What to Do If You Are Served With a Statement of Claim
Please note that informaiton provided in here is for general information only. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon. If you have a legal question, you should consult a lawyer.
You have just been Served with a Statement of Claim where you are Named as a Defendant in a Lawsuit - What Do You Do Now?
Frequently Asked Questions
by Subject Matter:
Car Accident FAQ's
Slip and Fall FAQ's
During the course of representing injury victims, it is sometimes necessary for personal injury lawyers to commence a civil lawsuit on behalf their clients. This is often due to limitation deadlines and an inability to reach an amicable resolution with the insurance company before filing a lawsuit.
A lawsuit in Ontario is usually commenced with the filing of a Statement of Claim, also known as a Complaint in some jurisdictions. This is a pleading which is filed and issued by the Court and must then be personally served upon each of the defendants. As such, a process server will usually be employed to hand deliver the Statement of Claim to the home or business of the named defendant.
We understand that it can be very stressful to have a Statement of Claim (lawsuit) delivered to you in person. Although most injury claims are defended and paid for by insurance companies, the pleading itself must name the defendant personally rather than the insurance company. This is even true in car accident claims, despite the fact that all lawfully registered vehicles in Ontario must be insured.
If you have been served with a Statement of Claim arising out of an automobile accident, your car insurance company at the time of the accident will respond on your behalf. Ontario auto insurance policies require the insurance company to defend claims and indemnify (pay on your behalf) any settlement or judgment within the policy limits. You are required to cooperate with your insurance company during the process; however, it is the insurance company that will make decisions concerning the defense of the claim, including the appointing of a lawyer on your behalf. As such, you should immediately deliver the Statement of Claim to your insurance company and let them take care of the rest.
While it can be stressful to receive papers naming you as a defendant in a car accident case, you should not become overly worried. Stay calm, and get in touch with your auto insurance carrier.