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Tom B.
Tom B., Barrister & Solicitor
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  23 years in practice
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I hit a pedestrian 2 years ago, and just got served papers

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I hit a pedestrian 2 years ago, and just got served papers that they are sueing me.. I was turning left and it was snowing.... I was stoped and made my turn and struck her. i was not insured. I didnt get charged with anything except for no insurance and no registration. She was not hurt badly but now is suing me.... What should I do.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Tom B. replied 1 year ago.

Tom Law :

Hello

Tom Law :

I assume you were actually served with legal papers and not just a threat. If so, please advise what level of court and what province.

Tom Law :

Don't panic :)

Customer:

Calgary, Alberta..... Its from a lawyers office Court of Queens Bench

Tom Law :

Okay so there is a QB file number and it has been filed at a registry??

Customer:

It looks that way yes.

Customer:

the documents are bogus tho.... i wasnt going fast and I barely hit the, i even drove them to the hospital

Customer:

she did have a cut on her head but they were both talking normal.

Customer:

alot of what they are claiming is exagerated

Tom Law :

Yes facts can be overstated at this stage. What date did the accident happen??

Customer:

Dec 22, 2010

Customer:

Date on the clerks stamp is Dec 20 2012... looks fake tho.... the date on the lawyers cover letter is march 6, 2013

Tom Law :

The pedestrian had two years from the accident to start a court case. That is why the claim is dated 2 days earlier.

Tom Law :

They did that to keep options open.

Tom Law :

They do not have to serve the documents but they have to commence an action. If you have any suspicions, you have the ability to go to the Registry and look at the file.

Customer:

so what should i do?

Tom Law :

This sounds like a plaintiff wanting a pay day. But, the first thing you have to do is respond to this on time and as specified in the documents you received. They will tell you that you have a couple of weeks to file a form and then a couple more to file a defence. These steps are crucial.

Customer:

ya i have a month cause i live out of the province now... i live in ontario now.... should i get a lawyer? i originally got charged with careless driving but the charge was dropped.

Tom Law :

What does it say as far as the first form you must file? I was educated in Alberta but long ago. The concepts are always the same however. You have to respond and on particular dates.

Customer:

i can email you the documents if you like

Tom Law :

Yes you need to talk with your own lawyer. But, you added a new detail in that you are in Ontario and the case is in Alberta.........

Customer:

it says






You only have a short time to do something to defend yourself against this claim:






20 days if you are served in Alberta
1 munth if you are served outside Alberta but in Canada 2 months if you are served outside Canada






You can respond by filing a Slatement of Defence or a Demand for Notice in the Otfice of the elerk of the Court of Queen's Bench at Calgary, Alberta, AND by serving your Statement of Defence or a Demand for Notice on the Plaintiffs'address for service.






lf you do not file and serve a Statement of Defence or a Demand for Notice within your time period, you risk losing the law suit automatically. lf you do not file, or do not $erve or are late in doing either of these things, a caurt may give a judgment to the Flaintiffs against you





Customer:

yes i am now in ontario

Customer:

my parents live here

Tom Law :

FYI the time is calculated from the day after you were served. More....

Customer:

ok so from today

Tom Law :

An Ontario lawyer is not going to assist so you need an Alberta Lawyer. Here is a link to the Lawyer Referral Service. Call them and as for personal injury DEFENCE lawyers. You will get a few names and each has agreed to consult initially at no charge.

Customer:

t

Customer:

ok thanks

Tom Law :

http://www.lawsociety.ab.ca/public/lawyer_referral.aspx

Tom Law :

More...

Customer:

anything else? have you seen this before? im just scared theis was a huge surprise today

Tom Law :

Instinct tells me that distance is going to be used against you.

Tom Law :

Yes I am not finished :)

Customer:

Why is that? I also have a disabilty from the US Marines cause I have PTSD and was treated for it i was in Iraq for 8 months in combat

Tom Law :

The Alberta Small Claims court has jurisdiction up to $25K. They sued in QB so they are looking for some amount over $25K. On your facts, the injuries were minor. Unless there is some greater injury than you know, they are overstating. They could be hoping that you will not defend because of distance.

Customer:

ya in the papers they are asking for like 200k

Tom Law :

This is only about injuries. Unless a pedestrian leaps out in front of a car, there is really no defence for hitting a pedestrian.

Customer:




As for the Plaintiff, ANKHTSET$EG DORJSUREN {also known as ANAKA DORJ$UREN}:






(a) general damages in the amount of $100,000.00;






(b) special damages in the eslimated amount of $5,000.00, plus such further amounts as may be proven at the trialof this Claim;






(c) damages for past and future loss of housekeeping capacity in the estirnated amount of $10,000.00 plus such further amounis as may be proven at the trial of this Claim;






id)




compensation or damages for past and future loss of income and loss of earning capacity in the estimated amount of $?0,000.00 plus such further amounts as rnay be prcven at the trial of this Claim;






(e) compensation or damages for cost of past and futr-,rre care in the estimated amount of $5,000,00 plus such further amounts as may be proven at the trial of this Clairn;






As for the Plaintiff, MUNKHTULGA TUMURBAATAR (also known as TULGA TUMURBAATAR};






1*6{i:5 I t. t






(f) general darnages in the amount of $25,000.00;






(g) special damages in the estimated amount of $2,000.00, plus such further amounts as may be proven at the trial of this Claim;






(h) compensation or damages for loss of earning capacity in the estimated amount of $10,000,00 plus such further amounts as may be proven at the trial of this Claim;





Tom Law :

Wow. It makes no sense to me on your facts.

Tom Law :

BUT, they have to prove it. You do not have to disprove it.

Customer:

ya thats why im so confused.....

Customer:

they are trying to milk this for some reason and why did they wait so long

Customer:

i doubt they are even canadian citizens

Tom Law :

A cut on the head does not equal such a claim.

Tom Law :

What will probably be suggested by your lawyer is to do a general denial response. Cheap and clear basically stating "prove it".

Customer:

ya thats what im so confused and the sun had no visible dmages at all infact he was totally fine

Customer:

i hit them at a rate of 5km tops not even

Tom Law :

The son is a Plaintiff as well?

Customer:

ya the other name on thats stated

Tom Law :

How old is the son?

Customer:

i hit a woman and a man about 19 years of age

Customer:

19

Customer:

maybe

Customer:

not too sure

Tom Law :

If he is an adult he can sue on his own. I was asking thinking he might be a child. More....

Customer:

ya

Tom Law :

The first thing you must do is reply on time. You can do that on your own by doing the research. But, I think a lawyer assisting you is best. Perhaps that lawyer will agree with me that when confronted with a suspicious claim, the tables have to be turned early on.

Customer:

yes i agree... so a local lawyer or call one in calgary?

Tom Law :

I would hit the other lawyer for demands of documents and better particulars and medical reports. This is legal speak for show me what you have.....

Customer:

so call him?

Customer:

do u think they have all the documents or its just a scare tactic thinking i wont reply in time

Tom Law :

Yes, an Alberta lawyer near Calgary. SHOP AROUND! There could be a lawyer much cheaper 10 minutes out of town. More....

Tom Law :

They have to prove the case. Asking for evidence of injury and lost income is easy. There has to be documents to support.

Tom Law :

I think they think you will settle and not fight.

Customer:

ya because i am far away

Customer:

or they think i was insured and are depending on my insurance to pay iy

Tom Law :

Exactly. You do not oppose and they win automatically. You oppose and they have to spend serious money. More...

Tom Law :

Yes, they could be thinking you are insured. I doubt that though because if you were insured, there would have been adjusters in contact.

Customer:

i doubt they even have the traffic report...

Tom Law :

Exactly! How do you get from there with a cut on her head to not being able to work???

Customer:

why would the her lawyer even take the case on then

Tom Law :

With what you say, there is no way they can prove these claims. In my opinion, the other side wants you to default and when it starts costing them money, they could re assess.

Tom Law :

Why would the lawyer take the case is something you may never know...........

Customer:

should i try to settle it with them outside of court, like give them 5000 grand

Tom Law :

Either the lawyer is paid or is on a contingency agreement where the lawyer gets a big percentage of the order or settlement. In the former, lawyers work as long as they are getting paid. In the latter, there has to be some belief that there will be a large pay day down the road. You may never know.

Customer:

true

Tom Law :

If you were my client, I would start with a simple letter to this other lawyer asking for all documents to support their claim. This must be delivered anyway under Court Rules but I would start just asking short and "cheap" questions. This is going to cost you a bit to place the ball in the other game court.

Tom Law :

You need to respond on time. Then, ask questions and for details.

Customer:

so how do i respond by contacting the queens bench?

Tom Law :

Sure. If you want to do it by yourself, you need to download the forms and fill them out.

Customer:

so contact the other lawyer first or do the reply first

Customer:

or at same time

Tom Law :

Well you have some days to consider. No urgency here. Here is the link to get the form...

Tom Law :

http://www.albertacourts.ab.ca/CourtofQueensBench/PublicationsForms/CivilForms/tabid/446/Default.aspx

Customer:

ok thanks

Tom Law :

That would be the Statement of Defence. All that is really required is a general denial. But, it must be in court on time.

Customer:

how do i get a general denial

Tom Law :

So, my advice is to be suspicious of this claim (DONE!) and take it slow and get advice from an Alberta Lawyer. In any event, file a Defence on time! It can be done by fax.

Customer:

ok sounds goo

Customer:

good

Tom Law :

A general denial would read like..... The Defendant denies each and every claim made in the statement of claim and holds the Plaintiff to the strict proof thereof".

Customer:

ok

Tom Law :

While forcing them to work is a good test, slow down, take the time. You have a month to figure out a strategy. The earlier you file anything, the quicker this happens. Just make sure something is filed TWO DAYS before the deadline just like they did :)

Customer:

ok sounds good

Tom Law :

I am happy to work with you again. Please consider accepting my answer and looking for me again.

Tom Law :

Tom

Customer:

thanks tom

Tom Law :

You are welcome. Unless you have another question, please rate my answer :)

Tom Law :

Tom

Tom B., Barrister & Solicitor
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 2135
Experience: 23 years in practice
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