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Is there a time limit to file a lawsuit to sue the at-fault driver?

Q: My wife, son and I were injured in a car accident in Kingston, Ontario. Is there a time limit to file a lawsuit to sue the at-fault driver?

A: Yes, a time limitation or deadline applies to car accident lawsuits against negligent drivers in Ontario. Under Ontario’s Limitations Act (Act), residents of Kingston injured in accidents, whether car accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, etc., have two years from the date of the accidents to initiate court proceedings or file lawsuits against the at-fault parties. Therefore, if you and your family want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you must do so before the second anniversary of the accident.

There are, however, some exceptions to this rule. One of those exceptions is if the injured party is a minor. If your son is a minor, the 2 year time limitation does not start until he turns 18. Basically, he has until he turns 20 years old to file a lawsuit.

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

If you decide that you want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you have two options. The first option is for all 3 of you to file a lawsuit together against the at-fault driver. You would file on behalf of your son as his guardian. In this case, you would have 2 years from the time of the accident to file the lawsuit.

The second option is for you and your wife to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver within the 2 year time limitation, and your son to file his own lawsuit within 2 years of the date he turns 18.

In general, because all 3 of your injuries resulted from the same accident, you would file a single lawsuit against the at-fault driver together. However, there may be reasons why you would want to file separately. For example, if the extent of your son’s injuries and how they will affect him in the future cannot be determined within the 2 year time period, you may want to wait to file your son’s lawsuit. Therefore, it is important to talk to a Kingston car accident lawyer who can discuss these issues with you to make the decision that is best for your family.

Most injured car accident victims are focused on healing and getting better. Before you know it, months may go by, and it may be too late to file. Therefore, if you decide not to file a lawsuit now, be mindful of the 2 year anniversary date of the car accident. Once the time limitation period expires, you cannot file a lawsuit even if you have a legitimate winnable lawsuit.

Feel free to contact our office to schedule a FREE consultation. We can address and discuss these issues and your concerns relating to your Kingston car accident. 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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