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The New Simplified Procedure Rule and Chronic Pain In Ontario

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The New Simplified Procedure Rule and Chronic Pain In Ontario

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You don’t pay us unless we win your case. No Out of pocket expenses required.

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simplified procedure rule and chronic pain Himpro

In an effort to streamline cases of smaller monetary value involving chronic pain, the simplified procedure rule in Ontario was revised last year. Enacted in 2010, the Rule made it mandatory for civil cases in which a plaintiff claimed $100,000 or less in damages to use the Simplified Procedure. The desire was to limit costs for claims that exceeded the Small Claims Court monetary jurisdiction but were able to be resolved in a much more timely manner than using other courts.

Lack of Use

Unfortunately, many plaintiffs chose not to use the simplified procedure, especially in personal injury claims. Instead, they chose the Ordinary Procedure, not necessarily to evade the other procedure but because many accident victims suffer from chronic pain which made it difficult to keep the claims under $100,000. In addition, many accident victims file claims before they are aware of all the damages they suffered. Because it is difficult to determine who will develop chronic pain after an accident and who will not, the old Simplified Procedure rule and chronic pain did not mesh well together.

Simplified Procedure Rule and Chronic Pain

In an effort to promote its use, changes were made to the simplified procedure rule in Ontario. The goal was to make the procedure timely and cost-effective, especially for those who suffer from chronic pain. First, maximum claims were increased from $100,000 to $200,000 and a maximum of three experts may be used at trial. Costs are capped at $50,000 and the disbursement cap is $25,000. There is a strict limit of five days for the trial and examination-in-chief is conducted using affidavits.

One of the biggest changes was that jury trials were eliminated unless the claim included:

  • False imprisonment
  • Libel
  • Malicious arrest
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Slander

Those actions must follow the ordinary procedure rule.

Legal Concerns

Lawyers have expressed concerns about the changes, however. Although the simplified procedure rule in Ontario doubled the amount a claimant could receive, it still does not address how someone who suffers chronic pain could know what their actual damages were when they filed the claim. Although most personal injury claims will fall under the $200,000 limit, people who are severely injured and may suffer pain for the rest of their lives may not have their damages covered with a $200,000 award. Therefore, there are those who believe the simplified procedure rule and chronic pain may not be compatible.

Lack of Jury Trial

Many claimants report that they are not fond of the elimination of a jury trial. Experts say that a jury trial is fundamental to the concept of justice. Both sides may feel they have more of a chance of winning in a personal injury case if they can plead the case before a jury rather than a judge. Therefore, it is unlikely that many of those involved in an accident will agree to a simplified procedure if it means there can be no jury.

Subrogated Claims

In the past, many insurers agreed to a $100,000 settlement as the simplified procedure limited damages. However, with the increase to $200,000 more insurers may seek higher damages, especially if the person injured may develop chronic pain from their injuries. Since there is no way to know whose pain may become chronic, the simplified procedure rule and chronic pain sufferers could benefit from larger awards, but not awards so large that their pain can be managed well.

Short Time

The rule has only been in place for a year and it is difficult to determine whether it will increase the number of personal injury claims in Ontario, mostly because of the slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most experts do not believe the simplified procedure rule will have much impact on personal injury cases, especially those that may result in chronic pain. Personal injury claims require expert testimony regarding scene reconstruction, medical, psychological, and vocational issues as well as the loss of income or pain mitigation. The limit of three experts may not be enough to demonstrate that an injured person needs extensive care.

If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident and believe you may suffer from chronic pain, contact us today to arrange for a no-obligation consultation. You can schedule an appointment by calling or filling out the easy online form today. Our experts will guide you through the process to see if the simplified procedure is right for your needs.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader’s specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.

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Don’t delay discussing your matter with us to find out how to build a winning case.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

You don’t pay us unless we win your case. No Out of pocket expenses required.

Note: Your Privacy is Safe with us. We will never disclose your information to external parties.

Timing is Critical. Help is Free.

Don’t delay discussing your matter with us to find out how to build a winning case.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

You don’t pay us unless we win your case. No Out of pocket expenses required.

Note: Your Privacy is Safe with us. We will never disclose your information to external parties.

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Andrew CoutoAndrew Couto
23:10 21 Nov 23
I'm so happy I chose David as my lawyer. I spoke to a few lawyers before finding David and I noticed majority of them spoke to me in a way that felt demeaning or that my case wasn't big enough or important enough to take. One phone call with David and my opinion on lawyers changed. He spoke to me as an equal and made me feel as if my case was definitely important and that I deserved to be fairly compensated. The whole process was wonderful. From dealing with David's law clerk Ingrid whom is an amazing and kind woman to his legal assistant Melissa whom is another amazing kind and talented young woman. I was so stressed about this case but from day 1 they helped ease that stress and always answered all my questions promptly and respectfully. I couldn't believe David got me to mediation within 6 months of being cut off my LTD and got me a settlement way beyond my expectations. I can't say enough good things about this law firm but I guarantee you that if you need a lawyer to fight for you David is your guy! . Believe me when I say this is the law firm for anyone dealing with personal injuries especially LTD denial claims. Thank you so much to David, Ingrid and Melissa you truly don't know how much I appreciate all you did for me and how this will help me get back on track with my life. Keep helping others you guys are doing amazing work! I wish you all the best!
Rose RegazziRose Regazzi
21:15 11 Oct 23
I sustained a relatively painful injury, affecting me long term.I wouldn't otherwise had pursued it, as it involved a relatively large corporation, but felt it necessary to do so. However, many lawyers were daunted, with one, who actually referred me to HIMPRO.I was connected with Dan Holland, who reviewed the case, provided with me realistic expectations, sound advice and had a willingness to move forward and represent me.His calm and professional demeanor, brought me to a place of reassurance. His ease in addressing all facets of this process, clearly demonstrated a wealth of experience. There was never any hesitation, when being challenged, and felt my best interest was always in the forefront.This case has since been resolved, to my complete satisfaction.Without reservation, HIMPRO (and Dan Holland, in particular), would be the only firm I would recommend for these type of cases.
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