What is a Tort Claim? Learn about Tort Claim Process
We hear about personal injury or pain and suffering claim very often. But tort claim is not always heard. So, it may seem a little strange and different. However, the process and use of tort claims are not very uncommon.
In this article, let’s find out everything about tort claims and the process of the claim. Also, this article may help you find the right person to help you in such cases.
Let’s get started.
What is a Tort Claim?
The literal definition of tort is “wrong.” It may be injustice or wrong in case of an accident or incident made by others. It is just like any car accident injury claim. But the application and scopes may be different from the actual personal injury claim.
A personal injury claim is formal in its characteristics, made to the court for all the losses you face in an accident. In contrast, a tort claim is the informal version of the claim.
Usually, the tort claim is those compensations that the ICBC does not pay. But, if you have suffered more injuries or loss during that same accident, you can apply for a tort claim.
Think of it as a notice of claim made informally. The summary of the tort law is that anyone responsible for someone else’s losses by any civil wrong must be held accountable.
Tort Claim Process: How to File a Tort Claim?
The first step of filing a tort claim is submitting the claim. Then the rest follows.
1. Submit a tort claim request
You can submit a tort claim form both online and in person. Also, the mail and fax are also available.
In case of online, attach the scan copies of all the documents. However, you cannot save the application further. So, you need to complete the process in one sitting. So, gather all the documents before starting.
N.B. due to COVID-19, the application in person is currently off. It will be better to call first to ensure appointments.
2. Beginning of the process
The authority will receive your application and start processing. That means they will investigate your claim thoroughly.
Then the lawyers will start their discussion with all the evidence they have in hand. This step is a relatively long process. To make the case as clear as possible, a list of things may be needed, from questioning to medical exams.
3. Tort Claim Settlement
This is not a mandatory step but may arise at any point in the process. Before the final judgment, either party can offer a settlement. The settlement out of court can save a lot of hassles and benefit both parties.
However, the settlement out of court can be lengthy. So you must be prepared.
4. The final result
The last step will be the judgment from the court. After investigation and legal battle, the court will decide if you are eligible for the tort claim or not.
Eligibility of Tort Claim: What are The Elements of a Tort Claim?
There are four elements of a tort claim according to the tort law in Canada. To be eligible, your case must fulfill the following conditions.
You must prove that the other party has some kind of duty towards you. The defendant must owe you one. For example: in case of a car accident, it is his civic duty to try to stop the car or slow down to save others from injury.
2. Breach of duty
The next step will be to prove that the defendant did not do his duty. This breach of duty can come from negligence or carelessness. For example: in a car accident, you need to prove that he did not try to slow the speed or try to brake. Hence, he did not fulfill his civic duty.
Next, it is time to prove that due to the breach of duty, he caused some kind of loss- injury, damages, or other sufferings. The degree of damage varies from case to case.
This is the degree or severity of damages we talked about in the previous point. You must provide all the evidence of your severity of the loss. It can be medical reports in case of physical injury, pain, and suffering, etc. Also, other material damages can be included.
Statement of Claim Tort: How to Write a Tort Claim
To write an amicable tort claim, there are several things to follow.
- Read the instructions carefully, whether be it the form of a tort claim or any other form. There you will find all the answers to your confusion. And also, they will help you to write a statement clearly with lesser mistakes.
- Do not lie or provide false evidence. Provide all the right documents and proofs. Also, try to attach as many documents as you can to make your claim stronger.
The documents you may need:
- The tort claim form (filled completely)
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Damage bills
- Photographs (if any) etc.
Here is an example of a standard tort claim application:
- Start with complete address, phone number, and mailing address.
- Time and date of the incident.
- Name and address of the defendant(s) and witnesses. If you don’t know anyone, write ‘unknown.’
- Write a clear description of the incident. Describe the injuries and damages you suffered from that incident.
- The documents or evidence of police complaints or any legal documents will do.
- Attach all the medical documents, photographs that you feel important.
- Finally, add the final amount in CAD that you think you deserve for your damages.
How Long does It Take to Settle a Tort Claim?
Although the length of every case varies depending on the severity of the case, an average length is 6 weeks.
After submitting a claim, it can take up to 90 days to approve your application. If the claim is not approved within 90 days, it will be automatically denied.
A tort claim is often confused with a personal injury claim. In reality, tort claims are much more complex and difficult to proceed with. It has so many points and loopholes that without any experience, there is a good chance of losing the case.
That is why it is our recommendation to contact an experienced lawyer who can handle such a case. He will represent you on the court and help you win the claim as you should.