There is a limitations act in Ontario that generally requires injured parties to file a car accident case within two years of the date of the collision. In other words, if you do not commence an action within two years, there is a good chance you will lose the right to sue.
The law of limitation periods is complicated enough that an individual is really taking their fate into their own hands if they do not get some legal advice. For this reason, it is best to learn about these complex legal deadlines for car accident claims in Barrie from a local lawyer, especially when dealing with no-fault accident benefits.
Generally, the limitations act begins on the date of the auto accident. In some cases, one can argue that the limitations act does not begin until you are aware that you have a serious permanent impairment, but it is a high-risk proposition to try to argue that the limitations act runs any later than from the date of the accident.
In Ontario, just because someone is considered disabled does not mean they are incapable of acting for themselves. There is a separate process of decision under the Substitute Decisions Act to determine whether somebody is capable of hiring a lawyer or capable of acting for themselves, so the question with respect to people with disabilities is a complicated one. If someone with disabilities wants to pursue a claim, they must establish whether their impairments are significant enough to prevent them from acting for themselves in litigation.
The legal deadline for motor vehicle collision claims in Barrie can be extended for cases involving injured minors. An individual who is less than 18 years of age cannot act for themselves; they have to appoint a litigation guardian to act for them. Generally, the limitations period does not begin until the minor reaches their 18th birthday, although there are some exceptions to that. If a litigation guardian is appointed before the minor’s 18th birthday, the clock will start to run earlier. The general rule is that the clock runs at 18, but that is not a hard and fast, universal rule.
In addition to the different statutes of limitations for different types of cases, there are also notice requirements to keep in mind. For instance, if you want to pursue a case against the municipality, the province, or a road authority for not taking care of a roadway, you must give that entity notice of your intent to sue within 10 days of the accident. Failing to give that notice can be fatal to your claim.
If you want to pursue a case against a government player like the provincial police, a jail, or some other Ministry, there is also the Crown Liability Act that says you have to give 60 days’ notice before you can commence an action.
Additionally, you must give the at-fault driver notice of your intent to sue within 120 days of the accident. However, missing that notice is not fatal, and you can still commence an action, but there might be some financial consequences for not giving that notice properly.
The limitations act is complicated. It is not a hard and fast two-year rule. There is the limitations act with respect to tort claims, but there is also the limitations period and the insurance act with respect to Statutory Accident Benefits under the no-fault system. There are also factors that may extend the limitation period, such as discoverability, whether a person has a disability, or whether they are a minor.
A lawyer who is operating in a professional environment will take the steps to protect your claim’s limitation period. If you come in and see one of our lawyers, they will worry about the limitations for you so you can focus on getting better. To learn more about the legal deadlines for car accident claims in Barrie, reach out to Rastin Law today.