The statute of limitations is the time limit the government places on when you are able to file a claim. Each province has its own rules regarding statutes of limitation, and each type of claim (personal injury, breach of contract, libel) has its own specific timeframe.
In Ontario, the statute of limitation for car accident injury torts against a negligent driver is two years, as per the Limitations Act, 2002, s.4. You also must provide notice to the defendant within 120 days of the accident.
Our personal injury lawyers can meet with you for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Understanding the Importance of the Statute of Limitations
Statutes of limitations were put into place to essentially protect defendants. If the law permitted victims to bring a claim 10 or 20 years after the accident, memories would have faded, evidence would have been lost, and witnesses may be deceased or impossible to locate.
Therefore, the government has decided upon a reasonable timeframe in which car accident victims can bring a claim.
The time allows both sides to do the following.
- Gather information
- Research options
- Contact a lawyer
- File necessary documents
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
There are certain cases in which the courts may consider extending the statute of limitations. For instance, if you didn’t realize your injury occurred until well after the accident, the time limit may be extended.
A few other situations that may merit an exception are listed below.
- The claimant is under 18 (the clock starts ticking when the child turns 18).
- The claimant did not know that he or she had a threshold meeting injury; or
- The claimant is mentally incapable and lacks capacity to initiate a claim.
If you have an extenuating circumstance, speak with a lawyer to determine how the law applies to your specific case.
Get Started Filing Your Claim
While you may have two years to file your claim, it’s ill-advised to procrastinate. As soon as practicable, speak to a lawyer to review your legal options. One of the reasons to get started is that it’s important to preserve evidence as soon as possible.
Also, collecting information, consulting witnesses, and filing paperwork takes a certain amount of time. If you wait until the last moment to take your case to a lawyer, the case might have to be rushed and you don’t want a harried, ill-prepared case.
Note that failing to file a claim in time will be bar to your right to file a claim or lawsuit to collect compensation. If you pursue your claim as early as possible, you can avoid inadvertently overstepping the time limit.
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Legal Help for Your Car Accident Claim in Ontario
To discuss your car accident claim with a lawyer in Ontario, call our team of lawyers at Preszler Law to start the process.
- Reviewing your case.
- Helping you collect benefits in through a Accident Benefits or tort claim.
- Determining if you are within the statute of limitations.
- Helping you take the steps necessary to move your case forward.
For a free consultation, contact us at 1-800-JUSTICE® today.