Published in: The Toronto Metro News Newspaper April 23, 2014 issue
What to expect in personal injury cases
Q: Is there any chance of a quick settlement in a personal injury case where someone has been catastrophically injured?
A: Not usually. There are several extremely important steps that a lawyer must take to properly present a claim for a serious and lasting injury. First, a medical report containing a doctor’s prognosis is needed, and that can take up to two years, depending on a person’s injuries. Then, the lawyer must obtain reports that quantify economic losses (e.g., loss of income and cost of attendant care). As well, to obtain a fair settlement offer from the insurance company, a civil lawsuit has to be started. Realistically, it will take three to four years before this type of case can be fairly resolved.
Q: What’s expected of the client during the course of a case?
A: A client provides any requested information and progress reports. There are also examinations for discovery, various medical assessments, mediation, and a pretrial conference to attend. But rest assured, a good lawyer will prepare the client for all meetings well in advance.
Q: If I’m not happy with the way a case is going, is it possible to change lawyers?
A : Absolutely. A person has to feel confident about how a case is being handled. If that’s not the case, I would advise approaching another firm for a second opinion. That lawyer has a professional and ethical duty to help the client figure out what is best in the circumstances. Sometimes switching to a more experienced trial lawyer is going to be in a person’s best interests.
To read the interview online visit metronews.ca