If you are seriously injured in an accident, there are a lot of things to think about all at once. It can be difficult to turn your mind to anything else when you are trying to focus on recovery, and getting your life back on track. You may decide to put off speaking to a lawyer about a potential personal injury claim. But delaying too long can have negative consequences, and in some situations can be devastating for your claim.
Time limits on beginning legal claims in Ontario and The Limitations Act
In Ontario, the government passed legislation to set time limits within which a legal action must be filed. In the majority of civil cases, including personal injury, this time limit is two years from the date that the claim was “discovered.” The Limitations Act sets out the ways in which a claim may be discovered. As a starting point, it is presumed that a claim was discovered on the day that the event giving rise to the claim took place.
In many cases, this is simple enough; for example, the limitation period for a claim against your insurer for denying a disability claim begins to run when you receive their denial.
Discovering that you have a claim requires more than simply knowing that you have suffered an injury. It is not enough to have the various facts that give rise to your claim. Rather, a claim is considered to have been “discovered” when a claimant knew, or ought to have known, that it would be appropriate to seek a legal remedy for their injury through the courts.
Different limitations periods in certain cases
In some cases, there are much shorter periods within which to commence a legal claim. In these circumstances, it is even more important to speak to a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer right away, to avoid risking your right to advance a claim. For example, if you are injured on municipal property, you only have ten days to notify the municipality that you intend to bring a claim.
In other situations, the limitations period is extended. Where children are injured, any limitations period on their claim for damages does not begin to run until their eighteenth birthday, or such a time as they are represented by a litigation guardian to act on their behalf. The limitation period is also suspended while a potential claimant is incapable of bringing a lawsuit as the result of their physical or psychological condition.
What is the limitations period in your case?
At Jasmine Daya & Co., our personal injury litigators have many years of courtroom experience. We have handled hundreds of claims on behalf of accident victims, and can provide advice about the applicable limitations period in your case.
If you have been injured and are wondering when you should commence your claim, don’t risk waiting; we offer free consultations to new clients. Let our experience give you an advantage in your claim, and contact us online or call 416-967-9100 to make an appointment.