Every legal jurisdiction has its own rules, regarding the pursuit of a personal injury lawsuit. Ontario is like all other legal jurisdictions. The victim of an accident in Ontario should know that there are many steps that follow the filing of a personal injury claim.
• The victim, a potential client meets with a selected lawyer. The specifics of the case can be discussed at this first meeting, or at the second meeting.
• The investigation begins. The lawyer and the lawyer’s staff collect and evaluate various details.
• A demand letter gets written. It is sent to the person targeted by the lawsuit.
• The defendant responds to the demand letter.
• The plaintiff issues a statement of claim. The negotiations get started.
• The claim goes first to the court; then it is given to the defendant.
• The defendant issues a statement of defense.
• Next an Affidavit of documents takes place. That involves an exchange of documents.
• The next-to last of the required pre-trail steps is the examination of discovery. That takes place in the office of the Official Examiner. During the examination for discovery, a lawyer for the defendant asks the plaintiff a series of questions.
• After the examination for discovery, the plaintiff attends an assessment.
• If the 2 sides so desire, they can meet at a mediation session.
• If the 2 sides do not reach an agreement during the mediation session, a trial will be scheduled.
At this point, the plaintiff has reached the stage where multiple options become available. Both sides have a right to reach an agreement before the trial starts. In fact, the 2 sides could strive towards attainment of an agreement during any point within the trial. If no such agreement gets made, the judge and jury decide on how much money should be awarded to the plaintiff.
Sometimes, if the defendant has been guilty of an egregious behavior, then the judge decides to hit the defendant with punitive damages. That means that the same defendant needs to pay more money, on top of the amount established by the court-granted award.
If either side has chosen to question some legal issue that pertains to the trial, that same side can request an appeal (a second hearing). Prior to the holding of that second hearing, each side has a chance to gather further evidence. The new evidence gathered by the plaintiff’s injury lawyer in Sault Ste Marie then gets presented at the re-trial.
Ideally, the case ends with the verdict announced by the jury at the second hearing. Still, it does not have to end there. If the other side could raise a different legal issue, with respect to the appeal hearing, then the court system might allow for another appeal.