If you have been injured because of the actions of another, time is of the essence. Filing a claim after an accident is an important step toward obtaining the compensation you need to cover the costs associated with your injuries.
However, there are strict limitation periods set out by Ontario law that limit the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. These time limits are called statutes of limitations, and if you miss one of these deadlines, you will lose your opportunity to file a claim or lawsuit seeking compensation.
To avoid the possibility of missing the statute of limitations that apply to your case, our Windsor personal injury lawyers recommend contacting our firm as soon as possible after an accident.
Ontario Personal Injury Statutes of Limitations
The basic limitation period for most personal injury cases is two years after the date of the accident, according to the Ontario Limitations Act.
However, there are additional deadlines that apply to different types of cases that you should be aware of. There are also some rare exceptions to the two-year deadline.
If you have been injured in an auto accident in Ontario, there are several deadlines you should be aware of in addition to the statute of limitations:
- Seven days – Notify your accident benefits insurer about the accident
- 30 days – Submit an accident benefits application
- 120 days (three months) – Provide written notice to the at-fault driver if you intend to file a lawsuit against him or her
- One year – File a lawsuit for vehicle damage
- Two years – File a personal injury lawsuit against the insurer or at-fault driver
Accidents Involving the Government
In some situations, the negligence of the government or one of its employees may be to blame for your injuries. If this is the case, you will have to file a claim against the appropriate government agency.
However, there are several additional deadlines that you must meet:
- Claims against municipalities require that you provide written notice to the appropriate municipality within 10 days of the accident, according to Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25 Section 44(10).
- Claims against the Province of Ontario, which is responsible for all major highways, including the 400 series, also requires 10 days’ notice of your intention to file a claim.
Notice must include the date, time, location and additional details about the incident.
It is important to note that providing notice does not initiate a lawsuit. You will still have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
Some common claims against the government include those involving:
- Poorly maintained roads or sidewalks
- Street cars or trains
- Icy surfaces on city property
If a loved one was killed in an accident caused by another’s actions, you have two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Those who have been injured because of medical malpractice have two years from the date of the incident to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, if you are not immediately aware of your injury or the fact that you could have a legal claim, you have two years from the date you discovered the injury, or should have reasonably discovered it.
Injury Victims Under the Age of 18
There are very few exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations, including:
- If the injury victim is under the age of 18 and not represented by a litigation guardian (Limitations Act, Section 6)
- If the injury victim is incapable of filing a claim because of his or her physical, mental or psychological condition and he or she is not represented by a litigation guardian (Limitations Act, Section 7)
Do Not Wait to Contact Our Windsor Personal Injury Lawyers
The statutes of limitations and many additional deadlines that must be met for filing a claim make it extremely important that you contact our personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. If you miss these deadlines, you will lose your opportunity to file a claim and obtain compensation.
Do not wait to contact Greg Monforton & Partners today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss the details of your claim. We will work to help make sure your claim is filed within the required deadlines.
We work on a contingency fee basis and will not charge for our services unless we recover compensation for you.