What are the stages of an Ontario personal injury lawsuit?
When we meet with a new client to discuss their personal injury lawsuit, we start by listening and gathering information. To make sure we have all the information needed to ensure maximum compensation, our lawyers then review all the documents and facts surrounding the accidents.
From there we can tell what they will need for our client immediately, in a month and in the future. We also start preparing in the event we need to track down witnesses, more medical records and schedule appointments to see top medical specialists.
If you are suffering from an injury from an accident, chances are you will need to hire an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer. Once you have chosen the best lawyer for you, they will notify the defendant (i.e. the person or company who you plan to sue) that you intend to pursue a claim and put them on notice.
There are several steps in a personal injury lawsuit:
What is a statement of claim?
Sometimes, filing a statement of claim is all it takes to get the other side to meet to discuss a fair compensation settlement amount. Often times, this is not the case and your injury lawyer must commence a lawsuit.
Your personal injury lawyer will then file a “Statement of Claim” with the Court office and the defendant is served a copy of the Statement of Claim. At this point, the defendant typically hires their own lawyer and will file a “Statement of Defence”.
What is examinations for discovery?
Both sides then need to prepare. Your personal injury lawyer will help you collect all medical records, police reports, insurance forms etc. Both sides then exchange their documents. Once both sides have reviewed the documents, they meet to review each other’s materials at the “examinations for discovery”.
At the examinations for discovery, each party is questioned about the accident and the case by the other party’s lawyer. Do not be nervous about this, as your lawyer will help you prepare for this meeting and will be there with you.
Experienced injury lawyers will also arrange to have top medical professionals examine you. The defendant’s lawyer will also have the right to have you examined by their medical professionals. At any point throughout this process, both parties can discuss settlement offers. This is done through the lawyers and you will be kept informed every step of the way.
What is a mediation?
The next stage of an Ontario personal injury lawsuit is the “mediation” stage. Most accident lawsuits are settled at mediation. A mediator is chosen and both sides sit down to settle the case fairly.
What is a pre-trial conference?
If this meeting is not successful, the next stage of an injury lawsuit is the “pre-trial conference”. The pre-trial conference occurs before a judge and is typically a few months before your scheduled trial. At this stage of your trial, the judge will give input about the strengths and weaknesses of your injury case.
Typically most Ontario personal injury lawsuits are settled before trial; however, if after going through all the stages no agreement has been made, you will be given a trial date and you will go to court. After the trial both sides have the right to appeal the trial decision.
The stages of an Ontario personal injury lawsuit are quite defined and clear. The length of time they take is not. Unfortunately personal injury lawsuits can take an undetermined amount of time, depending on the severity of the injuries, cooperation from all parties, available court times and plenty of other factors.
An experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer will be able to discuss with you how long your case may take to settle and let you know in advance what lies ahead in your personal injury lawsuit. Contact a personal injury lawyer for advice that pertains to your specific case.
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If you have a question about a personal injury lawsuit in Ontario, please contact us free of charge. We would be happy to help.
We understand, we care and we’re here to help and our track record proves it.