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When Should You File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in Kingston, Ottawa or Whitby?

Car, truck, and pedestrian accidents happen across Ontario every day. Individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents, especially seriously injured victims, are often stressed and worried about their health and future. If they have broken bones in their legs, arms or other parts of their bodies, they may require orthopedic surgeries. Having to undergo surgery is already overwhelming for the injured victims. When you add post-surgery recovery (i.e., physical therapy, rehabilitation, etc.) with time lost from work, accident victims and their families often suffer an incredible amount of stress. They may not think about their legal rights and may not realize that there are certain time limitations they must comply with if they want to pursue any legal action.

Related: Steps to Take After an Ontario Car Accident in Kingston, Ottawa or Whitby

The Limitations Act

The Limitations Act (Act) limits the period of time in which a person may initiate a court proceeding or file a lawsuit in Ontario. The basic limitation period is provided in Section 4 of the Act:

Unless this Act provides otherwise, a proceeding shall not be commenced in respect of a claim after the second anniversary of the day on which the claim was discovered.

Therefore, a person who wants to file a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver has 2 years from the date of the accident to file suit. If the person files suit after 2 years have passed, his suit may be dismissed.

If the person has a legitimate car accident case, he will not be able to recover for his damages and injuries because he waited too long.

There are exceptions to the basic time limitation of 2 years that apply to minors and incapacitated persons. Sections 6 and 7 of the Act provide:

Minors

  1. The limitation period established by section 4 does not run during any time in which the person with the claim,

(a) is a minor; and
(b) is not represented by a litigation guardian in relation to the claim.

Incapable persons

  1. (1)  The limitation period established by section 4 does not run during any time in which the person with the claim,
    (a) is incapable of commencing a proceeding in respect of the claim because of his or her physical, mental or psychological condition; and
    (b) is not represented by a litigation guardian in relation to the claim.

Therefore, an injured Ontario car accident victim who is a minor may be entitled to an extension beyond the basic time limitation of 2 years for tort claims.

The time limitation is also stopped for a person that is incapacitated due to physical or mental illness.

Though injured victims are often overwhelmed after Ontario car accidents, they need to be cognizant of the time limitations pertaining to filing car accident lawsuits in Ontario. Therefore, it is important to talk to a lawyer if you are thinking about filing a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver to ensure suit is filed within 2 years of the accident. Even if you think that you passed the 2 year time limitation, there are specific exceptions to the rule. Talk to a lawyer to see if you meet those exceptions.

Need Help After an Ontario Accident in Kingston, Ottawa and Whitby?

Call the lawyers at Bergeron Clifford. The lawyers at Bergeron Clifford have helped numerous car accident victims and will properly evaluate your case and help you through this difficult time. Call for a free consultation. 1-866-384-5886.

Contact Bergeron | Clifford LLP

Let us help you if you have been injured anywhere in Eastern Ontario. Contact us at 866-384-5886 or fill out our online form. We can meet at any of our office locations, including Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Carleton Place, Perth or wherever is most convenient for you.

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