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Statute of Limitations for Motor-Vehicle Accidents in Alberta Featured Image

Statute of Limitations for Motor-Vehicle Accidents in Alberta

Nobody would ever want to be in a motor vehicle accident. On the other hand, vehicle accidents have been increasing (albeit fatalities and serious injuries from auto accidents have reduced), and that has caused an increase in personal injury cases.

According to 2018 statistics on Alberta MVA’s, Friday remains the busiest weekday, with most incidents occurring during evening rush hour.

So, if you’re ever injured due to a car accident, let’s look at what you should understand about filing claims and the statute of limitations.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is legislation that establishes the maximum time restriction for filing a lawsuit in response to an incident. The period begins on the day the crime occurs.

This statute can be used in both civil and criminal situations. The statute of limitations in most federal offence cases is five years. In addition, the number of terms varies depending on the laws and the type of offence.

We can use negligence or medical malpractice as an example. Assume that the statute of limitations for this act is two years in a specific state. The victim must file a lawsuit against the liable party within this time frame. After two years, an extra day will withdraw the ability to allege.

Why Do Statute of Limitations Exist?

The basic goal regarding the statute of limitations is to ensure that both the accused and the accuser are treated fairly. The courts expect that the most vulnerable people will contact them first.

On a different note, despite taking time, a case with adequate evidence reveals the truth.

What is the Statute of Limitations for MVA’s in Alberta?

Canada has a statute of limitations. However, the duration may still vary based on the type of cases. Also, there is no exact time frame in cases involving certain circumstances (i.e., indictable offences).

In most cases, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in an Alberta court. You will get one year from the date you file your case to serve the defendant with your claim (s).

Following that, you must keep the lawsuit operational by taking meaningful actions to get a Court judgment. If you haven’t taken any of these measures in three years, the courts may dismiss your case.

What if my injuries exceeded the payment limit of the program?

As previously stated, the MVAC Program’s monetary ceiling for all claims stemming from a single accident is $200,000 (excluding legal fees).

If your injuries are severe enough that your damages exceed the limit, you may be entitled to additional compensation from your own insurance company.

A significant number of people in Alberta purchase additional insurance coverage for protection against severe injuries in a motor vehicle accident, and the at-fault person didn’t carry sufficient liability insurance.

This type of optional insurance called a Family Protection Endorsement or a “SEF 44” endorsement, may provide additional coverage if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or unknown driver. In your lawsuit, you will have to name your SEF 44 insurance carrier to access these funds if you carry this coverage.

You should contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible following an accident to see what coverage options are available to you. Many insurance firms have detailed websites that describe the many types of coverage they provide.

How long do I have to file my lawsuit after the accident?

In most cases, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in an Alberta court.

  • Alberta Justice and Solicitor General 
  • Alberta Justice and Solicitor General for claims emerging from a hit-and-run or the driver accidents in which the owner and/or vehicle at fault is unknown, the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act provides an additional time constraint.

In such circumstances, the Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act must be notified of the claim within 90 days of the accident. The Administrator may waive, or the court may extend this time restriction in appropriate circumstances.

Read More: How Long After an Accident Can You Sue in Canada?


The statute of limitations changes in certain circumstances. This rule has some exceptions. The limitation period will not be considered if the victim cannot begin an action over the claim.

However, there are certain restrictions.

The court acknowledges the victim’s delay in physical or sexual assault circumstances. Due to trauma or damage, the court finds that the victim had been unable to file a charge against the accused.


Each case involving a personal injury is distinct. Complicated legal research may be required to determine whether the limitation period applies to your injury. Get legal help from experienced personal injury lawyers to sort through the claims faster.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long after an accident can you sue in Alberta?

If you are suing for injuries or damages to yourself or your property as a result of an incident or an automobile accident, you normally have 2 years from the date of the injury or damage to file a lawsuit.

How long do you have to make a car insurance claim in Alberta?

You have two years from the date of the collision to file a claim and have your car repaired under Saskatchewan legislation. To minimize any arguments about the level of damage caused by the incident, we recommend filing your claim as soon as possible.

What crimes in Canada have no statute of limitations?

The statute of limitations for summary convictions is 12 months. There is no statute of limitations for indictable (severe) offenses such significant theft, murder, abduction, or sexual assault.

What is the limitation period for property damage claims?

For disputes involving the recovery or preservation of real property, the statute of limitations is 30 years (in some situations 10 years). The statute of limitations begins to run on the day the claim is filed. For tort claims, the time limit is five years, plus one day, from the date of the fact, action, or carelessness that caused the injury.

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