If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in the Northwest Territories it can feel overwhelming. You may be uncertain what to do next, or what the legal process from claim to settlement in the Northwest Territories is. As an experienced personal injury lawyer who has been active as a Northwest Territories injury lawyer since 1997, Rick Mallett of Hammer Injury Law can help you understand what’s next. In this post, we will explain the process from consultation to trial.
Step 1 – Free Consultation
The first step in this process is a free consultation with an injury lawyer that practices in the Northwest Territories such as Hammer Injury Law. This will allow you to understand your rights, ask any questions you may have, and get the ball rolling on getting the justice and settlement you deserve.
Step 2 – Investigation and Evidence Gathering
Once you have selected an injury lawyer, they get to work gathering evidence and investigating the circumstances of your injury. Not much is required of you at this time; the injury lawyer will ask you a few questions, but most of those will be done by your injury lawyer.
They will utilize the police report, accident reconstruction experts, and other engineers to determine the cause of your accident and assess the damage’s extent. Additionally, they will review your medical records to date and understand your injuries. They will likely get an expert opinion about potential changes to your quality of life and ability to work.
Step 3 – Notification of Claim
This won’t involve you at all. However, your Northwest Territories injury lawyer will notify the at-fault party (or their insurance company) of the claim. This is done in writing, and outlines the injury, the treatment, and the legal basis of the claims.
Step 4 – Settlement Negotiations
Before going to court, there is usually an attempt to settle the case. Your injury lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to reach a settlement that covers your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.
Step 5 – Filing a Lawsuit
If settlement negotiations are not productive, then it is time to go to the next stage. Officially filing a lawsuit. The lawsuit will be filed in the Northwest Territories, so it is important that your injury lawyer is a member of the Northwest Territories Law Society.
Step 6 – Discovery
Both your injury lawyer and the representation for the insurance company will exchange information and evidence. There may be requests for depositions and documents. This is not onerous on your part, your injury lawyer will coordinate and handle all of these requests.
Step 7 – Mediation
This is similar to the settlement negotiations, except now more information has been exchanged. Additionally, more medical treatment and healing have happened on your part and perhaps the impact of the injuries is becoming clearer. Nevertheless, before trial this is a last change for the parties to reach an agreement.
Mediation will often feature a neutral third party who helps both sides negotiate a settlement. Many cases are settled at the mediation stage.
Step 8 – Trial
If mediation does not lead to a resolution and settlement, then there is no other choice but to go to trial. Most people are surprised by how few personal injury claims go to trial, however, some cases need a trial. If the dispute in liability or the facts of the case are contentious, then the courts exist to provide a final resolution.
Step 9 – Verdict/Settlement
If the case goes to trial, it will be decided by a judge. If the verdict is in favour of the plaintiff, the judge will award damages. Sometimes, even after a trial starts, cases can settle before a verdict is reached.
Step 10 – Appeal
The losing party has the right to appeal the decision to a higher court if they believe a legal error affected the verdict.
Understand Your Rights
Given the complexity of the legal process and the specific procedural rules that may apply, it is essential to seek legal advice promptly to ensure your rights are protected, and the best possible outcome is achieved. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident or through the negligence of another party, contact Hammer Injury Law for a free consultation.
Hammer Injury Law, Northwest Territories Injury Lawyer
Rick Mallett has been actively practicing injury law in the Northwest Territories for over 25 years. Hammer Injury Law offers free consultations to help individuals understand their rights and guidance on what to do next. Call The Hammer Today.