In Ontario, an adult that becomes injured, due to someone else’s negligence can file a personal injury lawsuit. According to the statute of limitations, that file must be submitted to the court within 2 years of the injury’s discovery.
What recourse does a child have, if he or she has been injured, again due to someone else’s negligence? A young boy or girl lacks the ability to walk into a courthouse and submit a personal injury claim. Ontario has a provision in the law that covers situations of that nature.
The starting point for a typical limitation period.
For adults, Ontario’s limitation period starts when the injured adult discovers where and how he or she has been harmed. For children, the limitation period has no starting date until the court has appointed a litigation guardian. They can always talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer in Hamilton.
The court appoints that litigation guardian at the request of a designated man or woman. That designated individual could be someone acting on the child’s behalf, or it could be the defendant.
Why would the defendant ask the court to appoint a litigation guardian?
The answer to that question relates to the answer to this question: Why does the victim of an accident have to file a personal injury claim within a given amount of time, in other words before the end of the limitation period? The government wants to be sure that value evidence does not get lost.
Imagine what could happen if the victim of an accident were allowed to initiate a lawsuit against the allegedly responsible party 5 or more years after the accident had taken place. At that time, it would be almost impossible to recover any useful bit of evidence. The victim would have the medical records, which could be used as evidence, but the defendant would not have any evidentiary material, as support for his or her counterargument.
It might even be that the victim was partially responsible for the accident. Yet the defendant would have no way to prove that. Because the legal system wants to prevent that situation from developing, it has chosen to establish the statute of limitations.
Now, the rules relating to that limitation period get suspended whenever children have been injured. Yet a defendant can trigger the start of that limited amount of time by asking for appointment of a litigation guardian. Remember though, someone who is acting on the child’s behalf can make a similar request, and establish a start time for the period when a claim can be filed.