The Time Limit In Cases Involving Medical Negligence And Wrongful Death.

In a medical malpractice case, the limit for making a claim is two years from the time that you knew or ought to have known that there was medical negligence.

It’s called the discoverability period and it varies with different judicial decisions. In some older cases, the medical and legal opinion of medical negligence was discovered late. The issue might be that there was some sort of problem at the hospital and a person actually died as a result of not enough oxygen in the oxygen line, for instance. In that case, you would have a good chance of showing that you couldn’t discover the negligence by reasonable means. You may have brought your claim within the two years of the discovery, but that may be ten years after the event.

We believe that the claim begins the minute the client comes in to speak to a lawyer, the minute the client has suspicions, the minute the client writes to the College of Physicians and Surgeons and says we think that the medical treatment that was undertaken was negligent. We start the process so that a claim is issued within two years of that date. You may be able to stretch that longer but the longer it goes, the more opportunity the defense has to present a very valid argument that your limitation period has run and you can’t go ahead with your action. In a motor vehicle case, there is now a discovery provision, and again it’s from the time you were aware of all the circumstances giving rise to the loss.

However, a wrongful death case exceeds every other consideration, right from the day of the event. That means you have two years from the date of death to issue your claim.


If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with Personal injury law issues in the Toronto, Ontario Region, contact Strype Barristers LLP.

This article is taken from a November 22, 2007 interview with Jeff Strype LL.B., Personal Injury Lawyer with Strype Barristers LLP in Toronto , a Personal Injury Law Firm.

Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.