As much excitement and joy as a new birth can bring, it is not always an uncomplicated process.
On some occasions, a birth results in an injury to the baby due to the negligence or malpractice of the staff. These injuries can have serious and debilitating life long effects on the child.
In such situations, the doctors or hospital may be liable for damages and compensation through what is known as a birth injury lawsuit.
If you or a loved one suffered a birth injury and want to file a claim, it’s important to understand the period of time in which you can file a birth injury claim.
Let’s take a look.
How The Statute Of Limitations Applies To Birth Injury Claims
In Canada, there is a two year statute of limitations for filing a birth injury claim.
However, this is not two years after the birth. Exactly when the two year period begins is subject to several conditions.
Rather than at birth, you have two years after the person became aware of the injury, became aware that it was the result of negligence or malpractice, and realized that the matter would require legal action.
Further provisions help to protect minors delay the beginning of the two year period until the minor has reached the age of majority and turned eighteen. The beginning of the period will be further delayed if the person remains incapacitated when they turn eighteen.
If a litigation guardian is appointed to the person, the two year period will begin with the appointment.
So How Long Do You Have?
To put it simply: a minor has up to two years after they turn 18 to file a birth injury claim.
The statute of limitations does not begin until the person reaches the age of majority — with one exception. If the individual is appointed a litigation guardian while they are still a minor, the two year period will begin immediately.
One important caveat to keep in mind is that the party you may be filing against has the ability to petition the court to appoint a litigation guardian. This will begin the two year period regardless of if the party is a minor or incapacitated.
Get The Compensation You Deserve
You may have already noticed that birth injury lawsuits are complicated matters.
Even seemingly simple questions about how long you have to file your birth injury claim can have complicated and confusing answers.
Birth injury lawsuits are a tricky area of personal injury law which require a depth of legal knowledge and experience to handle properly.
Without a capable and tested personal injury lawyer on your side, you’ll be going it alone against all of the confusing intricacies of the legal system — and more likely than not come out empty handed.
Looking for some legal representation?
Schedule a free consultation with us today. All of our initial consultations are completely free, meaning you have nothing at all to lose by getting in touch!