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Automobile accidents: Time limit for starting a lawsuit or claiming benefits

Article Number: 476
Region: Ontario

In Ontario, the law places very strict time restrictions and requirements on the right to pursue a claim. If notice of a claim is not filed and a lawsuit is not started within the time limits, it is possible that someone can lose the right to sue.

In the case of a motor vehicle accident, within seven days of the accident, you must inform your insurance company. You must then complete an accident benefits application and submit it within 30 days of the accident. In cases where an insurance benefit is denied, you must mediate and sue, or arbitrate against the insurance company within two years.

If you wish to sue the other "at-fault" driver, you first must give written notice of your claim within 120 days of the accident. You will then have up-to two years to bring your lawsuit. For lawsuits involving loss or damage to a vehicle, a court action must be launched within one year of the accident.

For claims against a provincial or municipal government in a motor vehicle accident, for example, because the accident was the cause of a slippery or dangerous roadway, a court action must be launched against the province within two years. In the case of a claim against a municipality in Ontario, you must give written notice of your intention to sue within 10 days of the accident, and you must file your lawsuit within two years of the accident.

For more information, contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada. For legal advice and assistance, you should consult a lawyer.

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