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The Clock Is Ticking: Ontario Law Requires Moving Quickly After an Accident

December 19, 2018
Nivedita Misra
LLB, Lawyer
Sheena Sodhi
LLB, Lawyer

A legal term called the “Statute of Limitations” says how long someone has to file a lawsuit against somebody else. All civil matters and most criminal charges except murder have this kind of limit. In Ontario, with a few very technical exceptions, if you have been injured in a car, motorcycle, or bicycle accident or while traveling on public transit, a lawsuit must be filed within two years of when it happened.

But you need to act more quickly than that. The law requires you to do some things sooner. For example, by law, you must file a claim with your insurer within seven days of the accident and you’ll have only 30 days to send in your initial application to the insurance company. Beyond this, you have 120 days to inform the other party involved in the accident that you are likely going to be taking action against them.

Time Waits For No One

Not many people realize that the clock begins ticking from the moment of the accident.

So, if you’ve been hurt, you cannot delay beginning the process. You have to file an official claim form within the required time period, even if you are negotiating with an insurance carrier, otherwise, you may end up being what lawyers call “statute-barred.” If this happens, you will lose your right to claim compensation.

After seeing a doctor or healthcare practitioner to properly treat your injuries, the next thing you need to do is to call us for a confidential initial meeting or conversation. Not only will we help you with the thick and often confusing stack of forms your insurance company will need you to complete, but we’ll create a timeline so you know when you will need to collect and provide other documents to us.  This is how we will keep your case moving forward.

Beyond the paperwork flooding your mailbox, it will take us time to conduct our own in-depth assessment and to review the facts surrounding your accident before we file any court papers.

Exceptions to the Rule

The technical exceptions to the Statute of Limitations rule come into play only if the court feels you meet some very specific conditions. The most common is that you did not realize you suffered an injury until well after the accident. The others include:

Meeting the deadlines and the requirements of the law mean that you should call Gosai Law as soon as you are able to after an accident. If you are entitled to compensation and damages as a result, you don’t want to end up being “statute barred” because you didn’t act promptly. Call us at 905.595.2225 or use this convenient online form to tell us your story.

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