Choice of court
Litigation in superior court is not the only means to recover damages for motorcycle accident. Small Claims Court is a practical and economically viable option when lawyers will not take up case and when the claim is slightly higher than the monetary jurisdiction of the court.
Personal injury claims are fought by lawyers on contingency basis meaning they are only paid after the damages are recovered. In some cases the recovery amount will be small and lawyers will not take the case as the resources and time they put exceeds the amount that is recovered.
The burden of proof is on the claimant and testimony of the claimant is not sufficient. Firstly the fault issue has to be proved and for that the claimant should bring all evidence including police reports, eye witness, affidavits, photographs of the site and diagrams. Sometimes the police report is not favourable and the claimant should make his own theory of negligence based on vehicle code sections.
Motorcycle damage claim can be proved by estimates of repair. If the bike is totally damaged market value of the bike can be ascertained by using advertisement of similar bikes and by Kelly Blue Book values. Pictures of the bike before and after accident might be helpful. Similarly damages for persona property like jacket and helmet can be recovered.
Injuries can be proved by medical bills, medical reports and photos of injuries. For compensation for loss of income it is necessary to get a letter from employer stating client’s position at time of injury, income and the period for which claimant missed work.
The evidence at trial should be well organised by claimant and he should bring two copies one for the opposite side and one for the judge. Also the rules should be checked at every stage so that they are complied with. The small claims court is user friendly as the people representing themselves have no prior litigation experience.

Harkirat Singh Kang is a Paralegal student at Centennial College in Toronto studying professional communications with Omar Ha-Redeye.

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