For years those Ontario residents that failed to reach a settlement, following a period of negotiations could elect to present their arguments in a courtroom setting. Now, though, any resident that ends up in such a situation lacks the ability to present his or her case before a jury. In other words, each of them has been deprived of the chance to have his or her argument heard in court.
So, if an unsettled dispute cannot get resolved in a courtroom, what avenue does Ontario’s legal system provide for disputing parties that seek a resolution? Ontario’s License Appeals Tribunal (LAT) has given disputing parties an available avenue. That Tribunal will hear arguments from both parties in an unsettled accident benefit dispute.
Problems with an LAT-dependent system
In a courtroom, the jury listens to the arguments made by the injury lawyers in Trenton during the hearing, and then the jurors consult with each other and try to reach a verdict. On rare occasions, a jury might deliberate for a couple days. Normally, though, it arrives at a verdict within a period of less than 24 hours.
Once the jurors have arrived at a verdict, the plaintiff and defendant return to the courtroom. Then both sides hear the jury’s verdict. In other words, the decision gets heard soon after the hearing has come to an end.
Those that take an appeal to the LAT do not witness such a sequence of events. Instead, the Tribunal takes its time about coming to a decision. Hence, its decision may not be given until several months after the hearing. In the meantime, an injured victim cannot obtain any money for a desired treatment.
The length of time between the hearing and the decision gets extended greatly, if one party refuses to budge from an unreasonable position. In a courtroom, someone that has assumed an unreasonable position faces certain consequences. Those that present their arguments to an LAT never have to deal with the threat of such consequences.
Main advantage to LAT
When disputing parties fail to reach an agreement, no one has to spend money on a lawyer. The LAT enjoys the support of the government. Both sides can be viewed as evenly matched, because the judge does not deal with an experienced and extensive attorney on one side and a cheaper and less-experienced attorney, advocating for the other party.
That keeps from placing one party at a disadvantage. Still, the delayed decision can put the plaintiff at a disadvantage. That is especially true if the plaintiff awaits an awarded compensation, so that he or she can pay for an injury-healing treatment. Yet if a plaintiff delays treatment, the court hits that same person with a charge of malingering.