ELI BAKER LAW OFFICE
THIRD FLOOR, 119 NEW COVE ROAD
ST. JOHNíS, NEWFOUNDLAND, A1A 2C5
Tel: 709.738.7897   Fax: 709.738.7909
Toll Free: 1-877-354-2529
E-Mail: Eli "at" BakerLawOffice "dot" ca

Newfoundland Personal Injury Lawyer
Call 709-738-7897 or Toll Free 1-877-354-2529

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If you have been in a car accident, or a slip and fall, or someone beat you up - you should call a lawyer to talk about your rights.  All too often people who have been hurt by someone else's negligence don't receive the compensation they deserve. 

Eli Baker is an Accident Injury Lawyer in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.  Eli Baker Law Office is a boutique law office located in the heart of the historic capital city - St. John's.  We provide a wide range of legal services including personal injury representation, and civil litigation.
 

MOST RECENT QUESTIONS
 

I was a pedestrian when I was hit by a driver that wasn't insured.  Is there any way to get compensation?
The character of Spock in the popular show Star Trek used to say "like to think there always are possibilities."  Spock should have been a lawyer. I also like to think there are always possibilities.  In this case, if a pedestrian is hit by a car, and is injured, and the driver of the car is at fault and has no insurance, there are several possibilities for a personal injury claim.  

The pedestrian might be able to sue their own car insurance (if they have it) despite the fact that they were not driving at the time of the injury.  If the pedestrian doesn't have car insurance they may be able to use a publically funded insurance fund called the "Facility Association" to get compensation for their injuries they sustained when they were hit by a car.

There are times when you can even find insurance where you least expect it.  For instance, if you live at home and are a dependent of your mom or dad you could even get help from their insurance - even if you're not on the policy... there are always possibilities!

 

How do I choose my lawyer for my personal injury claim?
I received a call a few days ago from a person who was just in a car accident at an intersection.  The accident was not a small one, and the person calling told me he was suffering from whiplash.

Apparently the insurance companies had started calling this person to get information about how the accident happened and about the "soft tissue injuries" sustained in the vehicle accident - he was driving a pick-up truck.  This victim realized (as most do) that he should get a lawyer.

The way this person actually put the question to me was close to this: "Why should I choose you over Ches Crosbie or Roebothan McKay and Marshall?  They are bigger."  I could tell that the caller was having a bit of a joke on me - but that he was seriously considering retaining me, and he was asking something for which he wanted an answer - and sometimes people use humor to get to an uncomfortable question without offence -  in this case I thought he was asking me "Why you over them?".

Answering the question "Are you a better lawyer than Glen Roebothan?" is easy.  The answer is "NO".  And I am absolutely confident that Glen Roebothan would answer the same question about some other lawyer in his field in the same fashion.  But that was not the question my caller asked.  My caller was asking (I think) "Why should I choose you over another lawyer?" - This IS a hard question to answer.

I refer potential clients to other lawyers all the time.  If I do not have the skill set to complete the task required, or I feel another lawyer is better suited - I will recommend another lawyer.  That said, in the case of personal injuries sustained in car accidents - in most cases I will want to keep the client.  But it is always the client's choice as to which lawyer to pick.  My advice to any potential client - including this caller - was and will always be "Call 4 or 5 lawyers, get the lawyer on the phone, talk to the lawyer for 10 or 15 minutes, and then make your choice as to who you want to represent you in your personal injury case.  If you can't get the lawyer on the phone right then and there, ask when you can talk directly to the lawyer and make a telephone meeting, or a meeting in person.  Get a sense for the lawyer and if you are comfortable with them."

Remember, getting hurt in a car accident is a very serious thing.  Choosing your lawyer to represent you about your car accident and bodily injury is just a serious a thing as the car accident itself.

 

If I get in a car accident what should I do at the scene?
Legally speaking - to help your personal injury claim, what you should do at an accident scene depends on the situation.  For example, if you are being carted off in an ambulance there is not a heck of a lot you can do at the scene - mainly because an ambulance is taking you away from the scene!

If you are NOT being taken away from your accident scene by way of ambulance, then there are a number of things you should do right away - the obvious one is write down the time, place, and day.  Get the name of the driver who caused the car accident, and anyone else that was a witness to the auto accident (getting names of witnesses - this is VERY important.)

Get their insurance information. 

If you have a camera, PLEASE take pictures - a cell phone will do.  When you take the pictures make sure you are far enough away that you can see the whole scene.  You can take a few close-up pictures of the damage to the vehicles, but believe it or not, close-ups don't help much.  The wide shots are much better for preserving HOW a car accident happened - you need to record the situation in pictures so no one can say anything different later on.  Take many pictures from many angles.

Do not leave this up to the police to do - the police have very little interest in run-of-the-mill car accidents.  Generally speaking they do not do a very good job of collecting any information at all.  Make sure to get the police file number though.

DO NOT answer questions about how you feel.  Leave answering those questions for later, when you know the totality of your injuries.

When you get home, immediately write down a statement for yourself as to exactly how the car accident happened and write down in detail how your injuries are progressing, and what they are.

After all this - call your personal injury lawyer.
 

I live on Fogo Island.  Do I have to get a lawyer here or can I choose you?
This is a difficult question to answer.  The absolute answer is that you can have a lawyer of your choosing anywhere in Newfoundland - distance doesn't matter.  You can live in Cook's Harbour and have a lawyer in Burin.  But the question you are really asking is "is it any good to get you, or should I choose a closer lawyer to represent me".

My experience is that you should get a lawyer that knows the area of law well, who lives close to where you are.  If you live on Fogo Island and have suffered a personal injury due to a car accident or fall or some other event, I would choose a personal injury lawyer that lived close to the area of Newfoundland that you live - perhaps Gander or Grand Falls.  That said, I am sure that my firm, or any other firm in St. John's Newfoundland would be happy to take your personal injury case.

How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?
Lawyers are expensive - that's the bottom line.  In broad terms here's how it works:  If you are injured in a car accident in Newfoundland and Labrador our "Lawyer's rules" allow us to charge a fee based on something called "contingency".  This means that rather than charge an hourly rate, we will take a percentage of what we collect for your injury.  Most law firms charge somewhere between 20 and 33% of the amount collected for your settlement as the fee (as well as the HST on the lawyer's fee).  Most of the time, for car accidents where there is a personal injury, my firm expects to charge 25% of the settlement quantum plus the HST on that quantum.  If there are costs associated with investigating your injury, as well as other costs (filing, copies etc) - these charges also come from the settlement for your personal injury claim.  Most of the time we can get these costs paid by the other side before settlement of your personal injury claim.