A resident of Ontario can follow either a simple or a more complex system, following involvement in a motor vehicle accident. The simple system allows for the filing of a personal injury claim. The more complex of the two systems involves pursuing a lawsuit.
How the claim should be submitted?
A driver and policy holder submit the claim to the appropriate insurance company. Each of Ontario’s insurance companies has the right to set its own timeline, regarding the time allowed for submission of a claim form. The policy holder must meet the company’s deadline, in order to file a personal injury claim.
Following that submission, negotiations commence. The negotiations focus on the claimant’s out-of-pocket expenses, the claimant’s lost wages and the general damages. Damages caused by the victim’s pain and suffering fall under the heading of general damages. Understand that Canada has put a limit on the amount of money that any accident victim can claim for his or her pain and suffering. Sometimes a victim’s injury is not catastrophic, but it might be considered severe. In such a case, that same victim might elect to initiate a lawsuit.
Process followed by someone that has initiated a lawsuit
The first step involves finding and hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in Halifax. That could be the step taken by an accident victim that has chosen to sue the “at-fault” party. The lawyer should send a statement of claim to the defendant. Then, the defendant responds by sending a statement of defense.
Next both parties attend a 3-hour mediation session. If the 2 parties do not reach an agreement at the end of those 3 hours, a discovery session gets scheduled. Next, the pre-trial discovery takes place. A settlement conference takes place following that discovery session. The 2 parties have the chance to reach an agreement during that conference. If no agreement has been reached, the lawsuit proceeds to the stage where a trial gets held.
The jury hears the testimony and issues a verdict. That does not always end the complex process. If the jury supports an increase in the size of the pain and suffering damages for the plaintiff, then the accident victim has no reason to continue with the lawsuit. Of course, the defendant might feel that the defense statement had not been properly addressed during the trial. In that case, the defendant might issue an appeal.
By the same token, it is possible that the jury could deny the plaintiff’s request for an increased size in the damages for pain and suffering. In that case, the same plaintiff could decide to file for an appeal. In other words, both sides would have the chance to appeal the jury’s decision.