What is the process for a personal injury lawsuit?


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Step 1

Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation. A personal injury lawyer can advise you on whether or not your claim will be successful. They can also let you know if it is economically worth it to pursue the claim. Sometimes the payout you will receive in a lawsuit will not be worth the time and expenses associated with a personal injury lawsuit. During your free consultation, our personal injury lawyers can advise you as to whether or not it’s worth it to pursue your case.

Step 2

Immediately following an accident, you should start building your case. If a personal injury lawyer has agreed to represent you, they will start collecting evidence.  

Kinds of evidence needed: 

  • Medical documents and reports associated with your injury 
  • Personal statement of the occurrence 
  • Place, time and date of the incident 
  • Photos of injuries and the location of the injuries on your body
  • Witnesses 
  • Contact information of the person responsible for your injuries 

If your injuries were caused by criminal activity (sexual assault, assault, hit and run) you should report it to the police. If you were bitten by a dog report it to municipal law enforcement. Law enforcement will start their own investigation which can be helpful in building your personal injury lawsuit case.

Step 3

Once you have evidence you need to file a Statement of Claim. This claim will be served to the party/parties involved. The claim will explain the incident, your injuries, why they are at fault and how much compensation you are looking to receive for your injuries.
In general, you have 2 years from the time you were injured to initiate a lawsuit against the person responsible. There are exceptions so for more information read our post, How long after an injury can I file a lawsuit?.
Contact our lawyers at Equilibrium law to start your claim.

Step 4

Once the party responsible for your injuries receives your statement of claim they can respond with a document that explains why they are not responsible.

Step 5

Both parties will commence the discovery process. During the discovery process both sides must submit documents relevant to the the case so they can be reviewed by the opposing party. During the discovery process each party will be able to interview the opposing party. During this interviews the legal counsel of the opposing side will ask you questions under oath relating to the case. Your lawyers will be present during these oral examinations and will instruct you as to what questions your should and should not answer.

The discovery process is done so that all sides can review the relevant information and decide if it’s worth pursing the case and if they should adjust their claim.

Step 6

Lawsuits can be settled outside of court. In Ottawa there is a mandatory mediation program that requires lawsuits to be presented in front of a mediator before going to court. You and your lawyer can negotiate with the parties involved to try and reach a settlement. The mediator will review the evidence of both sides and help both parties reach an agreement.
If there is an agreed-upon award your lawsuit ends there. You will receive the financial compensation that was agreed upon and you don’t need to worry about the stress of a trial. Our experienced lawyers will work to get you fair and full compensation for your personal injury settlement.

Step 7

Assuming no settlement is reached the case will proceed to trial. Prior to commencing the trial, the parties involved will attend a pretrial conference. During this meeting, both parties will present their case to a judge who will attempt to find a resolution. If no resolution is reached the case will go to trial. The judge that reviews the case at pre trial will not be the same judge ruling in the official trial.

Step 8

At trial, both sides will present evidence. You will most likely have to testify and give your version of events and answer questions asked by the opposing party. The presentation of evidence can take days or even weeks.
Following the presentation of evidence, the judge on the case will determine if wrongdoing was committed. If the judge does find the other party at fault for your injuries, they will award you compensation based on the damages you suffered.
Trials are costly and take longer however our experienced lawyers will work to get you fair and full compensation no matter how long it takes.

Step 9

If either you or the person responsible for your injuries does not agree with the judge’s ruling, they can appeal the decision. This means that another judge will be asked to review the decision and decide whether the ruling was fair and in accordance with Canadian law.
To start the process for your personal injury lawsuit contact our lawyers at Equillibirum Law.

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