Steps in a Lawsuit
1. Initial Interview
2. Information & Documentation is Collected
We start to obtain information & documentation such as police report, medical records, loss of income documentation, ect. This is an ongoing process which continues until the claim is resolved.
3. Lawsuit is Started
A lawsuit is started by issuing a Statement of Claim with the Court and serving a copy on the Defendants.
4. Documents are Exchanged
We prepare an Affidavit of Documents for you, which lists all the documents relevant to your claim. You have to swear the Affidavit of Documents swearing that the list of documents is complete. We serve it on the Defendants’ lawyers. We then receive a sworn Affidavit of Documents from the Defendants.
5. Examinations for Discovery
This is a procedure which takes place in a small downtown office whereby the lawyers for the insurance companies ask you questions about your background, the accident and your losses. We, in turn, ask the Defendants questions. Present at the examination of yourself will be a lawyer from our office, lawyers for the insurance companies & a reporter who will record all the questions & answers and later provide a transcript.
6a. Damages Work-Up
After examinations for discovery & hence, after we have received additional information, we take steps to prove negligence & your losses. This work-up includes obtaining reports from a variety of experts including possibly engineers, doctors, rehabilitation & vocational consultants, accountants, economists & so on.
6b. Defence Lawyers Damages Work-Down
The lawyers for the Defendants can have you examined by doctors & other experts of their choosing, and these experts are obligated to forthwith deliver reports. The damages work-down by the defence will usually include obtaining reports from experts comparable to those hired by us.
Often a mediation will take place. This is a procedure whereby lawyers, clients, and insurance adjusters go before a mediator to try to settle the case. A mediation is an informal procedure and no examinations or cross examinations occur and no transcript is kept of the mediation.
8. Pre-Trial Conference
The lawyers for all parties, without their clients, attend before a judge in chambers in an effort to try to settle the case. If the case is going to settle without a trial, it will settle at or shortly after the pre-trial conference.
10. Other Steps
By way of example, sometimes we have to bring a court motion to force Defendants to produce documents or re-attend at examinations for discovery to answer questions they refused to answer the first time.