Personal Injury Law with Stacey England
September 1, 2017 marks the second anniversary of the changes to the Nova Scotia Limitations of Actions Act.
What does that mean?
“It means, as of September 1, most claims arising out of events prior to September 1, 2015 will be statute barred if the required documents are not filed with Court,” explains Stacey England, personal injury lawyer with Burchell MacDougall’s Truro and Elmsdale offices. She goes on to say, “No client wants to hear the devastating news that they have a good claim, but it is now too late to sue.”
Changes to the Nova Scotia Limitations of Actions Act followed a model the Uniform Law Conference of Canada put forward in an attempt to develop a more harmonized approach to limitations law across the country.
“These limitation periods put a cap on the length of time people have to sue,” she goes on, “Historically, this area of law has been fraught with confusion, as the limitation periods varied widely.”
The changes to the Act establish a basic two year period for most claims, such as personal injuries, breach of contract, assault and negligence. It also establishes an ultimate limitation period of 15 years. This provides clarity and certainty around when liability begins and ends.
Once the claim has been discovered, for instance the date of a car accident or the date you discovered your doctor made a misdiagnosis, the limitation period will begin to run.
There are exceptions to the two year period. One of the most significant exceptions and changes to the Act is that sexual assaults no longer have a limitation period.
“Since these changes, we have been successful in helping survivors of historical sexual assault seek monetary justice and get some closure as a result of the abuse,” Stacey explains.
If you believe you have a claim, but are on the fence about whether or not you want to pursue it, be aware of the possible limitation period for your case and don’t wait. Seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure that these claims are not accidentally extinguished.
This article is for information only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions or would like further information, you should consult a lawyer.