If you are involved in a personal injury matter, whether it is a motor vehicle collision or a slip and fall, the time frame to commence an action is limited. As of September 1, 2015, new amendments to the Limitation of Actions Act (the “Act”)will come into effect. These new amendments to the Act affect the limitation periods.
The Act will set out the time frame one has to commence an action. This time frame does not include any action that would be governed by another body of law with a specific limitation period.
For the purposes of this blog, we will specifically highlight the effects the Act has upon personal injury claims.
The key changes relevant to personal injury law in the Act are as follows:
- Introduces a single, 2-year “basic” limitation period for all civil claims;
- Introduces a 15-year “ultimate” limitation period; and
- The discretionary authority of a court to disallow a defence based upon a missed limitation period is now only related to personal injury claims and must be exercised within two years from the date the act or omission was discovered.
Basic and Ultimate Limitation Periods
A basic limitation period runs from the moment the person “discovers” that he or she has a legal action.
An ultimate limitation period is the maximum time limit past which a basic limitation period cannot extend. The limitation period will start on the actual day of when the act or omission occurred and no later.
The Act maintains that a limitation period does not run while a person is a minor (under 19 years of age) or while a person is under a physical, mental or psychological disability. During this time, both the basic and ultimate limitation periods are suspended.
If a limitation period is missed, courts have the discretion in personal injury matters to disallow the defence of a missed limitation period and allow the action to proceed. The court must exercise this jurisdiction within two years of the expiration of the missed limitation period.
If you are injured in an accident it is recommended that you contact a lawyer so that you don’t miss a limitation period and are barred from starting an action. Connect with a member of our team today to schedule your free consultation. To contact a member of our Personal Injury team call us at 902-469-9500 or 1-866-339-3400.