Find the answers to some of the questions our clients most frequently ask. You can also download our Frequently Asked Questions document from our Downloads page.
What will happen at my initial consultation?
At our first meeting, Franklin Law Firm will gather general information about your claim. You will sign a retainer agreement and authorization forms. This enables us to obtain all the documentation we need to evaluate your case, negotiate a settlement and protect your legal rights. We will then discuss our general strategy with you and answer any questions you may have. This consultation is free.
How long will it take for my case and settlement to be evaluated?
Your case cannot – and should not – be settled until damages have been determined and all investigations have been completed. It generally takes several months to gather the necessary information and, if litigation is necessary, this step may take longer. You only have one opportunity to settle your case. It is therefore imperative that you only settle your case at the optimal time. This may require patience on your part. Each case unfolds differently, making it difficult to predict how long your case will take to complete. More serious injuries often take longer to settle. Once we have all the information and documentation we need, we will contact the insurance company; your insurance company if this is an accident benefits claim and the “at-fault” driver’s insurance company if this is a “tort claim” (meaning for pain and suffering and/or loss of income). We will attempt to reach a settlement through negotiation. It is our obligation to obtain your instructions before agreeing to any settlement. No settlement will be concluded without your input, knowledge and agreement.
What does it mean if my case goes to mediation?
You may be required to attend and/or give evidence at other hearings, such as Examinations for Discovery, Pretrials, Pre-hearings, Mediations and Hearings. If so, you will be fully prepared by us beforehand. We will hire a professional interpreter if you need one. Hearings provide the opportunity for the lawyers to discuss settlement of the case while mediations provide an excellent chance to conclude the case. It is our experience that many cases are settled through mediation.
What happens if my case is not settled?
If we are unable to settle the case at an early stage, there will be other opportunities to try to settle it later. Our next step will likely be to commence a formal lawsuit by issuing a Statement of Claim. There are limitation periods that we must follow and, at times, a claim must be issued even in the initial stages. Although the claim will be issued in court, you do not need to worry you will have to go to trial, as only a small number of cases ever proceed to trial. We will always try to settle your case out of court because the outcome of a trial is not as certain as a settlement.
What if I have to give evidence at a trial?
If your case does proceed to trial, you will be required to attend to give evidence. If so, you will be fully prepared by us beforehand. We will hire a professional interpreter if you need one.
Before your first appointment, download our New Client Contact Information Form
You may also find useful information in the following documents:
- Keep this list of valuable tips on hand for easy reference:
Things To Keep In Mind (PDF)
- For answers to our most frequently asked questions about our consultation process, download:
Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
- For definitions of some common terms you might hear from your lawyer, download:
Useful Definitions (PDF)
- For information on what to do if you have been injured in a car accident, download:
Car Accident Claims Info (PDF)
- To find out what to do if you have returned to work but still are considering pursuing a claim, download:
If You Have Returned To Work (PDF)
- Pain and Suffering/General Damages as defined in the Insurance Act
To review the actual wording of the Insurance Act, go to http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90i08_e.htm and see section 267.5(7).
This wording is further clarified in section 4.2 of Regulation 461/96. Review the wording at http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_960461_e.htm.
- Economic Loss as defined in the Insurance Act
To review the actual wording of the Insurance Act, go to http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90i08_e.htm and see section 267.5(1).
- Regulations concerning returning to work as defined in the Insurance Act
To review the actual wording of the Insurance Act, go to http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_960461_e.htm and see section 4.2.