1. Gathering of Information
It’s very important that your personal injury lawyer starts to gather as much information as possible so that your injuries and claims can be properly presented to the court. For example, it’s important for your lawyer to obtain information about how your accident happened, the injuries you suffered, the supporting medical documentation, any financial information that deals with past, present and possible future economic losses, and any future medical or rehabilitation issues.
2. Starting the Legal Proceedings
In order for an action to commenced in the Ontario courts, a statement of claim must be prepared, filed in the courts, and served upon the defendant(s). This formal action must be commenced within two years of the date of the accident and must properly include an outline of the injuries sustained, and the compensation that one is claiming.
3. Examination for Discovery
An examination for discovery is an important step in the litigation process. It is an opportunity for each party to examine (question) under oath, the various parties to the action. At the end of the discovery, a transcript of the questions and answers will be made available and can be used at trial for the purposes of helping the proceedings.
One of the tools which lawyers use to foster a settlement is the mediation. The mediation is presided over by a mediator, who is a neutral third party who neither works for one side or the other. The job at mediation is to bring both parties together to bring forth a settlement.
5. License Appeal Tribunal (LAT)
Everyone involved in a car accident is entitled to Statutory Accident Benefits. These benefits are actually part of the compensation that one would receive in a Tort action. Therefore, making sure that your benefits have been properly applied for and received is a very important consideration. If a claim is submitted to your car insurer and for whatever reason it is denied, you have to apply to the License Appeal Tribunal to review your claim. The LAT makes decisions on applications and resolves disputes concerning compensation claims and licensing activities
6. Negotiation and Settlement
Most personal injury claims settle without proceeding to a trial. In many cases, your lawyer is able to negotiate and recover fair compensation for you. Trial is considered a last resort.
The Ontario court system prides itself on trying to resolve claims. If for whatever reason, your lawyer can’t negotiate a settlement with the insurance company prior to the expected trial, both parties will be ordered to attend in front of a judge for the purposes of trying to resolve the action. This is called a pre-trial.
8. Trial If a negotiation or pre-trial cannot be met than the matter will proceed to a trial. A trial is when all of the facts of the case are presented. A judge and or jury will make the final decisions regarding the matter.