Understanding Ontario Personal Injury Lawsuit Steps

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      Personal Injury

      Understanding Ontario Personal Injury Lawsuit Steps

      Understanding Ontario Personal Injury Lawsuit Steps

      If you’ve been injured in an accident in Ontario, there are many steps you’ll need to follow if you plan to file a personal injury lawsuit.

      Below you’ll learn about what to expect after your accident and how to move forward with your suit.

      Receiving Compensation After Your Accident

      After an accident in Ontario, filing a lawsuit is sometimes necessary to prove to the insurance company that you intend to do everything you can to receive fair compensation for your injuries. It’s best to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the legal process. A lawyer will ensure that you get as much compensation as you are entitled to.

      Step 1: Fact Finding and Research

      During the fact finding stage, you’ll meet with your lawyer who will gather facts about the accident and find out exactly how your injuries were acquired. Bring any documents you have regarding your case, including medical records and the names and contact information for any witnesses. Your lawyer will help you find claims that apply to your situation.

      Step 2: Pleadings

      The pleadings stage includes filing a statement of claim, a statement of defense, and a reply.

      The Statement of Claim is written by your lawyer. It explains how much you are claiming for your accident and discusses specific facts that entitle you to the claim. Once this is sent to the other party, their insurance company will respond with a statement of defense. Your lawyer will then review the facts they provide and discuss with you the best way to proceed. Your lawyer may also respond with a final pleading in reply to factual contentions the defendant has made.

      Step 3: Mediation

      In some locations, all sides are required to be part of a 3 hour mediation (though they can sometimes last longer). If this applies to you, your lawyer will choose an Ontario mediator whose style, technique and pricing is best for your case. Your lawyer will also work with the opposing counsel to make sure the mediator is acceptable to all parties, and schedule your mediation.

      Your lawyer will then draw up a mediation brief and present it to the other lawyer and the mediator. This document will tell the story of your case through medical records, police reports, witness statements and additional significant evidence.

      Your lawyer will also help you prepare for mediation and attend the meeting with you, helping you to negotiate an agreeable and fair resolution to the case.

      Step 4: Discovery

      During the discovery step, relevant documents are exchanged between both sides. Important documents usually include road maintenance records, medical records, vehicle repair records, and employment records if you are claiming loss of income. Your lawyer will typically request these documents for you.

      After this, an examination will happen where each party is questioned under oath by the other party’s lawyer while a court reporter creates a transcript. There is no judge present during examinations. If you don’t know the answer to a question, it can sometimes be answered in writing, which is known as an undertaking.

      Step 5: Trial Preparation

      To help you prepare for trial, your lawyer will identify and interview any witnesses, determine whether expert opinions could help your case and contact experts if necessary, and gather any additional facts that might be needed.

      Step 6: Settlement Conference

      During the settlement conference, a judge will consider your case. Your lawyer will schedule the conference, prepare briefs, and attend the settlement conference with you, where he or she will present your case. After this conference, your lawyer will be able to offer you advice based on the court’s response to your case.

      After this, your case will go to trial. It’s important to keep in mind that many of the steps above will overlap and may be interrupted by motions that deal with small issues, such as a party needing to present a document to the other side.

      Some motions address more significant issues and can sometimes fully resolve your case at any point. As long as you communicate with your lawyer throughout the process, you should know what to expect.

      Now that you’ve learned about the steps in a personal injury lawsuit, find out more by downloading our free personal injury recovery kit, or contact us for a free consultation.

      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.