Common Steps in a Personal Injury Case
It's never pleasant to imagine suffering a personal injury; however, in the unfortunate case that one occurs, it's important to know you have the option of hiring an Ottawa personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for your injury. Though every personal injury case is innately unique, here are general steps every plaintiff can expect to encounter:
If you've decided to hire an Ottawa personal injury lawyer your first step will be meeting with him or her to review your case. During this meeting, the lawyer will make sure the claim is legitimate. In Ontario, most personal injury cases are done on a contingency basis, so lawyers won't often accept cases that don't sound promising. The client can also take this time to ask any questions they may have.
Gathering of Facts
Your personal injury lawyer will collect all the necessary documents and information that pertain to your claim. This may include medical records, employment information, receipts, photographs, contacting witnesses, etc.
Statement of Claim
Once the facts have been gathered, your lawyer will issue a document called a "Statement of Claim" which states your case and the compensation you are asking for.
Once the lawsuit has begun, both sides can agree to use a mediator at any point. In fact, in many areas a three-hour mediation is actually mandatory. During this time a mediator will try to settle the case. If the plaintiff and the defendant cannot agree on a settlement during the first mediation they can try to set up another one before trial.
Examination for Discovery: During this procedure, the lawyer for each party will ask the plaintiff, defendant, and other parties to answer questions about the case under oath. The purpose of this procedure is to promote settlement.
It's very rare for a personal injury case to make it to trial; it's estimated that over 90 percent of personal injury cases in Ontario are settled. However, if your case does go to trial, the facts evidence and witnesses that your Ottawa personal injury lawyer has collected will be presented and a judge or jury will decide on compensation.
Though we often think of hiring a lawyer as a lengthy and expensive option, pursuing a personal injury claim is different than other cases. Not only can you retain your lawyer on a contingency basis, your case is also very likely to settle before trial. Though it may not make up for the painful situation, seeking compensation for a personal injury can help provide monetary relief during a difficult time.