When it comes to personal injury claims, there are certain statutes of limitations which dictate the time you have to take legal action in regards to your involvement in an accident. These limitations serve to ensure that witness testimony is still accurate, evidence still available, and that the defendant will be able to move on with their lives from a certain point onward without fear of facing a lawsuit from an incident far in the past.
The Ontario Limitations Act
Following your involvement in an accident, the statute of limitations is supposed to encourage you to take legal action sooner rather than later. This is because long delays will lead to the other involved party being incapable of doing the following:
• Launch a detailed investigation into the accident while evidence still remains
• Contact witnesses to take statements while they still remember details
• Gather photographic and other evidence from the site of the accident
All of these steps are necessary for the other party to build their own case and thus make it a fair negotiation process. So, in order to uphold fairness in personal injury cases, the Ontario Limitations Act has set a two-year time frame during which the plaintiff can file a claim against the at-fault party. Any claim failed after this period will be dismissed. That is why it is necessary to discuss to talk with a personal injury lawyer in Richmond Hill. They will discuss all aspects of the case and help you understand the whole process.
The start of the two-year limit is dependent on the language used in the Limitations Act, which often refers to the day you discovered your injury. As such, it is important that you consult a lawyer, before you make any rash dismissals because some time has passed since the accident.
The Discovery Rule
When it comes to torn ligaments and broken bones, the day you discovered your injury will generally coincide with the day the accident occurred, but when it comes to other injuries, such as surgical errors, things can become blurry. A cotton ball forgotten inside you after your appendix was removed could take months to be discovered and still lead to severe consequences that you should be compensated for.
Because of this, the law states that the statute of limitations starts the day you became aware of your injury, and not the day the accident occurred. However, even here, there is an ultimate limitation period which has been put into place by which you cannot take legal action after fifteen years have passed since the accident or incident took place.