The process of an injury claim can be complex and you only get one chance to advance your case; a good injury lawyer will make sure it is done right. We will advise you on your rights, and will guide you through each step of the legal process:
During your initial consultation, we will ask you questions about the accident and the injuries sustained, in order to get an overview of the case. In addition, we will explain to you the claims process, the deadlines, the costs, and will answer any questions you might have regarding the process.
We will also set you up with appropriate specialists to assist you with your recovery, as well as provide expert testimonies in trial if necessary.
Following the initial consultation, we will start our own investigation on your case. This includes, but is not limited to, obtaining witness statements, hiring private investigators to gather such statements, and accident reconstruction engineers in cases where liability, impact severity or accident details are unknown or are in dispute.
Evidence gathering follows investigation. During this phase we will collect information, testimonies, documents, ambulance reports, hospital records, medical forms and receipts, and any other evidence that will support your claim.
We ask your treatment providers and additional experts important questions about the nature and extent of your injuries and how they relate to the accident. We ask our experts to comment about the impact of your injury on your employment, your household activities and your recreational endeavours. We leave no stone unturned in proving the full nature and extent of your injuries and guide you as best we can. This includes gathering expert opinions in various medical fields and other experts, such as accident reconstructionists/ engineers and economists in certain cases.
Some cases settle relatively quickly but some take a lot longer. A statement of claim must be filed within 2 years from the time of the accident. After that, it must be served on all defendants within a year. If the defendants or their insurers are unreasonable and/or if settlement cannot be reached, litigation continues, starting with demanding a statement of defense, and then serving a document called an affidavit of records, on the other side, and demanding one from them. This shows all documents each side has in their possession that they intend on relying on at trial.
Questioning (also called Discoveries)
After that, we will have access to a pre-court process called Questioning (formerly called discoveries) where we can cross examine the defendant under oath on the accident details, and ask for depositions and documents that the opposing party plans to use in their case.
We thoroughly prepare clients for this important process, as the other side’s lawyer will have an opportunity to question the plaintiff as well. Assiff has conducted well over 1600 of these processes in his career at the time of writing this article.
During pre-trial motions, lawyers from both sides can request the court to take some action such as disallowing evidence, obtaining discovery that was not allowed previously, dismissing the case altogether, striking a statement of defense, ensuring the other side moves the case in a timely fashion to avoid delays, etc. Once the motions are heard in court, the case is ready to move forward to trial.
Negotiations (includes letters, phone calls, meetings, mediations, or judicial dispute resolution) generally take place at any stage during this litigation process, and before it. If a case is not settled before trial, the fate of your claim will be decided in court. The vast majority of cases get resolved before trial.
For many claimants, this is the most stressful part of the process. The vast majority of cases do not go to trial but if yours does, rest assured that we will be ready. We will also make sure that you are ready and all of the expert and other witnesses are ready as well. We firmly believe in the slogan: if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. That is why our practice over the years has been to prepare thoroughly for trial well in advance of trial, not right before trial. It is like a final exam. We do not “cram”. We work hard right from the outset and prepare every case with the possibility that it will one day go to trial, even though it very often does not.
We also believe that our success not only depends on our skill and experience but on our work ethic and ability to outwork opposing counsel. We do our best in court but also do our best to ensure insofar as possible that we outwork our often-formidable opponents. That formula has resulted in an excellent success rate in court and at trial.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.