Resources and Knowledge
The Litigation Process Explained
To recover damages from the entity that is responsible for the injuries you have sustained you will have to commence a lawsuit. If you choose to retain FRH LLP it will be our job to assist you through every step of the lawsuit to ensure you are justly compensated.
For most serious personal injuries a claimant has two years from the time when the injury occurred to commence an action against those responsible for the injuries. There are some situations where notice must be provided to a party within very short time periods. These time periods can be as short as 10 days. It is important to get legal advice as quickly as possible after an injury to ensure that none of the statutory limitation or notice periods are missed.
Prior to commencing a lawsuit, an investigation must be undertaken to determine the correct parties, to obtain information from witnesses, to obtain medical information to assist in quantifying damages and to retain experts to help in proving who is responsible for the damages you or your loved one has sustained.
The Statement of Claim is the document that commences a lawsuit. It is your first chance to explain your case to the other side.
The Statement of Claim will set the various claims for different types of damages. These could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Past loss of income
- Loss of future income or earning capacity
- Cost of Future care
- Loss of household and home maintenance capacity
- Out of pocket expenses
- Loss of care, guidance and companionship to your family members
Each side of a lawsuit is required to provide the other side with copies of all the documents that are relevant to the issues between the parties. It is imperative that all documents are available from the other side to ensure that the oral discoveries are as productive as possible.
This is one of the most important stages of the litigation process. This is the opportunity for the lawyers to ask questions of the opposing parties to find out what information they have about the about the issues. It is important that you are well prepared before answering questions about your case.
Throughout the litigation process you or your loved one will be sent to assessments by experienced medical professionals. These assessments help us to determine the value of the claim and convince the other side what the claim is worth. We also retain engineers, accountants and other experts to support your case as required.
This is the best chance to resolve your case prior to trial. An experienced mediator will act as a third party intermediary between the parties to assist the parties in resolving the matter. We will not agree to mediate until your case is ready for trial. This is your one chance to speak directly to the representative of the insurance company that insures the party responsible for the accident.
At the pre-trial, a judge from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice will listen to presentations from both sides and read briefs from both sides and will provide an opinion as to what he or she would do if he or she was the trial judge. This can often facilitate further settlement discussions or narrow the issues before the trial begins.
This is your opportunity to tell your side of your case to a judge and/ or jury and ask them to justly compensate you or your loved one for the injuries and damages that they have suffered. Preparation for trial is an extensive process for your lawyers and for yourself. We will work with you to present your case in the best possible light.
After the conclusion of a trial, the losing party can appeal the decision to a higher court. This is usually to decide a question of law that is disputed.