Canadian Lawyer

October 2019

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 39 of 55

LEGAL REPORT 40 PERSONAL INJURY ACROSS CANADA, trial wait times are plaguing the personal injury field, and plaintiff 's and insurance-defence lawyers are lamenting the many years it takes to close files. Causes vary from province to province and, in some regions, cases linger longer than others. For injured people, bills pile Trial delays add insult to injury Lawyers in personal injury disputes say that, throughout much of Canada, trial delays make a mockery of access to justice for plaintiffs and defendants. up, critical support is inaccessible and some are forced to use litigation loans at exorbitant interest, say their lawyers. On the other side, insurance companies rack up huge legal bills as litigation can stretch on for the better part of the decade. "The delays are really untenable," says Cuming & Gillespie's James Cuming, a personal injury lawyer from Calgary, who says the average three-week trial includes a 24-to-36-month wait. "It's a difficult situation." Troy Lehman practises in Barrie, Ont. He says the inability to get cases before a judge within a reasonable time frame is an access-to-justice issue that he's seen grow in

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