FAQs and Links

Your Questions Answered

How can I retain your firm to represent me when I have no money?

Our office handles all personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis and does not charge fees or disbursements to the client unless fair and reasonable compensation is obtained. Our office will also pay for all necessary litigation related expenses including the retaining of experts to conduct assessments. Costs of these assessments can range anywhere between $1,000.00 and $6,000.00. Again, these disbursements will not have to be repaid by the client unless compensation is obtained. In addition, in the Province of Ontario, a Plaintiff who is successful in obtaining compensation for his or her loss is entitled to recover from the Defendant costs in addition to any damages. This occurs whether the matter is settled or proceeds to trial. Typically, the Defendant will pay fifteen percent of the damage award toward legal fees.

How long will it take for my case to settle?

A Court case takes approximately two to three years to resolve either by way of settlement and longer if the matter proceeds to trial. However, the matter cannot be properly settled until a prognosis has been obtained from a physician setting out the manner in which the injuries will affect the claimant into the future.

Will my case go to court?

Most personal injury cases are settled only if the matter is properly prepared for trial. Approximately ninety-eight percent of matters are settled. Only those matters in which liability is in dispute or where the insurer is not prepared to pay fair compensation proceed to trial.

Who will arrange for assessments by a specialist?

Our office will arrange assessments by the appropriate medical specialists to review the injuries and conditions suffered by the claimant. These reports and the retaining of experts are necessary to obtain fair compensation and also to ensure success at trial.

How much is my case worth?

Once all of the appropriate reports from the specialists have been obtained, our office will then be in a position to properly assess the value of the case. It is, however, difficult to assess the case in the initial stages as it is unclear at that time as to the manner in which the injuries will progress and whether they will be permanent and the manner in which they will affect the claimant¹s ability to work and their activities of daily living.

What are the stages of the litigation process?

(a) A Statement of Claim is issued at the commencement of an action and generally must be issued within two years from the date of the accident. The Statement of Claim is then served on the Defendant in the matter who will then deliver a Statement of Defence.

(b) Following the delivery of the Statement of Defence, all relevant documents in relation to the matter are exchanged between the parties at which time examinations for discovery are arranged in which parties are asked a series of questions to be answered.

(c) Following examinations for discovery and assuming that all appropriate experts have been retained and reports have been exchanged, the matter is set down for trial and a trial date is scheduled.

(d) During the course of the proceedings, a settlement meeting or mediation session involving a retained mediator who is employed to attempt to resolve the matter may be scheduled. In addition, depending on the jurisdiction of a law suit, a settlement conference or pretrial conference will be held before a Judge or Court Official in an effort to resolve the matter.

(e) If the matter cannot be resolved, a trial will be scheduled before a judge or jury. Most personal injury trials are conducted before a jury.