When a person is seriously injured in a car accident as a result of another driver’s negligence, that person has a potential claim against the at-fault driver. In practical terms, the at-fault driver’s insurance company responds to the claim, hires a lawyer to defend the claim and ultimately pays out any claim.
In the vast majority of cases, claims are settled through negotiation between the parties’ representatives. A settlement can happen at any time, sometimes within a year of the accident or, more frequently, many years after the accident. The reason for this is, in part, because it takes time to determine the nature and extent of the person’s injuries and impairments and the person’s medical expenses, loss of income and other losses arising from the accident.
Mediation Following an Accident
A good opportunity for parties to settle a case is at mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution, a way of resolving the case between the parties. A mediator, a neutral third party, helps the parties to negotiate a settlement. In fact, insurance companies are required to participate in a mediation pursuant to the Insurance Act.
In Ontario, there are also certain jurisdictions that mandate mediation in civil cases pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure, including Toronto. Specifically, Toronto requires that a mediation take place, before a case can be scheduled for trial. This has the potential to cause further delay for an injured person seeking compensation because an insurance company might insist on a specific event in the lawsuit to be completed before scheduling a mediation, such as the completion of discoveries.
In a recent decision by Justice Firestone, the court determined that a party cannot delay the scheduling of a mediation until the completion of a specific event in the lawsuit, including the completion of discoveries. This means that once a party requests mediation, it must be scheduled and conducted within the timeframes and procedures set out in the Insurance Act.
Motor vehicle litigation can be a complex. It is important to hire a personal injury lawyer that can help navigate you through the legal process and ensure your case moves forward without delay.
Toronto Personal Injury Lawyers for Car Accidents
At Jasmine Daya & Co., we represent the victims of personal injury and specialize in handling serious and catastrophic claims arising from various types of accidents including car accidents. We have decades of experience working closely with our clients to help them obtain fair compensation for their injuries. If you are considering a lawsuit we offer free consultations to new clients. Contact us online, or call 416-967-9100 to make an appointment with one of our Toronto personal injury lawyers.