The unfortunate truth is that nothing can undo an accident once it’s already happened. The effects may last a day or they may last a lifetime. However, if you have suffered an injury as the result of a preventable accident, you may be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault party through Ontario’s personal injury law. Compensation may not make everything alright again, but it may still be of help, especially if you have missed work or incurred other expenses as a result of your injury. If you are unsure if you have grounds to file a claim, you may seek free lawyer advice.
After your lawyer files a Statement of Claim with the provincial court, the at-fault party, or defendant, will be served a copy, at which point they may respond with a Statement of Defence. This is how a personal injury law case begins, and if this should happen, it is helpful to know what to expect next.
Once the lawsuit has begun, both sides will begin preparing their cases, and this starts with fact-finding. Your lawyer will collect medical records, insurance forms, police reports, and any other document pertaining to your injury that helps support your claim. You may be asked to submit to a medical examination by either your own lawyer or the defendant’s, or possibly both. All of the information gathered by both sides is presented at an examination for discovery.
The next stage of the case is a mandatory, three-hour mediation. During this stage, both parties, as well as their lawyers, will meet with a mediator. Many cases are settled out-of-court during the mediation process, where the mediator will do their best to find a resolution that is fair and reasonable to both parties. If an agreement is not reached during mediation, your personal injury law case will then go to trial.
A pre-trial conference is held several months before your trial begins, where a judge will analyze the case, helping both sides prepare for the trial itself. If at this stage there still remains no settlement between you and the defendant, then the trial will commence and a decision will be reached. If the decision is not favourable to you, your lawyer may help you appeal the case.
All of this may seem daunting, but if you have suffered a serious injury, it is your right to seek free lawyer advice on how to proceed, and fair and reasonable compensation might make transitioning back into everyday life a little easier. If you believe that you have a legitimate claim in a personal injury case, contact your local injury law firm today for free lawyer advice.