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Know these important time limits following a car accident

If you have been injured in a car accident, your first priority is getting the medical treatment that you need. However, there are some important time restrictions under Ontario law that you need to be aware of in order to receive compensation for any damages resulting from the accident.

If the accident was the fault of another driver, you need to start thinking about what action you need to take to seek any compensation you may require to cover medical bills, physical therapy, rehabilitation and lost wages. If you don't take action within these time limits, you may lose your right to recover damages through a lawsuit.

Following is a timeline of key time limits from the accident date:

-- Seven days to notify your insurance company

-- Ten days to provide written notice of your intention to sue a municipal or provincial government (for example, if dangerous road conditions caused the accident)

-- Thirty days to submit an accident benefits application to your insurer

-- 120 days to provide written notice if you intend to sue an at-fault driver

-- One year to start a court action for a damaged or destroyed vehicle

-- Two years to file a lawsuit (whether you are suing a driver or a municipal or provincial government)

If you are injured in a car accident, it's often difficult, if not impossible, to know just what measures will be required to heal as well as how much and how long the injury will impact your life. That's why it's often wise to at least take the necessary steps early on that will allow you to sue the responsible parties once you have a clearer picture of the effect of the accident on your health and well-being. An Ontario personal injury lawyer can provide guidance to help ensure that you don't let this opportunity slip away.

Source: FindLaw Canada, "Automobile accidents: time limit for starting a lawsuit or claiming benefits," accessed Feb. 11, 2016

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