If you’ve made the important decision to take the necessary steps to protect your legal rights in a situation that involves personal injury, you probably have a ton of questions swirling around in your mind. Perhaps you’ve already set an appointment with a personal injury lawyer to discuss these circumstances and you need more information to prepare for this meeting. In that case, here are the basic fundamentals of personal injury law to help you understand how your case may be handled:
Firstly, what is considered a “personal injury” case?
“Personal injury” cases are legal disputes that arise when one person suffers harm from an accident or injury, and someone else might be legally responsible for that harm.
For a case to be considered a personal injury, the injury would of had to happen to a person’s mind, body, or emotions as opposed to their property. Personal injury cases are handled through civil court proceedings that seek to find others at fault for the personal injury, and at most times, the dispute can be resolved through an informal settlement before it reaches a formal lawsuit.
Speaking of settlements, there are two ways a personal injury case can be resolved.
A formal lawsuit is when an individual, the person who was injured or “the plaintiff”, files a civil complaint against another person, business, corporation, or government agency; “the defendant”. The details of the personal injury case would be argued in court where the plaintiff has the opportunity to provide evidence to support their claims. The Judge will make a ruling on the case to determine whether or not the defendant was responsible for the personal injury claims made by the plaintiff.
Most personal injury claims can be resolved through an informal settlement. The person claiming injury, the defendant, insurers, and their lawyer can agree on a settlement before it reaches a formal lawsuit. If a fair settlement can be reached, the lawyer can draft a written agreement in which both parties can agree to take no further action (such as a filing a lawsuit), choosing instead to resolve the matter through payment of an agreeable amount of money.
Lastly, there is a limit of time to which a person can make a claim for personal injury in Ontario, this is called the Statute of Limitations. In Ontario. The Statute of Limitations for almost any personal injury case is two years from the day you discovered the injury to make a claim. However, there are other limitations you have to consider as well. For example, the time you have to apply for accidental benefits is 30 days.
As you may understand by now, time is of the essence. With any personal injury case, it’s important to take the appropriate steps right from the beginning – which is why it’s important to seek advice of a personal injury lawyer. Contact Zayouna Law as soon as possible to learn how you can protect your legal rights. It won’t hurt to just talk about it.