Notice periods and limitation periods
Notice periods and limitation periods are two types of time limits that apply to injury claims.
It is critically important to comply with all notice and limitation periods as failure to do so may result in the right to claim being lost entirely. Generally, it is no excuse for missing a notice or limitation period for the claimant to say that he or she did not know of the notice or limitation period.
The following definitions for notice period and limitation period illustrate the differences between these two types of time limits:
- Notice periods: A notice period is a deadline by which the claimant must send a letter giving notice of an intention to make a particular claim. In some cases failing to meet a notice period will prevent a claim being made, and in other cases the notice period will only prevent a claim if the party who was supposed to be given notice can establish that they have been prejudiced by not receiving timely notice.
- Limitation periods: A limitation period is a deadline by which a court action must be started. Failing to commence a court action before a limitation period is generally prevents any claim being made.
A notice period requires the claimant to tell someone that they intend to claim, and a limitation requires the claimant to file court documents actually making the claim.
Of course, notice and limitation periods need only be complied with if the claim remains unresolved. However, claimants should not be lured into thinking that they need not comply with notice or limitation periods just because ICBC has said things such as, “we are aware that you will be making a claim”, or “we will pay you a fair settlement”, etc. So long as the claim remains unresolved all notice and limitation periods must be complied with.
Different notice and limitation periods apply for tort and Part 7 claims and, depending on the circumstances of the case, multiple notice and limitation periods might apply. The sections on prosecuting tort and Part 7 claims provide some information on notice periods for Part 7 claims and for tort claims. However, the information provided on this website is not intended to be a complete guide to all notice or limitation periods that apply in all cases. If you require legal advice for your situation you should consult a lawyer. If you do intend to make a claim, whether on your own or with the assistance of a lawyer, it is important to act promptly as there are important deadlines that apply within weeks of an accident.
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