Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Ontario
When you’re injured in an accident, dealing with the statute of limitations in Ontario isn’t likely the first thing that comes to mind. You’re probably focusing on the pain you’re feeling and the emotional trauma you’re experiencing.
But it’s very important to your case, and it’s integral to getting the compensation you deserve. If you wait too long, you might lose your rights to sue the person who hurt you.
It’s important that you understand what you need to do if you’ve been injured in an accident. Making your claim on time is one of these things.
Read on to find out all the important information about the statute of limitations in Ontario so you’re covered if the unfortunate happens to you.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations determines how long after an accident you can make a claim. When you’ve been in an accident, you only have a certain amount of time to sue. After that, your legal rights to do so are taken away.
This is outlined in the Ontario Limitations Act of 2002, and regulated by the courts. If you have any issues with your specific case, you have to take it up with a judge.
There are also other time limits to consider, such as the time you have to apply for benefits or disability compensation. For example, you have 30 days to apply for accident benefits.
If you miss one of these other time limits, your case could be dismissed completely. You could also be ordered to pay the legal costs for both sides.
The time limit is different in every province. If you’re living in Ontario, it’s important that you get to know the regulations and limitations for your specific personal injury claim.
Contact a Toronto personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing these limitations.
The Statute of Limitations for an Accident in Ontario
You have a 2 year statute of limitations for almost all personal injury cases. This begins on the day the accident happened.
Sometimes you might not know you’re injured until some time after the accident. In this case, you have two years from the day you discovered the injury to make your claim.
There are some situations where the time limit is shorter because you have to give notice to the opposing parties. But these are very specific cases and often depend on circumstances.
If you are suing a municipality, or a provincial government, you’re generally required to give them a certain amount of notice. For example, this could happen if you are injured from a poorly maintained road, or if you slip on ice on city property.
These time periods vary, but they are usually about 10 days. It’s important that you double check as soon as you decide to make your claim. If you don’t pay attention to this requirement, it could affect your ability to make the claim at all.
It’s important to understand this process so you can avoid making any crucial mistakes. Procrastination is not your friend when it comes to personal injury law.
What Happens if I Wait Too Long?
If you wait longer than the 2 years outlined in the Ontario statute of limitations, you won’t be able to claim your benefits or make a case against the other party. You will essentially lose your legal right to take action.
Your case could also be at risk if you wait longer than 120 days to notify the opposing party of your intent to sue. This isn’t exactly a statute of limitations, and you can still make the claim after this time. However, this could still negatively affect your case.
While there are always exceptions to the rules, you shouldn’t risk this unless the circumstances are extreme. For example, if the act was a criminal act, you might be granted a judge’s permission to extend the time period. This is not guaranteed.
The only official exception to the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is if the victim is under age 18. If this is the case, the victim has 2 years after their 18th birthday to make the claim.
So When Should I Make my Claim?
Even though most cases allow up to 2 years to file your claim, you shouldn’t wait that long. As stated before, if you push it too far you could end up losing your right to make the claim.
Ideally, you want to make your claim within 3 months of the accident. The longer you wait, the more the details could become blurry and you might forget some important information.
It could become difficult to find the right evidence you need if you wait longer than 3 months. By this time, witnesses could disappear or forget crucial information or you could lose important records.
Additionally, if you wait longer than 3 months, the medical expenses could pile up. If you’re actively seeking treatment during the time you’re waiting for your claim, you could lose out on a lot of income.
If you’re in a car accident in Ontario, follow the important steps to make sure you’re eligible for the best outcome you can get. It’s never too early to start your claim.
Don’t Wait! Contact Conte & Associates Today
If you’ve been hurt in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you need to act fast to start your claim. Hire a lawyer as soon as you can so you don’t miss any important deadlines or time limits.
Conte & Associates are aggressive, experienced personal injury lawyers who don’t stop fighting for you until you get what you need to move on in your life. We work with the top medical experts in Ontario to get you everything you need.
Don’t wait longer than you should. Contact our offices in Whitby and Oshawa for your free consultation today.