Anyone who has watched a few episodes of Law & Order has likely heard the term statute of limitations—but what are the statutes of limitation for injuries after an accident in Ontario?
When considering statutes of limitations in Ontario there is more to consider than just the statutes alone—there are also timelines and cut-off dates to consider. There are also exceptions to the rules should you be awarded special circumstances.
What are the Limitations for Injuries After an Accident in Ontario?
Under the Ontario Limitations Act someone who has suffered a personal injury from a car accident, bicycle accident or other form of accident have 2 years from the date of loss to issue their claim in Court. If you fail to do so before the 2 year mark you may not be entitled to insurance-company or civil-based compensation—however, the law is never that cut-and-dry. There are also various limitations to make your accident benefit claims (i.e. 30 days to send in your initial application). The complexities of the Ontario Limitations Act are too complex to go into here, but they do allow for special circumstances wherein those who have passed the 2 year mark may still file a claim and be eligible for compensation.
How Long After an Accident Should I File a Claim?
While the Ontario Limitations Act allows for up to 2 years for most cases, it is in your best interest to file your claim within 3 months (120 days) of the accident, so as to preserve your pre-judgment interest. Failure to supply the driver or opposing party with notice within 120 days may adversely affect your case. This 120-day timeline isn’t a statute of limitations though, and you are allowed to file a claim well after this cut off. Many claimants miss the 120-day mark as injuries from an accident are not always immediately apparent and many injuries require more than 120 days to recover from.
Work with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Ontario
I highly recommend working with an experienced personal injury lawyer like myself throughout the process as there will be timelines and cut offs that you may not be aware of. For example, if you are in negotiations with an insurance company but have not filed an official claim within the required time you may be “statute barred”, which will strip you of your eligibility for compensation. Yet another timeline to consider is that you are responsible for notifying your insurance company within 7 days of the accident, and your are required, 30 days after receiving the accident benefit form, to return it to the company. Rules for claiming against the other involved party and not the insurance company add yet more complexities to your case.
It is always best to contact legal representation as early in the process as possible as the due diligence needed to file a claim requires time to complete—and this must be completed within the statutes of limitation for injuries after an accident in Ontario.
If you aren’t sure whether you are still eligible to file a personal injury claim and the compensation it brings—call us today, your personal injury lawyers in Whitby and Oshawa.