The time within which a lawsuit must be filed for a claimant to preserve his or her right to compensation is called a “limitation period.” Once a limitation period has expired, prospective claimants lose the right to make a claim and obtain damages. Limitation periods vary across Canada. In British Columbia, they are governed by the Limitation Act.
The limitation period starts to run when the patient became aware – or reasonably should have been aware- of material facts on which the claim is based. It expires two years after that point (there are special rules for those under 19 years of age). Determining when a limitation period ends can be complicated. Therefore, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer immediately to ensure you do not lose the right to sue.
Time limitations are necessary in medical malpractice cases because of a number of matters that relate to the quality of the evidence. Over time memories fade, witnesses can die or might not be found and documentation or computer records may be lost or corrupted, which can result in an unfair outcome to the trial.
If you believe that you have a possible medical malpractice claim, you should contact a qualified Vancouver medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible after the occurrence of the incident. Contact Bruce Lemer for a free consultation.