Court Proceedings

This section only applies if your matter did not settle at the compulsory conference and did not settle by way of a Written Final Offer being accepted.

After the Written Final Offers expire (14 days after the conference) you must file proceedings in Court within 60 days of the conference (Section 300(3)(a) WCRA).

This is important because even if you are within the original 3 year statutory time limitation the new limitation period is 60 days from the date of the compulsory conference.

Proceedings filed after the expiration of 60 days are invalid.

If the matter did not settle at the compulsory conference your Court proceedings are started by way of filing a Claim and Statement of Claim.

Your lawyer will make a decision based on the dollar value of your case as to which Court to initiate proceedings.

Once the Claim and Statement of Claim is filed the Defendant Insurer has 28 days to file a Notice of Intention to Defend and Defence.

Following that the parties take steps to follow the Court procedure which is now governed by the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules.

If your case is a personal injury matter there is a requirement that you participate in a further conference prior to the matter being certified as ready for trial.

This is known as a Rule 553 conference. This conference can double as a mediation.

If your matter still does not settle at the Rule 53 conference / mediation, then the parties will execute a Request for Trial Date and your matter will be set down for trial.

At the trial of your matter expert witnesses will be called to give their evidence and you will have the opportunity to give your own evidence.

The trial is a Judge only trial.

At the conclusion of the trial you will likely wait several months before a Judge provides his reasons.

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Limitation Period

The limitation period with respect to injuries at work is the same with respect to all personal injuries which is 3 years from the date of accident.

This means that after the expiration of 3 years you will lose your right to bring a claim for damages.

As mentioned above, the limitation period alters once you have a compliant Notice of Claim for Damages.

A compliant Notice of Claim for Damages acts as a stay on the limitation period and the new limitation period becomes 60 days from the date of the compulsory conference.

It is not straight forward with respect to the limitation period which is one of the reasons why you must obtain legal advice.

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Cost Consequences

The cost consequences must be distinguished between the compulsory pre-Court procedure under the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act and the cost consequences of proceeding to Trial.

  1. Cost Consequences under the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act – There are no cost consequences under the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act. This means that if you proceed to a conference and the Insurer states there is no liability on their part, they cannot insist that their costs of defending the matter to that stage be paid.
  2. Cost Consequences of proceeding to Trial – There are cost consequences of proceeding to Trial. If you are successful you will be awarded your costs in addition to the damages awarded by the Judge. If you are unsuccessful you will likely be ordered to pay the Defendant’s legal costs.In assessing the costs to be awarded the Judge is advised, after giving his decision, of the Written Final Offers of either party. These offers effect the costs awarded.
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