How Long After An Accident Can You Sue For Personal Injury In Canada?

Filing a personal injury law claim can often be a grueling and overwhelming process, especially for anyone who hasn’t experienced it before. While the best advice is to get this process started and file your claim as soon as possible, naturally, this isn’t always what happens. In Canada, there are laws revolving around how long people have to file a personal injury claim.

These laws are commonly referred to as limitations laws, or the limitation period, and effectively put a timer on how long you have to finish filing your claim.

Common Personal Injury Claims

The time limit you have to file a claim depends largely on the type of claim you have, and there is a great deal of procedure to follow with each type of accident. In most provinces of Canada, the basic limitation period is 2 years, though it can be up to 10 years depending on the accident in certain provinces, so it’s important you know your local legal parameters.

Regardless of the basic limitation period, there are several other time-sensitive procedures to keep in mind. For example, in Ontario a motor vehicle accident has a standard limitation period of 2 years, however, you should notify the police within 24 hours, your insurance company within 7 days, and make a statutory accident benefits claim within 30 days of the insurance company sending you the application.

Continuing to use Ontario as an example, the legal stipulation behind making a slip and fall claim on snow or ice was amended as of 2021. Previously, the basic limitation period of two years applied, whereas now claimants have only 60 days to file their notice of a claim.

Time Limits On Personal Injury Claims In Canada

When not contradicted by more recent amendments, the time limits on personal injury claims in Canada are dictated by The Limitations Act of 2002. As mentioned, the standard basic limitation period is 2 years but may vary depending on the province. This period is measured from the moment of discovery, thus when a claimant realistically knew about the injury.

Presumption is a major part of the Limitation Act, as it is presumed unless proven otherwise that the person with the claim knew of the injury at the moment it happened. A claim which can be proven to be discovered at a later time could potentially be filed years after the incident. There is recent case law that has better defined the discoverability principle.

Exemptions To The Limitations Act

No remaining time is considered to be deducted from any limitation period in which the following conditions are met:

  • The claimant is under the age of 18 and does not have a litigation guardian acting on their behalf.
  • The claimant is considered incapable to proceed with the claim process due to a physical or mental condition and does not have a litigation guardian acting on their behalf.

A litigation guardian is anyone over the age of 18 believed by the court to be acting with the claimant’s best interest in heart. It’s important to note that, in Ontario, an incapable person can have a litigation guardian appointed to them by the court.

There are also specific legal exemptions to the limitation periods outlined in The Limitations Act of 2002 regarding the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. Specifically, any claim regarding the rights of Aboriginal people, or any claim made by Aboriginal people towards the Crown, is not beholden to The Limitations Act of 2002.

Hire An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer In Hamilton Today! Call Virk Lawyers!

Here at Virk Lawyers, we’ll guide you on the best way to make a claim within your limitation period. We’re a team of lawyers experienced in accident and injury law, so if you find yourself in or around the Hamilton area, we may be exactly who you need. To find out how we can help you with your claim, book a free consultation today!