15 Nov Deadline to Start a Personal Injury Lawsuit
There are strict deadlines that apply to starting a personal injury lawsuit. In British Columbia, you must start it within two years from the date of the collision. The Court can extend this time under very limited exceptions. In DeWolfe v. Jones, 2016 BCSC 2008, the Court was asked to consider if an exception applied when an injured person missed the two year deadline because ICBC didn’t tell them about it.
The Plaintiffs started the lawsuit more than two years after the collision. ICBC argued that the Court should dismiss the case because it was started after the two year limitation period had passed. The Plaintiffs argued that the ICBC adjuster did not inform them about the deadline and told them they “can call to settle if things improve at any point”. The Plaintiffs indicated they did not know their claim was closed until they were involved in a subsequent collision.
After considering the legal principles, the Court confirmed the law that ICBC had no obligation to advise clients of the deadline. The fact that the Plaintiffs did not know there was deadline was no excuse. The Court found the Plaintiffs started the lawsuit late and their case was dismissed.
There are strict court deadlines to meet to ensure that you can continue a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you will be unable to obtain a personal injury settlement for your injuries. If you are injured in a motor vehicle collision, contact Acheson Sweeney Foley Sahota as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss any important deadlines.