Every car accident claim in Canada has time limits. Here are some of the most common time limits our customers contend with.
- You must notify your insurance company or have your expert lawyer notify your insurance company within 7 days of the accident.
- If your accident was on a Municipal Road you have just 10 days to notify the city in writing that you’ll be seeking to pursue a claim.
- If you were in an accident with an uninsured, underinsured, or hit and run driver, you have just 90 days to start a case under the Motor Vehicle Accidents Claim Act.
- You have two years to file a claim in a normal case.
One of the most common tricks that insurance companies play is they draw out the process and throw more and more roadblocks in front of victims until the statute of limitations runs out. They even try to trick people into believing they have to wait a certain amount of time before hiring a lawyer.
Don’t believe them! You can hire a lawyer at any time, even if it’s only been a few hours since your accident!
How much can I sue for? Is there a limit?
The amount you can sue for depends on the court you go to and where you’re suing.
If you’re suing an insured negligent driver then you can sue for up to $50,000 in Provincial Court. If your claim is likely to be greater than $50,000 then you should go to the Court of Queen’s Bench.
Why would you go to the Provincial Court? If you know you have a smaller case, such as a case that only involves soft-tissue injuries, then you can often get your case worked out far faster in Provincial Court.
If you’re filing a claim under MVAC you can only sue for $25,000 in Provincial Court and only up to $200,000 at The Court of Queen’s Bench.
Do I have to locate the defendant myself?
If you were involved in a hit and run car accident then the courts do require you to make every effort to locate the defendant. Your lawyer can assist you with tools that you may not normally have access to.
In most car accidents you will be exchanging contact information and insurance information with the defendant, and will not have to go out of your way to find that person.
What can I sue for after a car accident?
You can sue for all of your damages. This includes your medical bills, lost wages, future medical care needs, loss of earning capacity, and your pain and suffering.
Everything but your pain and suffering will be based on the actual bills, so keep copies of every bill and receipt when you spend money on accident-related injuries. This is important evidence that you will need to back your claim.
Pain and suffering is subjective and negotiable. For major injuries, it is capped at $379,050.28, for minor injuries at $5,365. You’ll need evidence for a pain and suffering claim as well. Evidence can include bills for psychiatric or psychological treatment, receipts for assistive equipment you’ve had to buy, photos or letters that show you were deeply involved in a physical hobby you can no longer engage in, job descriptions that show you can no longer remain in your former career, and more as directed by your lawyer.
How long will my lawsuit take?
Once you’ve filed the claim you’ll have to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement to enter the settlement process. This is to make sure we get all of the medical bills and expenses tallied, calculated, and compensated.
Most people have reached maximum medical improvement within six months to one year of their accidents.
Your lawyer will not be sitting idle during that time. We’ll be engaged in what’s called the “discovery” process, during which we’ll take depositions and official statements, reconstruct the accident, and gather other important evidence and case facts.
Once you’ve reached MMI we enter settlement conferences. The settlement process can take another six to nine months for a total of roughly 18 months for most cases. We want the case to come to a resolution in the settlement because it’s a surer thing where you have more control. It’s usually impossible to tell what’s going to happen once a matter enters litigation since juries are very unpredictable.
If we are unable to reach a settlement and the case goes to trial you can expect it to take up to another year to resolve your case. It takes time to get a court date and the trial itself can take a great deal of time to complete. Cases that go to trial tend to take 24 months, in total, to complete.
Sometimes the defendant appeals, which can make your case last even longer. Appeals can’t be made just because the defendant doesn’t like the case outcome, but they can be made if the defendant has reason to believe the judge made a legal or procedural error that had a material impact on your case.
It’s important to be patient. Note that your lawyer can help you if certain institutions are getting impatient for your payment. If the hospital is calling you every day to harass you about paying your bill you can refer them to your lawyer, who will draw up paperwork that assures them they will get their portion of the settlement when the time comes. This tends to encourage them to leave you alone until the settlement is resolved.
There are no advantages in waiting to contact a lawyer.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers have helped other Alberta residents just like you. Many of our cases have settled for over a million dollars. In each case, we’ve remained responsive and empathic as we’ve worked hard to ensure our clients get justice.
We will work hard for you too. For a risk-free initial consultation, call (403) 237-9777 today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can you wait to sue someone in Canada?
In Canada, there is a two-year limitation period. This means that you have two years from the day you were injured or aware of an injury. On the other side, you can claim a file based on the day you faced the loss. Nevertheless, it is part of personal injury claims, so it is easy to find the dates.
Is it worth suing after a car accident?
In most cases, when drivers have insurance or an accident with no injuries, the insurance companies tend to pay for the repairing costs. Therefore, most people suggest that it’s not worth suing after a car accident. However, for major injuries, it is a good idea to sue after an accident.
Can someone sue you personally after a car accident?
Yes, you can sue someone personally after a car accident. However, you need to claim through Vehicle Accident Claims Act. Additionally, it would help ensure that the other person is an unknown or uninsured driver. Finally, the other person should be at fault to sue them.
What is the average payout for a personal injury claim in Canada?
In Canada, there are common settlements and compensations awarded. However, the amount is around $12000 on average. In addition, the amount is about 43% of the total settlement. In most cases, the median compensation is about $56500.
Can you sue for damages in Canada?
In Canada, the injury laws are maintained very seriously. The government protects people who become a victim of another person’s wrongdoings. However, in some cases, a victim suffers from serious damages without receiving proper settlements. Therefore, these victims can sue for damages against a company or an individual.