When a resident of Ontario finds that the money from SABS (Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule) does not cover all of the damage that resulted from a given car accident, that same resident has the right to file a lawsuit. That initiates pursuit of a multi-step process.
The first step: Collect the evidence
Gather the witness statements, the medical records and the police report. Add any other evidentiary material, such as pictures.
Second step: Exchange of the formal pleadings
The pleading from the plaintiff’s lawyer contains the statement of claim, and is served on the defendant. The pleading from the defendant contains the statement of defense and is served on the plaintiff’s lawyer.
The 3rd of 6 steps: Discovery
The 2 sides exchange their documents and other evidence. Witnesses get examined under oath. A stenographer records the questions and answers.
The 4th of 6 steps: Mediation of claim
Personal Injury Lawyer in Cambridge knows that the mediation session gets scheduled by a neutral 3rd party. During that session, each side makes a presentation before the mediator. The mediator tries to narrow the number of contentious issues between the 2 disputing parties. Sometimes, the mediator manages to reduce the number of such issues to zero. Then the 2 sides settle their dispute at this point in the process. There is no need to complete the remaining steps. When no settlement has been agreed to, the process continues.
The 5th step: A pre-trial conference
This takes place in a setting that has been agreed to by the judge for the scheduled trial. The judge confers with the lawyer for the plaintiff and the lawyer for the defendant. While plans for the trial get discussed, that does not mean that the judge will insist on the holding of a such a proceeding.
Remember, this conference takes place after the mediation session. If the mediator has created a sufficiently narrow list of contentious issues, the 2 lawyers might arrive at some sort of agreement before the judge lowers the gavel in a courtroom. When that is the case, the plaintiff’s pursuit of the lawsuit process ends during the pre-trial conference.
The final step, if all steps get completed: The scheduling and holding of a trial
The lawyers for each party make their presentation in front of the judge and jury. Reference to the evidence takes place during the presentations. After the presentations, the jury hears from the witnesses. Specific documents or other pieces of evidence might be shown to a specific witness. Following the testimony from the witnesses, the lawyers get to make their closing arguments. Then the jury meets to decide on the verdict. The jury determines who should be blamed for the accident. The judge announces the size of the award/compensation, if any, for the plaintiff.