Are you out of time, legally speaking?

Did you know that there are time limits that can prevent you from suing a party, if you wait too long? Unfortunately, many businesses learn that lesson the hard way and it is so unavoidable.

Most lawsuits in Ontario must be started within two years after the event that you are suing on took place. For example, an employee must start a wrongful dismissal law suit within two years of being terminated.

There are rules within the above rule (of course there are, or you wouldn’t need a lawyer, right?) and when it comes to collecting money owing to you, those rules can become more complicated. Generally (please do not rely on this for your specific fact situation) if a person has been making periodic payments on an invoice, the time limit starts to run from the date of the last payment, not from the date of the invoice.

There are also specific rules for the Construction industry. Generally (once again, don’t rely on this for your specific fact situation) you have 45 days from the date of last delivery of service/good to register a construction lien on title. You then have 45 days to issue a statement of claim with respect to the lien.

There are also tighter timelines for suing Municipalities (good to know when it is icy out and you slip and fall) but as you know, we don’t handle that type of law, so consult a Personal Injury lawyer for those timelines.

Overall, if you believe you have a reason to sue, consult a lawyer as soon as possible to determine when you must start your lawsuit: be informed, not out of time.

Inga B. Andriessen JD