Frequently Asked Questions

Personal Injury Top 10 FAQ’s

  • 1. How long do I have to start my legal action?
  • 2. What can I sue for?
  • 3. How long will my case take?
  • 4. I have been injured in a car accident, what are the steps I should take?
  • 5. How much money can I expect from the legal action?
  • 6. Should I see my doctor even if my injury is minor?
  • 7. What is examination for discovery?
  • 8. What is mediation?
  • 9. How is a lawsuit started?
  • 10. How much will this cost me?

This is one of the most important things to be aware of when you decide to bring an action against someone in a personal injury matter. This is because the rules around time limits in Ontario are enforced quite strictly, and if you do not bring the claim within the stipulated time limit, you may lose your chance to sue altogether. As a general rule, you have two years from the date of the injury or date of loss to start the claim. However, it is important to note that different limitation periods exist for accident benefits and for insurance companies.

There is no one direct answer to this question. Due to the fact that every case has unique circumstances, it really depends on what happened, how it happened and what evidence was collected. However, as a general guide, you may be able to recover the following: compensation for pain and suffering, loss of past and future income, future medical costs (due to the incident), housekeeping expenses, caregiver expenses, and even funeral costs. Note that this list is not conclusive, as there may be specific aspects to your case which allow you to sue for other things.

The most important determining factor would be whether your case goes to court for a trial or not. If it does go to trial, the time period usually ranges from 3-6 years. If it does not go to trial, the average time period is between 1-2 years. However again, it is important to remember that each case is unique, and the time period for understanding the extent of the medical issues (let alone resolving them) will vary depending on the nature of the injury. For example, situations where the injury was catastrophic, or other injuries that require long term care usually take a longer period of time. This is primarily due to the complexity of the medical issues. On the other hand, less severe cases may only take 6 months to resolve.

The first thing you should do, after you leave the scene of the accident and finish dealing with police, is to be evaluated by a physician. Obviously, the kind of doctor you go to will depend on what injuries you have sustained. It is important to remember that not all injuries are immediately visible, and for some injuries the symptoms may show many days after the accident itself. The next thing you should do is to recall as much information about the accident as possible and in as much detail as possible. What were the circumstances? What were the road conditions at the accident? Was the driver on the phone? Etc. These questions should be noted down right after the accident occurs, but it is always good to review them sometime after as well. Finally, after gathering all the relevant information, you should reach out to a lawyer specializing in motor vehicle accidents.

Although there are no definitive answers to this question, because the money will depend on numerous factors, there are some monetary caps that can give you a general idea of the awards you may receive. Unlike in the United States, in Canada the awards for pain and suffering caused in a personal injury incident are maxed at around $310,000 - $330,000. However, it is important to note that in Canada, there are no cap amounts on damages awarded for: income that you lost from before the accident and income that you will lose in the future because of the accident, past and future attendant care, a loss of the ability to be competitive in the work place, and others.

The answer to this question is a definite yes. Obviously, if you have such a minor injury that you can barely feel it, then it would not be practical to see a physician. Remember, you want to weigh the amount of time and money you will spend on the action with the amount of return you can possibly get. On the other hand, if the injury is major, or even a painful sprain, then a checkup is highly recommended. This is not only to address your health concerns, but it will also help with your case. After you see you doctor, she or she will take notes and may even provide you with medication. Our team of lawyers will collect these pieces of information from your doctor(s) and, depending on the information received, the amount of damages or benefits you are entitled to may increase.

This is basically the process where the parties get to see what the opposing party will be presenting as evidence at trial. Our legal team will be there to help you during this process. There are three main things we are trying to accomplish here. First, we want to find out what the opposing party has to say about the circumstances of the lawsuit. Second, we will inquire as to whether there is any agreement between both parties. Third, we will try to obtain verbal admissions from the other party, which can be used to help your case.

This is basically a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third party will facilitate the negotiations between the parties in a lawsuit. The main goal of mediation is to determine if there are common areas between the parties, and if so, whether the parties can come to an understanding without using the formal court process. In Ontario, depending on which jurisdiction you are in, mediation is a required part of your case. However, it is often recommended that mediation be used, even if it is not a requirement.

In Ontario, a lawsuit is started when a document called a Statement of Claim is filed at the court and served to the opposing party. This document basically details the amount of money you are suing for, explains the circumstances surrounding your injury, describes what was expected of the defendant and where they went wrong etc. Serving the Statement of Claim basically means giving the document to the other party so that the opposing party knows that legal actions is being taken against them. The lawyer for the defendant will then prepare and serve a response to the Statement of Claim, called a Statement of Defence. This defence needs to be served to the original party within a specified amount of time (depending on where the plaintiff and the defendant are), or else a judgement may be made against the defendant without them being present.

We offer our clients different fee arrangement plans, depending on the facts of the case and the client’s financial circumstances. There is no fee for our initial consultation, and during this meeting we can discuss fee arrangements for your case.