Personal Injury

Toronto personal injury lawyer: the steps of a personal injury lawsuit

Our Toronto personal injury lawyer knows from experience that in the blink of an eye, accidents can change lives, leaving injured individuals grappling with physical, emotional, and financial burdens. If you’re injured, it’s important to know: what are the steps of a personal injury lawsuit Ontario?

The Toronto personal injury lawyers at Verkhovets Law note 15 per cent of Canadians are seriously injured annually according to StatsCan, yet too many wrongly view the system as overwhelming and don’t reach out to a personal injury lawyer to initiate a civil claim. For example, 36,963 motor vehicle lawsuits were filed out of the 108,018 injured nationally in car accidents in 2021.

That leaves many deserving victims without compensation, and those to blame wriggle off the hook. Others choose to go self-rep and often settle for less than they should.

Harriet had a slip and fall accident on an icy stairway leaving her with a broken hip. But because she mistakenly thought she couldn’t afford it Harriet didn’t pursue the negligent property owner. Our Toronto personal injury lawyers could’ve helped working on a contingency fee arrangement. 

William suffered a dog bite injury playing with his best friend’s German Shepherd. Feeling uncomfortable suing his friend, William didn’t file a claim, misunderstanding that instead, our Toronto personal injury lawyer would take on the insurance company.

Personal injury lawsuits are a critical legal remedy for those who’ve sustained injuries due to the negligence of another party, notes our Toronto personal injury lawyer Mariya Verkhovets. 

But it’s important for you to understand the complex legal process and know what are the steps of a personal injury lawsuit in Ontario to protect your rights and pursue compensation for your injuries. Like, for example did you know under the Limitations Act (LA) you only have two years to file your claim after a car accident or other accident? 

Or, in the instance of a slip and fall on snow/ice on private property, it’s just 60 days to sue [provide written notice] under the Occupiers’ Liability Act (OLA) notes our Toronto personal injury lawyer

Toronto personal injury lawyer unpacks the legal foundation of personal injury lawsuits

Before delving into the steps of a personal injury lawsuit, our Toronto personal injury lawyer says it’s crucial to understand the legal framework that underpins this process. The primary law governing personal injury claims is the Ontario Insurance Act (IA) which establishes a no-fault accident benefits system. 

The Toronto personal injury lawyers at Verkhovets Law know this Statutory Accident Benefits System (SABS) system provides compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation services, regardless of fault.

However, Ontario also operates under a modified no-fault system, allowing individuals to sue at-fault parties for additional damages beyond the accident benefits, adds our Toronto personal injury lawyer

4 steps to take after an injury, from our Toronto personal injury lawyer

The Toronto personal injury lawyers at Verkhovets Law know that most lawsuits in Ontario settle before hitting the courtroom door. But you can’t count on that happening, and it’s best to have all your ducks in a row from the moment an accident happens.

Here are the initial recommended first steps:

  1. Seek medical treatment: Immediate medical care not only safeguards your well-being but also helps establish the severity of your injuries, which is critical for your case, says our Toronto personal injury lawyer.
  2. Gather evidence: If possible, collect evidence at the scene. Take photographs of the accident, gather contact information from witnesses, and make detailed notes about the incident.
  3. Report the incident: Ensure you report the incident to the relevant authorities, note our Toronto personal injury lawyers. In cases of car accidents, inform the police, while workplace injuries should be reported to your employer and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
  4. Consult with a Toronto personal injury lawyer: It’s advisable to meet our Toronto personal injury lawyers promptly to protect your rights and provide guidance.

5 critical next stages of your personal injury lawsuit

The Toronto personal injury lawyers at Verkhovets Law note once you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll proceed through several critical steps.

  1. Initial consultation: The Toronto personal injury lawyers at Verkhovets Law will conduct a free initial consultation to evaluate the merits of your case.
  2. Pre-lawsuit negotiation: Before officially filing a lawsuit, your Toronto personal injury lawyer may attempt to negotiate with the at-fault party or their insurance company. Many cases are resolved through negotiation without going to court.
  3. Statement of claim: In cases where negotiations fail, your Toronto personal injury lawyer will prepare a statement of claim. This legal document outlines the details of your case, including the injuries sustained and the damages you seek. It serves as the formal initiation of the lawsuit.
  4. Service of statement of claim: The statement of claim is then served to the defendant. The act of “being served” is a formal step, too. 
  5. Defendant’s statement of defence: The defendant responds with their version of the events and any defenses they assert, says our Toronto personal injury lawyer.

Next steps are the nitty-gritty, say Toronto personal injury lawyers 

Once the lawsuit is initiated, you’ll progress through various stages:

  • Discovery: Both parties exchange information, documents, and may conduct depositions during the discovery process. This step helps each side understand the other’s case, notes our Toronto personal injury lawyer.
  • Mediation or settlement conference: Mediation is a process where a neutral third party attempts to facilitate a settlement. The Mandatory Mediation Program is in effect in Toronto, Ottawa, and Windsor under Rule 24.1 of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure. It is also mandatory to participate in mediation if either of the party requests it under s. 258.6 of Insurance Act (IA), otherwise costs can be imposed. 
  • Trial preparation: If a settlement isn’t reached, your Toronto personal injury lawyer continues to prepare for trial. This includes gathering evidence, securing expert witnesses, and crafting legal arguments.
  • Trial: The trial is where your case is presented, and liability is determined by a judge or jury at the Superior Court of Justice.
  • Judgment: After the trial, a judgment is issued. If you prevail, the court will determine the damages you are entitled to receive. In Ontario, there’s a cap on non-pecuniary damages (pain and suffering). But, others, like economic losses and future care costs, aren’t capped, says our Toronto personal injury lawyer.
  • Appeal: Either party may be unhappy with the outcome and launch an appeal, which is a process involving a review by the Court of Appeal for Ontario. The original decision can be affirmed, modified, or even result in a retrial.

Call or email us now

The personal injury lawsuit process in Ontario is intricate and time-consuming, with many steps. To navigate it effectively and maximize your chances of a successful outcome, it’s essential to work with our Toronto personal injury lawyers. Call or email us.


Mariya Verkhovets

Over many years of practicing personal injury law, she has helped thousands of injured Canadians. Whether by case settlement, tribunal, or a Court Order, Mariya can help you get the compensation you deserve. She advocates zealously for those whose voices frequently remain not heard. Prior to having her own practice, Mariya articled in a plaintiff-side personal injury firm, and worked there for a number of years after being admitted to the Ontario Bar. She continues to advocate for her clients and represent their interests in various courts and tribunals.