It is devastating to discover that you are no longer able to file a personal injury claim against the person whose negligence caused you to get severely injured. And all because you missed the deadline set by the statute of limitations. That is why it is important to hire the services of a personal injury lawyer in Mississauga, quickly after the accident so that they can guide you.
The purpose of the statute of limitations is to motivate victims to take action before potential witnesses have forgotten important details, before evidence has a chance to get lost or be destroyed, but to victims who have no experience navigating the legal waters of personal injury law, these limitations may only seem unfair.
The Basics of The Ontario Limitations Act
The idea of the limitations act is to push plaintiffs to take legal action as soon as they realize they have sustained an injury. This is not just for the sake of the plaintiff, but also for the sake of the defendant, who also has to investigate the site of the accident, interview witnesses, and generally collect evidence so they can build their own case.
Once too much time has passed, neither party will be able to use the accident site to collect evidence, the tracking down of witnesses may no longer be possible, and details of the accident will likely have faded from the minds of everyone involved, be it a passenger or bystander. As a result, building a solid case will likely be impossible for both the plaintiff and the defendant.
The statute of limitations under current law is two years after the plaintiff has discovered their injury. After this deadline has been crossed, the court is free to dismiss the lawsuit without reason or explanation. However, even if you believe that two years have already passed, you should still consult with an attorney since the language used in the Limitations Act in regards to the day of the discovery of your claim, could give you more time to file your claim than you initially expected.
Rule Regarding The Date of Discovery
While there are personal injury cases in which the day of discovery is clean cut and obvious, i.e. a broken bone resulting from the impact of a car colliding with your motorcycle, there are also cases in which the injury is only discovered much later on, i.e. cases in which a surgeon left an instrument inside a patient. Because of this, the law states that the limitation period will begin the day that the plaintiff discovered their injury, or the day that any other reasonable person would have realized it.