Edmonton injury lawyer Joseph A. Nagy showing drawing of traffic accident to injury victim.

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//Understanding the Legal Process

Understanding the Legal Process

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Understanding the Legal Process 2017-11-30T13:18:47+00:00

The Legal Process

Joseph A. Nagy helps injury victim clients understand the legal process leading to a successful resolution of their claims.A claim for damages resulting from a personal injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident has two main stages: the insurer stage and the litigation stage. Rather than going to trial, however, your claim may be resolved through Alternative Dispute Resolution.

In the insurer stage, your lawyer will deal directly with an insurance adjuster.

In the litigation stage, your lawyer will deal with a lawyer hired by the insurance company after a lawsuit has been filed. A trial may follow.

In Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), your lawyer will help you resolve your claim without having to go to a trial.

Insurer Stage

If your claim can be resolved directly with the insurer without having to resort to litigation, then there is no need to litigate. Joseph A. Nagy has successfully settled thousands of personal injury claims without having to litigate. It requires a pro-active approach to obtaining all of the medical, wage loss, and other information he might need to prove your claim to the insurer. Generally, insurance companies and clients want to avoid costly litigation. Litigation can be a stressful experience and a lengthy drawn out process. Joe can guide you through the important steps you will need to take at the insurer stage, including:

  • follow up with your doctor’s recommended treatment
  • attend upon any expert assessments
  • co-ordinate your Section B benefits so that your medical treatment is paid for and your disability benefits are in place

With very few exceptions, your claim must be settled within 2 years of the date of your accident.


Advice on the Legal Process

Here is the advice I give my clients.

Protect yourself.

Contact me as soon as possible after your motor vehicle accident to discuss how I can maximize your personal injury claim.

I receive many inquiries from people who have tried, unsuccessfully, to settle their claim with the insurance company by themselves. Inevitably, they require a lawyer to file a Statement of Claim with the Court to protect their right to sue. By this time, they have prejudiced their case by releasing critical information to the insurance company that did not have to be provided. This makes it difficult for your lawyer to protect your interests. Get advice up front!

Having a skilled and experienced lawyer on your side is vital to the successful resolution of your case.

Joseph A. Nagy
Injury Lawyer

Why Can’t I Settle My Case Directly With the Insurance Company?

The main reasons why a claim cannot be resolved with the insurer include:

  • you have not reached maximum medical improvement
  • the adjuster does not want to pay you a reasonable amount for your injuries, harms, and losses
  • the adjuster believes your claim is subject to the Minor Injury Regulation—a Statement of Claim must be filed at the Court house (usually within 2 years; contact Joseph A Nagy for exceptions to this rule)
  • the adjuster is disputing contributory negligence; causation of your injuries, harms, and losses; who’s at fault for the accident; or the seriousness of your injuries, harms, and losses.

Litigation Stage

In the litigation stage, the insurance company of the party responsible for your injuries hires a lawyer to defend your claim. Joseph A. Nagy will exchange relevant records with the other lawyer.

Then, a procedure called a “questioning” will occur at one of the lawyer’s offices. In advance of this questioning, Joseph A. Nagy will have prepared you to make you comfortable with the procedure. During the questioning, a court reporter will be present. Parties will be sworn under oath to tell the truth. Joseph A. Nagy will question the party at fault for your accident. The insurance company lawyer will question you.

Further document production will likely arise out of the questioning, and a second questioning may be held and questions may be asked pertaining to the information that was not available at the original questioning. The insurance company’s lawyer may require you to attend one or more Defence Medical Examinations. Expert reports are exchanged and your case can be scheduled for trial.

Trial is the final stage of the litigation process. Most personal injury cases, however, settle without trial.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to various ways of resolving your claim without having to go to a trial. Settlement can occur at any time without resort to an ADR process. The two most common forms of ADR in personal injury claims are mediation, and Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR). Both forms of ADR are “without prejudice.”

In mediation, a trained mediator helps the parties come to a resolution by identifying the interests of the parties and developing strategies that meet those interests. This type of mediation is referred to as “interest based mediation.” Mediation is effective when the parties are not far apart on the issues and when an evaluative approach is not required.

A JDR occurs at a Courthouse before a Judge in a private setting (not inside a Court room). The lawyers prepare written briefs for the Judge. The lawyers make submissions and the Judge may have a few questions for the parties. The Judge addresses the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments on both sides and informally “evaluates” the case. JDR is very useful when one or more parties need to have a Judge’s informal opinion on a matter or complex legal issue.

I was in two consecutive car accidents which resulted in chronic pain. After speaking with a large personal injury law firm, I decided to meet with Joe. After our first meeting, I knew I was in good hands. Joe answered all of my questions thoroughly and protected me through the litigation.

It felt great knowing that Joe was on my side. Joe is a compassionate and intelligent lawyer and he always seemed to know the right strategy to achieve the best outcome for my cases. Joe listened carefully to my concerns and he was there for me when I felt vulnerable. I was very pleased with the final result. I truly was impressed with Joe’s dedication to me and my cases.