Ontario residents who have suffered loss or harm due to another person's wrongdoing may not realize that they may have grounds to seek recovery of damages. The victim may file a tort claim in a civil court against the person who is deemed to be financially responsible. However, for any personal injury claim to be successful, the plaintiff must establish negligence on the part of the defendant. It must also be shown that the defendant's negligence was the proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries.
Every person has a duty of care toward other people to ensure they do not act in a manner that would cause harm to them. To weigh negligence, the court considers whether the accused party had such a duty and, if so, whether it was breached. Negligence can result from intentional or unintentional acts, and a person could even be accused of negligence in failing to take action -- such as neglecting to shovel snow from a sidewalk.
In determining whether the defendant was negligent, the court will consider whether that person had a duty of care and whether he or she failed to take due care. The court will then determine whether that failure caused the plaintiff any harm. In some cases, multiple parties may be named as defendants. For example, in an accident caused by a commercial truck driver, the employer and/or truck owner can be sued along with the driver.
Establishing negligence in a tort claim can be a challenging endeavour, and victims of car accidents typically rely upon experienced personal injury lawyers to help navigate the civil justice system. An Ontario lawyer can provide the necessary guidance every step of the way. The successful presentation of the complaint and properly documented claims may lead to a monetary judgment against the defendant.