An Ottawa Injury Lawyer’s Constant Frustration: Defence Counsel who Delay

Defence Counsel who Delay

OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – If you ask a personal injury lawyer anywhere in North America what they find most frustrating, I suspect the majority will tell you the same thing: insurance lawyers’ delay. I faced a heavy dose of it today on a very serious case involving a 42 year old mother with life altering injuries that no-one disputes were caused by her accident.

It starts when they delay the delivery of the statement of defence (the document that responds to the law suit). Then, they don’t give you their documents on time. That is followed quickly by the fact that their calendars are soooo full that they cannot give you discovery dates for m-o-n-t-h-s. AHHHH.

Injury cases in Ottawa face mandatory mediation. These are hard to schedule because many of the good mediators have their own scheduling issues. And then of course, the defence counsel has to request an adjournment due to a trial, or because their client the insurance adjuster has a personal emergency. HMMMM

Of course if you have not completed mediation, the settlement conference (pre-trial) has to be adjourned, likely for 4 to 6 months. It is not until the settlement conference that you can get a trial date. And, depending on what length of trial you are dealing with you may not get that trial date for a year.

In almost every case, delay is bad for the plaintiff who is suffering financially because of the accident and who feels stressed and anxious about the case. For the insurance company, it is gravy. They are not sweating the delay because they are professional litigants. They are holding on to their money a little longer. The plaintiff might give up altogether. The plaintiff might take a discount on a fair deal to make this never ending law suit…end.

So what can your lawyer do for you? In Ottawa we can get a court-ordered timetable. We can enforce the timetable. We can send materials, notices, reminders far enough in advance of each event that the defence lawyer has no excuse (or fewer viable excuses) for the delay. We can enlist the help of the court to move the case along. All of these steps help.

However, the most valuable step we can take is to ensure our client that the day will come when the case will end. Patience, most often, is rewarded with something closer to justice. Take a deep breath, like your lawyer is doing, and know that petty tactics are not enough to deter you from the compensation you deserve.

If you are looking for an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist with your case, please feel free to review my website at www.personalinjuryottawa. I would be happy to provide a free consultation – call the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by phone at (613) 860-4529 or email us at [email protected].

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