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Limitation periods: could you be at risk of losing your right to make a claim

February 16, 2023

Limitation periods set a time limit or deadline for bringing a claim. In New Brunswick, the Limitation of Actions Act SNB 2009, c L-8.5, sets a general limitation period for bringing a claim. Claims are barred after the earlier of either: two years from the day on which the claim is discovered, or fifteen years from the day on which the act or omission on which the claim is based occurred.

This means that for many personal injury claims, the claim must be brought within two years.

There are some exceptions to the two-year rule. For example, if a minor is injured, the clock does not start to run until the person has reached the age of 19. There is also no limitation period for trespass to the person, assault, or battery, if the act is of a sexual nature. A limitation period can also be written into a policy of insurance. For some insurance claims, the limitation period is one year.

To preserve their right of claim, a claimant must file documents, called a Notice of Action with Statement of Claim Attached, with the Court prior to the end of the limitation period. After these documents are filed, a claimant can continue their claim beyond the two-year period.

Usually, once the limitation has passed, the right to make a claim is lost. That means the claimant is no longer entitled to any compensation for the claim. It is therefore crucial to consult with a lawyer early in the process to ensure you understand what limitation periods may be applicable to your claim and to ensure the documents are filed with the Court well before the expiry of the limitation period.

Jessica Melanson <i class="fab fa-linkedin"></i>
Jessica Melanson

Jessica Melanson, an experienced personal injury lawyer and University of New Brunswick graduate, leads Melanson Law, a family-owned firm focused on injury law. Melanson Law is committed to getting our clients the best possible results. We use trauma-informed approaches with clients as we guide them through the injury law process. We provide our clients with the information and support they need to understand their claim and the system as we work diligently to resolve their claim.

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