After a car accident in Canada, you will be subject to a time limit to file a claim. This is called a statute of limitations. Each province governs its own limitations, but in most cases, it is two years from the date of the accident. However, the statute has some exceptions. In any situation, it’s crucial for you to file any injury, loss, or property damage report as soon as possible.
Exceptions to the limitation period
In Ontario, the basic limitation period follows the standard guideline of two years. But there are several exceptions. One is if the person filing the claim was not aware of the loss, damage, or injury until later. In this case, the statute of limitations would be two years from the date of discovery. The same is true in cases where the discovery was made later because of an act of omission. There may also be exceptions for minors or incapable people who were either underrepresented or failed to understand their obligations. In these cases, extensions can often be granted if there is reasonable cause to file a lawsuit.
Why we need a statute of limitations
A statute of limitations is “a law which sets the maximum time that parties have to initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged offense.” Generally speaking, this time period is longer for more serious offenses. Their main purpose is to protect a defendant from false accusations and frivolous lawsuits. Imagine being sued for an alleged act 10 or 20 years after it supposedly occurred. You probably no longer have the proper evidence or memories of the incident to defend yourself properly. However, in some cases, this statute of limitations can be imposed on the day of discovery, which may very well be 10 or 20 years from the alleged incident. Take, for example, someone who discovers he or she contracted a deadly illness from asbestos exposure during factory work 15 years earlier. Because that serious offense involves a possible fatality, it’s likely the courts will decide to allow the lawsuit to take place.
How to file a car accident claim
As you can see, filing a claim for loss, injury, or damage after a car accident should be done immediately. As soon as the accident takes place, you may need to call the police. It’s actually legally required in Ontario if the damage exceeds $2,000. You are also required to call if there is an injury, a driver is uninsured, a pedestrian is involved, or a government vehicle is involved. If none of these scenarios apply to you, you are not legally obligated to call in the report. However, for your legal protection, it’s always a good idea to go ahead and do so.
If the accident does result in injury, damage, or loss, you’ll need to call your insurance company right away, regardless of which party it affected. This will help protect you in the event that the other driver decides to sue you or report damages you weren’t aware of. Next, you’ll want to contact your attorney. A car accident lawyer Toronto can help you make sure you’ve covered all your bases and guide you along in the process of recovery, if that’s what’s needed. The attorney will require all the necessary information from you. This will include your insurance information, police reports filed, and any details you can recall about the accident. This is one of the main reasons it is so important to call an attorney and your insurance provider right away. Details can become hazy over time, so it’s best to relay them immediately. This will ensure that evidence can be collected or rebutted as thoroughly as possible.