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How To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit In Ontario

March 14, 2018

Seek Advice from a Local Personal Injury Lawyer in Ontario after an Accident or Injury

The first step towards recouping damage to physical well-being due to personal injuries caused by no fault of your own is to seek advice from a lawyer with a personal injury practice in Ontario. A personal injury practice represents parties seeking redress under the laws governing rights of injured persons and their compensation for damages caused by actions covered under the relevant laws.

Personal injury practice handles claims that an individual or entity’s deliberate misconduct or negligence was the cause of injury (physical or nonphysical) to another person. Possible bases for personal injury claims include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, cyclist or pedestrian accidents, slip and fall, and other types of premises liabilities.

Monetary compensation, damages, can be claimed for both economic and noneconomic damages. Financial losses include lost wages and medical expenses. The compensation amount can cover past or projected future costs. Noneconomic damages include compensation for disfigurement, disability, pain and suffering, and the victim’s diminished quality of life. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they charge clients a percentage of the settlement, or judgment, amount.

Negligence or Strict Liability

Most personal injury cases are based on negligence, i.e., that one person’s action or inaction caused another person’s injury. Strict liability involves cases where the law provides that an individual or entity can be held responsible, even without a specific act of negligence, when that person or entity was responsible for ensuring no injury occurred.

Strict liability cases are typically product liability and dog bite cases. It is essential that the injured party hire a lawyer who has experience in handling such cases.

File the Case Before Statute of Limitations Time Bars the Claim

Plaintiffs must file their lawsuits before the end of the applicable limitation period. A new law that came into effect in 2004 has affected some cases. It is essential to know the period relevant to the specific situation because limitation periods are not definite in all cases. In some cases, they may be extended.

The document that begins an Ontario lawsuit is the Statement of Claim that sets out the amount of money claimed and all of the facts that support the claim. Many areas of Ontario require participation in a three-hour mediation.

Settlement Before Trial

In some parts of Ontario, Case Conferences, meetings convened by the court take place typically to address procedural issues, such as scheduling. Case Conferences may need written submissions.

Many cases settle the commencement of trial. In a minority of cases, a trial may be obligatory. The chosen lawyer must be willing to proceed to this stage, if necessary. An experienced trial attorney with a solid record of success will be needed if the parties do not settle.

Injuries Suffered in Motor Vehicle Accidents

After an automotive accident, notice from the insurance company will state that only injuries meeting statutory requirements are eligible for a lawsuit. This eligibility requirement is met by injuries that are permanent and cause severe impairment of vital functions. Applicable regulations promulgated under the Insurance Act govern this element as well as the required evidence in such a situation.

Typically, motor vehicle injury accident benefits take two forms. One comes from the insurance company, the other from a successful court case filed against the responsible driver.

No-Fault System of Motor Vehicle Insurance

In Ontario, the no-fault system of motor vehicle insurance prevails. That means, irrespective of fault, injured persons are entitled to compensation, which they must claim from the appropriate insurance provider.

Submission of the required application form shortly following the accident is the first step. The compensation is based on individual circumstances and is under the appropriate statutory terms.

A victim has two years from the date of the episode to file their claim. Two major damage types typically claimed in such cases are those for pain and suffering and loss of income. The former is for injuries resulting from the accident. These injuries should be permanent and severe. The compensation amount may also include a deductible amount.

Paraplegic and Brain Injury Cases

With paraplegic and brain injury cases complicated issues may be raised. Costly professional examinations may be required. The hired attorney must be financially able to carry the expense of the case.

Another factor to consider is that brain injuries are not always detectable. That brings a distinct challenge, as such harm may still cause serious after-effects. Figuring out the prospective forthcoming effects becomes challenging in such a case. However, the new technology of functional magnetic resonance imaging that shows blood flow to the brain that reveals the brain’s activity is one of the new tools available to neurologists to better understand and treat brain injury.

Spinal cord injuries may be irreversible. In such cases, the paraplegic victim needs a lifetime settlement sufficient for the costs incurred in such circumstances. The damage amount should be adequate for assistance needs in future.

Finding the Right Lawyer

A personal injury lawyer in Ontario is a useful source of guidance for affected persons and their loved ones. However, obtaining a lawyer with the right fit is one of the most critical decisions in personal injury cases.

The internet is a useful reference source to find a lawyer when a personal reference source is unavailable. The Law Society of Upper Canada is an excellent resource for checking the backgrounds of lawyers. If lawyers in other specialty areas are needed, or the claim requires specialized expertise in one or more fields, the right fit will be able to handle such claims.

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