What to Expect in An Ontario Law Suit for
Compensation After an Accident
If you are the victim of an Ontario accident, you may need to start a lawsuit to show the insurance company you are serious about fair compensation for your injuries. An experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer can guide you through the legal process.
Ottawa accident lawyers Brenda and Richard will explain the legal process to you in detail, at every step of the way. We will carefully prepare you for your involvement in your Ontario accident case.
Want an overview of what to expect? Here are the steps you can expect to encounter on your way through the Ontario law suit process:
ONTARIO LAW SUIT STEP #1: Fact finding and legal research
- At this stage Ottawa accident lawyers Brenda and /or Richard will meet with you, review all of the facts surrounding how the accident happened and what your injuries are.
- We will review any documents you have in support of your case and collect names of witnesses.
- We will review your medical records and obtain written permission from you to obtain any medical or work records that are missing.
- We will also conduct research of the law to identify all of the claims available in your situation.
ONTARIO LAW SUIT STEP #2: Ontario Pleadings
The Statement of Claim
Brenda or Richard will draft the document that starts the Ontario law suit, called the “Statement of Claim”. This document sets out the amount of money you are claiming for your accident and all of the facts that support your entitlement to that money.
The Statement of Defence
The other party (usually the at-fault driver’s insurance company) will send us a statement of defence. We will review the other party’s factual contentions and defences, and provide you with advice.
We may wish to prepare a final pleading to reply to any of the factual contentions or defences raised by the defendant.
ONTARIO LAW SUIT STEP #3: Ontario Mediation
In many areas of Ontario, participation in a 3-hour mediation is mandatory. This requirement often comes early in the law suit, but can sometimes be delayed until after Step 4.
Work our firm will do for you in the mediation includes:
Selecting an Ottawa mediator and scheduling mediation
Mediators have different styles, techniques and price points. We will give you advice on good choices for your case and we will work with the opposing counsel to ensure an acceptable mediator is selected.
Statement of Issues or Mediation Brief
- This is the document we give to the other party’s lawyer and the mediator.
- Your mediation brief is an important document that makes a significant early impression in the law suit.
- We will excerpt key components of your medical records, police report, witness accounts and other evidence that tells a compelling story about your case.
- We will prepare you to attend the mediation and will attend with you.
- We will do our best to negotiate a favourable resolution to your case at mediation, but we will not sell your case short.
- The Court imposed requirement is for a 3-hour mediation, but they often last longer. We will allocate the time necessary to your case if it looks like a settlement is possible.
ONTARIO LAWSUIT STEP #4: Ontario Discovery
The “fact-finding” steps in a law suit are called “discovery”. (In the States this is called “deposition”.)
Ontario Affidavit of Documents
- All parties in an Ontario law suit have an obligation to list and provide copies of all documents that are relevant to the law suit in a sworn affidavit. Auger Hollingsworth will prepare the list for you, and will make requests for most of the documents for you.
- We will give you advice about what other documents you need to collect.
- In most accident cases the key documents are the medical records. Other important documents may be road or walkway maintenance records, vehicle repair records and your employment file if we are claiming a loss of income.
- We will also review the other parties’ affidavits of documents, which may include adjuster reports and other information relating to the insurance company’s investigation of your claim.
Examination for Discovery in Ontario
- We will schedule, prepare for and attend the examinations for discovery.
- In this step, each party is questioned under oath by the other parties’ lawyers. The examination take place in front of a court reporter and a transcript of evidence is prepared. No judge is present at this stage.
- If relevant questions are asked during the examination for discovery but the witness does not know the answer, the lawyers may agree that particular question can be answered in writing as an “undertaking”. Auger Hollingsworth will assist you in answering any undertakings given on your behalf and will ensure that opposing parties answer their undertakings.
ONTARIO LAWSUIT STEP #5: Preparation for Trial
All of the steps described above are part of Ottawa accident lawyers Brenda and Richard’s work-up to trial. In addition we will take the following steps:
- Identifying and interviewing any potential witnesses;
- Identifying whether any expert opinions would assist us and retaining and facilitating a report from those experts if appropriate; and
- Considering and undertaking any other potential fact gathering.
ONTARIO LAWSUIT STEP #6: Ontario Settlement Conference
This may be the first significant consideration of your case by a court official, a judge or a master. We will do the following:
- Schedule the settlement conference;
- Prepare the settlement conference brief. This is often referred to as the script for trial.
- Attend the settlement conference with you. We will present your case to the court and provide advice to you based on the court’s assessment of the case and any offer to settles exchanged at that conference.
ONTARIO LAWSUIT STEP #7: Trial
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Some of these steps will overlap. In addition to these steps, there can be interim proceedings called “motions“.
- We will consider bringing motions on your behalf if we feel a favourble outcome will shorten or strengthen your case.
- Motions can deal with simple issues such as whether one party has to produce a certain document to the other side.
- They can also deal with significant legal issues that effectively resolve the whole case.
In some parts of Ontario, including Ottawa, there are also meetings convened by the court called “case conferences”. These can occur at anytime, primarily to deal with issues such as scheduling. A typical case may have a number of case conferences which do often involve written submissions.
This overview is intended to provide general information about the typical law suit. We will discuss what to expect in your law suit when we meet in person or talk on the telephone.
Contact An Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer!
Ottawa accident lawyers Richard and Brenda are here to serve you. Please use our Contact Us form to request your FREE 1/2 hour consultation! Or call us at 613 233-4529.