Understanding the Process

If you’ve just suffered an accident, discrimination, abuse or some other traumatic experience, you may be hurt, frustrated and wondering where to turn and what to expect from a lawyer. This guide will help you understand the process of working with a lawyer to help resolve your personal injury law, employment law, or family law issues.

Initial consultation

It is essential that you take advantage of an initial discussion (usually by phone) to discuss your situation. This initial consultation is completely free for personal injury cases, and an affordable way to explore your options in other cases. There are a few key areas of risk to a claim from the outset so I obtain the facts on these issues in order to take any preventative or protective measures. For example, if you happened to be technically working at the time of the accident, your typical ICBC claim could be denied and forced through the WorkSafe process, which for most claims means less money.

That is why it is even best to have a lawyer before you call your accident claim into ICBC. By talking to us first, we can call in your accident claim, thus helping to avoid the risk that you’ll say something that could negatively impact your claim. It happens more often than you might think. This will also help you to move on with your life and begin to deal with other issues such as health care while your lawyer looks after administrative details on your behalf.

We also take steps to identify the defendants immediately as sometimes people aren’t who they say they are and you can lose your entire claim on this basis.

As your metro Vancouver personal injury lawyers, we strongly encourage you to see a doctor as soon as possible after your accident to ensure that you don’t have injuries you might not be aware of. Many people who think they only suffered minor injuries actually have much more serious injuries internally or that will affect them in the future.

As your metro Vancouver lawyer with a personal touch, Dhahan Law connects you directly with the lawyers who will be handling your case, providing exceptional communication throughout the process.

First Meeting

Once you decide to work with us we’ll arrange a first face-to-face meeting. it could be in our office or, in some cases we can meet you at your home or somewhere else. In this meeting you’ll provide contact information, details about the witnesses, a statement about how the accident happened, a description of your injuries and what steps you’ve taken to get help, information about where you work and how your injuries may have or could affect your ability to earn income and other details.

We discuss your treatment plan and help connect you to suitable treatment options and practitioners. After this first meeting, you are expected to be proactive about following up with your doctor and getting treatment. You are to keep records and receipts for lost income and expenses.

Finally, we arrange a second follow-up meeting.

Second Meeting

After anywhere from a few months to a year, you meet with us for a second time to get an updated picture of your injuries and how they have impacted your personal life, employment, and housekeeping. We make a plan for how to proceed and also decide whether we will attempt to settle the case outside of court or proceed straight to the court.

After the meeting, you continue with your treatment, while we gather more evidence and documents. Some matters settle after our second meeting, but this isn’t always the case.

Third Meeting

If the matter does go to court, our third meeting is likely in preparation for discovery, which is where the opposing party’s lawyer has the opportunity to ask you (the plaintiff) questions under oath. It is recorded and the transcript can be used at trial against you, so we’ll help you understand what kind of questions you may be asked. We also have the opportunity to ask the other party questions in the same manner.

Once litigation begins, the matter can take anywhere from about a year to a few years to resolve. At this stage, both parties are gathering and exchanging documents, attending discoveries and attending at court to deal with any interim matters. We also line up experts and witnesses to gather evidence for trial.

Most matters settle shortly before trial. A few proceed to trial. Depending on the matters in issue, the complexity of the case, the amount at stake, and the desires of the client, there may be any number of additional meetings and steps and there may be trial.

Often times, shortly before trial a medidation is held, in which case the parties and their lawyers and an independent mediator attend to try to resolve the dispute by consent.

Once a matter is settled, it usually only takes about 2 weeks to conclude everything and get your settlement cheque sent out to you.

Request a Consultation

Fill out the form below to arrange a confidential, no-obligation intial consultation. For personal injury cases, this first consultation is completely free.