If you are a party to a personal injury law suit in Ontario, you will have to swear an Affidavit of Documents. The Affidavit of Documents is a list of all of the documents that are relevant to the law suit. This includes documents that help you and that you plan to use at trial. It also includes documents that do not help you. Apart from documents that are “privileged”, you generally have to disclose everything that is relevant.
For a plaintiff in a personal injury case, there are a variety of documents you will have to include. One group of important documents relate to how the accident happened. These will include the motor vehicle accident report that was prepared by the police, any photos you have of the accident scene and copies of any traffic tickets or court documents relating to the accident. We will also include any materials received from your property insurer showing the amount of damage to your car.
The most extensive group of documents is usually those that establish your claim for damages. To start with, you must include your medical records. Your personal injury lawyer will order a summary of all OHIP services you have received for the last seven years. That summary will be included. Using the summary, the lawyer will order all of your medical records from the doctors, hospitals and laboratories that have provided medical services to you, both before and since the accident.
Also included are medical records from non-OHIP covered services. Your lawyer will rely on you to identify any physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors or other rehabilitation specialists you have seen.
If you are claiming for your out-of-pocket expenses, your lawyer will also need copies of all of the receipts, prescription records and other information to support your claim for these expenses.
Information from your employer will also be needed if you have suffered a loss of income. Often the lawyer will request your complete personnel file to show your length of service and regular attendance before the accident.
Your tax returns are another important part of your Affidavit of Documents. Generally they are required to be produced for 5 years before the accident. Again, this establishes your earning pattern
If your claim arises from a car accident, your Affidavit of Documents should also include your complete Accident Benefit file.
Not surprisingly, the plaintiff’s Affidavit of Documents is a long list. Many clients are surprised and wonder if their lawyer is overdoing it. However, the fact is that most insurers will require this information before they will consider making a meaningful offer to settle.
Brenda Hollingsworth and Richard Auger are lawyers representing accident victims in Ontario, Canada. Their law firm is Auger Hollingsworth, located in Ottawa. They are the authors of “An Injured Victim’s Guide to Fair Compensation”. To get free copy of this book, fill out the contact form on our home page; email [email protected] or call 613.233.4529.