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

Updated November 16th, 2022 (Originally Posted July 13, 2021)
Gosai Law
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Time Waits For No One

It is important to understand that there are many rules and procedures governing lawsuits in Ontario. The first most important rule relates to the limitation period on commencing a lawsuit.

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

In Ontario, the Limitations Act, 2002 governs the limitation period in commencing a lawsuit against someone. All civil matters and most criminal charges, except murder, have this kind of limitation period. The basic limitation period is two years.

With a few very technical exceptions, if you have been injured in a car, motorcycle, bicycle accident or while traveling on public transit, a lawsuit must be filed within two years of when it happened.

So, if you have been hurt, you cannot delay beginning the process in suing someone. You must commence proceedings within the required period, even if you are negotiating with an insurance provider, otherwise, you may end up being what lawyers call “statute-barred.” If this happens, you will lose your right to claim compensation.

Possible Immediate Limitations

There may be situations wherein the law requires you to act more quickly than the basic limitation period provided under the Limitations Act, 2002.

For example, to access Accident Benefits, the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule requires the injured party to file a claim with the Insurance Provider within seven days of the accident and must complete the initial application within 30 days of the accident.

Another example is if you were injured on City property, the Municipal Act requires the injured party to put the appropriate Municipality on notice of a claim within 10 days. However, there are exceptions to this rule. 

Exceptions to the Rule

The technical exceptions to the Statute of Limitations rule may come into effect if the court determines you meet some very specific conditions. The most common exception to the rule is that you did not realize you suffered an injury until well after the accident.

Other exceptions to the rule are:

It can be challenging and frustrating to navigate the rules and procedures governing the limitation period. Call us at Gosai Law for a free consultation to help you understand your legal rights and to avoid being “statute barred.”

Contact one of our experienced accident lawyers at (905) 595-2225 or info@gosailaw.com, who will help you understand the nuances of your claim and move your case forward.

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