in your mouth” by speaking to the officer who arrived at the scene or the ambulance drivers who take you to the hospital.
This can be harmful to your claim and may cause the insurance company to say you admitted facts that made you liable (responsible) for the accident. It may also cause the insurance company to say that the injury you complained of is something you already had before the accident.
There are very important reasons you don’t speak without legal advice regarding all of the above.
By the time you read is it may be too late for some mistakes already made, but by getting a lawyer now you may diminish or limit the unfortunate things you say in the future.
Make note…ICBC can often get liability wrong because of something you said.
Police can lay charges at the scene because of something you said. Doctors can misunderstand your description of the facts and once they’re written down, they can be hard to dispute. Doctors are not keen to admit that they got something you told them wrong. There are more reasons to have legal advice in an injury claim than you can imagine.
Your first interview is free, what’s the downside?
Get any lawyer you want, but do get one.
If you choose Howard Smith & Company, we will educate you about all this.
If you are being investigated by a police officer regarding an offence
You need to know Criminal First Aid;
Except for producing driver’s license and registration when stopped driving a car, you have no obligation to speak to police.
The Law in Canada is that “anything you say to a police officer may be used against you”.
However, no officer is ever permitted to say in court “he refused to speak to me”.
That means if you refuse to speak, it cannot harm you, but if you do speak, it may.
So why speak?
Many suspects try to speak, to talk their way out of trouble. You should know that most of the time, they talk their way into trouble.
If you are entirely innocent of any wrongdoing, which includes that you don’t know who “did it” or you don’t know anything about the crime, then speaking may be alright, but if the police suspects you, it may do no good anyhow.
So once again, why speak?
Probably 75% of criminal convictions arise from words “out of the mouth of the accused”. Once again, “why speak?”
For the sake of emphasis, I repeat, saying nothing (no comment) cannot harm you… saying anything may.
There are many other rules for dealing with officers.
Can they come into your house?
If they ask you to come with them, do you have to go?
If they want to search your house or car, do you consent?
If they want you to blow into a roadside breathalyzer, can you refuse?
At Howard Smith and Company, we have serious Criminal Defence Lawyers…serious lawyers for serious trouble.
There is no charge to call us, and no charge for the first interview, so what’s the downside?