How To Sue Someone in Ontario - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

How To Sue Someone in Ontario


When injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, getting the compensation you deserve frequently requires suing the other person. It would be nice if insurance companies and the parties responsible for causing your injuries simply offered to pay the damages, but as experienced Ontario personal injury lawyers know, the ability to take a claim for damages to court through a lawsuit could be the only way to get it resolved in your favor. Knowing the process involved in suing someone in Ontario helps you to understand your rights and how to enforce them.

What is a civil lawsuit?

A civil lawsuit is the process to have a dispute between two or more parties resolved by a court.  Enforcing the terms of a contract you claim was breached by the other party is a common dispute for which individuals or corporations might sue each other in a civil lawsuit. The other common types of lawsuits in civil court are tort claims.

Tort claims include personal injury caused by negligent drivers, property owners or physicians. They are based upon the legal principle that a person engaging in conduct that falls below a reasonable standard of care should be held responsible for the damages it causes.

The injured party seeking damages in a civil lawsuit is the plaintiff. The defendant is the party whose wrongful conduct caused the accident or incident and the resulting injury to the plaintiff. The lawyer representing the plaintiff must prove the defendant’s conduct was negligent, careless or reckless.

Before suing another party, your lawyer might recommend filing a claim for damages with the insurance company representing the party at fault in causing you to be injured. Negotiations between your lawyer and the insurance company could settle the claim, but if it does not result an offer of adequate compensation, a lawsuit can be started.

Steps in the process of suing someone in Ontario

Your lawyer knows the proper steps and procedures to sue someone in Ontario, but the following is a brief summary of them to give you an understanding of the process:

  • Investigation of the claim: Your lawyer reviews police reports and other evidence about the case to identify the party or parties responsible the damages you incurred. For example, an accident involving multiple motor vehicles could present several drivers whose conduct contributed to causing the collision in which you were injured.
  • Preparation of a statement of claim: Your lawyer prepares a statement of claim, which contains the facts upon which your claim for damages is based. The statement of claim is submitted to the court, and a copy is served on each defendant.
  • Statement of defence: A defendant served with a statement of claim must submit a statement of defence responding to the factual allegations in the statement of claim and offering any defences to the plaintiff’s claim.
  • Discovery: The discovery stage of a lawsuit is when the parties exchange documents and other information about the plaintiff’s claim and the defences raised in opposition to it. Parties to a lawsuit may be compelled to answer questions posed by the lawyer for the opposing side. The witness at such an examination is under oath and the questions and responses recorded and transcribed for use by the parties.
  • Pre-trial conference: After completion of discovery, either side in a lawsuit may request that the case be set down by the court for trial. A pre-trial conference is scheduled before the trial date for the lawyers for the parties to meet with a judge to discuss settlement of the claim or to limit the issues that remain in dispute and need to be proven at trial.
  • Trial: When a case actually goes to trial, the plaintiff has the burden of proven its claim for damages with witnesses and documents presented to the judge and jury. The defendant’s lawyer has an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses for the plaintiff. At the conclusion of the plaintiff’s presentation of evidence, the defence presents its witnesses and documents in opposition. Once both sides have presented their evidence, the court will render a decision.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf individuals through negotiated settlements and by suing the responsible parties. Learn more about your right to recover compensation by speaking with one of our lawyers. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

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