Personal Injury Litigation
What Are My Rights
Any person who has been seriously injured as a result of the negligence or carelessness of another may be entitled to financial compensation. This right is crucial to every Ontarian, however, it is frequently misunderstood, which prevents proper reimbursement for one’s losses. In Ontario alone, there are thousands of people who have experienced a form of personal injury - whether this be from a motor-vehicle accident, dangerous circumstances, defective products, medical negligence etc. - and it is their right and responsibility to understand their position in the situation, as well as the necessary position of the other individual who is at fault. Whether the cause led to personal injury in the physical sense (ie. personal injury), emotional sense (ie. loss of companionship) or financially (ie. lost income) it is up to the individual to receive the appropriate compensation.
There are two specific rights that all Ontario citizens are entitled to upon experiencing a personal injury (including that causing pain, suffering or loss of income). The first is the right to sue. This provides the individual with the ability to pose their legal claim in a court of justice and receive financial reimbursement from the person responsible for their injuries. The injured person can receive financial reimbursement through negotiations outside of court as well, however, in most cases a personal injury lawyer is recommended. The second right in Ontario is to recover the damages, which can be organized through the court process or independently.
The Right To Sue
In terms of the right to sue for personal injury in Ontario, there are specific causes of action that are taken into consideration. Although the right is usually settled in light of the following causations, it is not limited to these - as the law is subject to other specifications as well, such as time limits on filing claims, age exceptions, extent of injury etc. Some of the prominent causes of action include:
- Dog Bites
- Premises-Liability Claims
- Wrongful Death
- Medical Malpractice
- Defective Products
- Long-term Disability Claims
- Automobile Accidents
The usual time limit for filing a personal injury claim is two years post discovery. This discovery usually happens within two specific dates:
Date of Discovery #1 - in which the injured person realizes that the injury was caused by an outside act of negligence or carelessness and is in need of remedy.
Date of Discover #2 - in which a reasonable person should have first discovered the injury, as caused by another, and understand that it is in need of remedy.
The Right To Recover Damages
In terms of the right to recover damages in Ontario, the injured person receives a specific monetary amount as “damages paid”. The concept in recovering damages is to attempt to return the injured person back to their original state. This state is the position they would have been in if the incident had not happened and takes into consideration the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of the causation. The limitations on what, and how much, damages can be reimbursed include the consideration of required evidence, as well as a financial cap on non-pecuniary damages. Below are a list of common damages:
- Medical Expenses
- Property Damage
- Lost Income
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Family Member’s Claims Under The Family Law Act
- Pain and Suffering
Once you have outlined your case and are ready to begin the process of compensation, there are specific steps that you need to be aware of in order to allow for a successful claim:
Step 1: Gather Your Evidence
- Needless to say, in any matter of legality, evidence must always be provided. It is, however, difficult to know what this evidence might look like in terms of your specific case. The objective of the evidence is to understand the facts of the incident as well as the identification of responsible parties involved in your injury. Some of these pieces of evidence can include medical records, police reports, or eye-witnesses.
Step 2: Pleadings
- The second step in the process involves a lawyer (if the injured person so chooses), and consists of the preparation and exchange of pleadings. This would include the statement of claim, as well as the statement of defence.
Step 3: Exchanging Evidence / Begin Mediation/Trial
- Both parties (injured person and responsible party) will exchange evidence and begin the discovery process, which leads into mediation and settlement of the original claim.
Most personal injury matters are complex and involve a considerable amount of time and effort in order to provide the client with the best possible reimbursement for their loss. All cases are time sensitive and can involve many limitations. It is important to understand what these limitations are, but to also understand your right as an injured person to reclaim the loss you have experienced. At Pretsell Davies Thompson Benton LLP, we assess each case individually, taking into careful consideration the needs of our client, the reality of the situation, the limitations outlined, the process, the time frame, and the best possible outcome(s). Once we are prepared to accept a case, our team will do so on a contingency basis - allowing legal fee payments to be made after the matter has concluded.
Let Us Fight For You
If you have been seriously injured, whether physically, emotionally, or psychologically and believe it to have been caused by another party (ie. workplace, careless individual), you might be in a position that entitles you to a personal injury claim. We take these matters seriously and believe that, as you have the right, you should begin the process of seeing this matter through to justice. We know that the process can seem intimidating and time consuming, but please be aware that our team is prepared to fight for you, and will see the process through to the end on your behalf.
Please contact our office for a free consultation, where we will provide you with the necessary information needed to move you forward in the process of reimbursement. Our team is here to support you, and will do everything in their power to provide you with the best possible compensation for your losses.