Any lawyer that has supported a client during a lawsuit in a province other than Ontario might want to learn the peculiarities of Ontario’s personal injury lawsuit.
The unique phases of such a lawsuit:
The formal pleading, which follows collection of the evidence: During this phase, the 2 sides exchange statements. The statement of claim comes from the plaintiff. The statement of defense comes from the defendant.
The mediation process: This must follow the discovery. During the mediation phase, each side makes a presentation to the mediator. The mediator tries to narrow the issues, hoping to encourage the emergence of an agreement.
Personal injury lawyers in Leamington representing each of the opposing parties attend a pre-trial conference: This becomes part of the lawsuit, if the 2 parties did not reach an agreement through mediation.
The unique phases get sandwiched between sessions that resemble similar sessions in other lawsuits.
In both cases, the first step calls for the gathering of relevant evidence. A lawyer and client must work to collect witness statements, medical records and police reports. The collection of such evidence sets the stage for the formal pleading.
A discovery must take place at some point during the lawsuit. In Ontario, it follows the formal pleading; in other lawsuits it follows the gathering of evidence. During that session, evidence and documents get exchanged. Sometimes oral examinations also take place during the discovery session.
Assuming no agreement through mediation and completion of the pre-trial conference, a trial gets scheduled and held. The trial starts with opening statements from the plaintiff’s lawyer and the defendant’s attorney. Then evidence shared during the discovery gets shown to the members of the jury. The shared documents are also shown to the jury. The trial ends with closing statements from the plaintiff’s and defendant’s lawyers.
After the closing statements, the jury begins its deliberations. Eventually, the jury returns with the verdict, which it hands to the judge. The judge then reads the verdict, which rules on the granting or denial of the plaintiff’s requested reward/compensation.
If either side elects to contest the verdict, an appeal might be scheduled. An appeal normally focuses on some legal aspect of the proceedings during the earlier trial. By appealing a ruling, the one party provides both parties with a chance to introduce new evidence.
No conference between lawyers must precede an appeals session. The earlier trial has filled the role given to that pre-trial conference. Understand that any phase could be cut-short or eliminated, at the request of the 2 opposing parties. That request might come if the 2 sides finally reach an agreement. Once the 2 sides agree, then they should be able to settle the dispute that was created by specific issues.