In most cases of a personal injury claim, the case does not make
it to the courtroom – a settlement is reached before trial.
Sometimes a settlement cannot be reached, and your personal injury
case may have to reach the courtroom.
The thought of a court case can be daunting for some people. To
avoid being overwhelmed by this process, it is important to know
what the steps are, and how your personal injury lawyer fits
One of the most important role of your personal injury lawyer is
to file the lawsuit before the limitation period expires..
The statement of claim is the document that starts the formal
legal process and will be a summary of the allegations you hope to
prove at trial. The at fault party's lawyer will file a defence
to the claim.
The next major step in the process is what is commonly referred
to as discovery. There are two components of discovery. The first
is the oral examination under oath and the other is documentary
At your examination for discovery, you will be questioned by the
opposing lawyer about how you sustained your injury and the effect
having the injury has had on all aspects of your life. Your
evidence is recorded by a court reporter and a transcript is made.
The opposing lawyer is assessing not only the substantive evidence
you provide but the manner in which you convey it.
Before your discovery, your lawyer will prepare an Affidavit of
Documents which shall contain all documents relating to the
personal injury claim. This will be shared with opposing counsel.
Your lawyer will also request documents from the opposing lawyer
including the particulars of all background investigation and
Pre-trial Conference Hearing/Private Mediations
After the discoveries are over and the lawyers have had an
opportunity to fulfil any requests for additional documentary
evidence, there is often the possibility of going to a mediation
with a private mediator to attempt to settle the claim. By this
stage, your lawyer should have a good idea of the quantification of
Prior to trial, the court will schedule a pre-trial hearing with
a judge where you and your lawyer will have the benefit of
obtaining a judge's opinion on the merits of your claim and
quite often the assessment of damages.
The trial will be the forum where both sides put forward their
arguments, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and your damages
will be assessed most often by a jury of six individuals. You will
testify in detail about your claim.
If you or the defendant is not satisfied with the result at
trial, there may be an appeal of the court's decision. Appeals
take place based on an error in law – that the law was
incorrectly applied by the court – or an error in fact
– that the facts of the case do not support the court's
decision – or a combination thereof. Errors in law are far
easier to prove than errors in fact, particularly since an appeal
does not constitute a new trial, but a presentation based on the
findings and evidence of the original case.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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