What are the steps in the MVA litigation process?

A: The motor vehicle accident (MVA) litigation process in Alberta, Canada, involves several steps, from the initial consultation with a lawyer to the potential settlement or trial. It is essential to understand these steps to navigate the process effectively and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

  1. Initial consultation: After an MVA, it is crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss the details of your case, understand your rights, and determine if you have a valid claim. The lawyer will assess the circumstances of the accident, evaluate the potential for compensation, and explain the litigation process.

  2. Investigation and information gathering: If you decide to proceed with the claim, your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence, such as police reports, medical records, witness statements, and photographs of the accident scene. This information is vital to building a strong case and establishing liability for the accident.

  3. Notice of claim: Your lawyer will file a Notice of Claim with the appropriate court, which outlines the details of the accident, the parties involved, the allegations against the defendant(s), and the damages sought. In Alberta, the limitation period for filing a personal injury claim is generally two years from the date of the accident or the date when you knew or ought to have known of your injuries.

  4. Pre-trial negotiations and settlement: Once the Notice of Claim is filed, the parties will typically engage in negotiations to reach a fair settlement. The defendant's insurance company may offer a settlement amount based on the evidence and damages claimed. Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair settlement. Many MVA cases are settled out of court, without the need for a trial.

  5. Discovery: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to the discovery phase. During discovery, both parties exchange relevant documents, and each side's lawyers question the other party under oath. This process allows both parties to gather more information about the case and can sometimes lead to a settlement before trial.

  6. Pre-trial conference: A pre-trial conference is held with a judge, where the parties discuss the case's issues and attempt to resolve any outstanding matters. The judge may provide guidance on the case and help the parties reach a settlement.

  7. Trial: If the case is not settled during the pre-trial conference, it will proceed to trial. At trial, both parties will present their evidence, call witnesses, and make arguments to support their case. The judge or jury will then determine liability and assess the appropriate compensation for damages.

  8. Judgment and appeal: After the trial, the judge or jury will issue a judgment, which outlines the decision and the damages awarded, if any. Either party may appeal the decision if they believe there were errors in law or procedure during the trial.

The MVA litigation process can be complex and time-consuming. It is crucial to have an experienced personal injury lawyer representing your interests and guiding you through the process to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

If you've been in an MVA, contact Kantor LLP, MVA Injury Lawyers, for a free consultation.
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