Most claims in Ontario are subject to a limitation period, including personal injury claims. The limitation period is the time within which you must have filed your legal claim after discovering the injury. Personal Injury Claims are subject to different limitation periods depending on what type of injury occurred, who the victim was and who the negligent party was.
General Limitation Period
The basic limitation periods are contained in the Limitations Act. The basic limitation period is two years from the date that the loss was discovered. As a basic example, if you were punched by someone on January 1, 2019 and they broke your jaw, you must have filed a tort claim by January 1, 2021 to preserve your claim.
Automobile Accident Claims
The general notice period of two years applies to filing an automobile accident tort claim against the at fault driver. However, most car accidents also involve a claim against your own insurer for accident benefits. Accident benefits are paid to help with medical expenses and loss of wages. Given that there are two types of claims possible for a car accident (accident benefits and tort), the following is a helpful timeline for dealing with automobile accident personal injury claims.
7 days – You must notify your insurance about the accident
30 days – You have 30 days to submit an accident benefits application to the insurer
120 days (3 months) – Provide written notice to the at-fault driver (defendant) if you intend to file a lawsuit against them
1 year – To file a lawsuit for vehicle damage in court
Two years – To file a personal injury lawsuit against the at fault driver in court
Claims Against A Municipality
For cases involving municipal negligence (such as a slip and fall accident on an unsalted, icy, city owned sidewalk) you must give them notice of the injury within 10 days of the accident. This very tight deadline makes contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately especially important.
When Does The Limitation Period Not Apply?
The two-year limitation period does not apply to a number of important exceptions, such as:
- Children under the age of 18:
For children under the age of 18, the limitation period time does not start being counted until either, the child turns 18 or the child obtains a litigation guardian.
- Incapable Persons:
Another important exception to the limitation period is for persons incapable of making their own decisions, their limitation period does not run until they have a litigation guardian appointed.
- Sexual Assault Victims
When a person has injuries or another claim resulting from a sexual assault, the two-year limitation period does not apply.
Nobody wants to imagine themselves or a loved one burdened with an injury. An unexpected accident can leave you open to many expenses and even loss of income. The best way to protect your rights and ensure you do not go over your limitation period for filing a claim is to hire an experienced personal injury counsel to assist with your case. Mehdi Au LLP has personal injury lawyers on staff available to help you.