Injury Claims

How Long After A Car Accident Do I Have to Make an Injury Claim In Nova Scotia?

Jeff Mitchell
Principal Lawyer and Founder of NOVA Injury Law

After a car accident, you might want to seek out financial compensation for your injuries. You can calculate what your insurance claim might be worth using PainWorth.


That said, to have a chance of getting financial compensation, you must file your legal claim within a specific time period, or your right to compensation might be permanently lost.


In this post, we’ll explain how long you have to file an injury claim in Nova Scotia so that you do not miss out on your right to an insurance settlement.


What the Limitation Period in Nova Scotia?

If your accident happens in Nova Scotia, you are only eligible to file a legal action for a 2-year period after your accident occurs. This is essentially the “time limit” on your ability to take legal action.


This time limit is also known as a “limitation period” (and is sometimes also called a statute of limitations).


Generally, when pursuing a car accident orpersonal injury claim in Nova Scotia you have

2 years from the day the accident occurred or was “discovered,” to file your personal injury claim. This general rule can be found in paragraph 8(1)(a) of Nova Scotia’s Limitations of Actions Act.


What Are The Exceptions to the Limitation Period?

The general limitation period is subject to some exceptions and additional rules that vary from province to province. Some of the common exceptions and additional rules are covered below.



Discovery refers to the date that you became aware that you were injured in an accident.


When pursuing a personal injury claim in Nova Scotia, you have 2 years from the day the accident was “discovered” to file your accident claim.


For most claims, “discovery” occurs on the day the car accident happened.


However, depending on the specific circumstances of your claim, this date could be delayed.


For example, it may be the case that you were not aware that you had a legal claim, and the limitation period would begin running at the date of this “discovery.”


Your Age:

In Nova Scotia, if you are younger than 19 years old when the accident occurs, your 2-year time limit does not begin until you reach the age of majority.

Medical Conditions:

Likewise, if you are unable to bring a claim because of a physical, mental, or psychological condition, you may be provided with an exemption from the two-year limitation period.


Who You Are Suing

There are additional rules that must be followed depending on who you are suing.


In some cases, the law requires you to provide formal notice to the party in which you want to bring the action against before you can file a valid lawsuit. This is what is referred to as “notice of intended action.”


Suing the Province of Nova Scotia

For example, if you are bringing a claim against the provincial government or other Provincial Agent in Nova Scotia, the Proceedings against the Crown Act requires you to give a minimum 60 days’ notice before filing your claim.


Suing a Municipality in Nova Scotia

Likewise, if you are suing a Municipal Agent, the Municipal Government Act requires you to provide the municipality with at least 30 days’ notice before you file your lawsuit. Note that the limitation period for suing Municipal Agents is limited to 1-year as opposed to the general 2-year period.


Ultimate Limitation Period

The Ultimate Limitation Period is the absolute longest amount of time you have to bring a claim, even if you were exempt from the general limitation period. In Nova Scotia, the Ultimate Limitation Period is 15 years from the day that the accident occurred.

The ultimate limitation period applies even if you did not discover that you had a claim until much later.


What Happens If I’ve Missed the Deadline?

If you’ve missed the time limit to sue for your personal injury claim you should still speak to a lawyer immediately.


Your claim is not automatically lost. In some cases, you will be able to salvage your legal claim by making a court motion.


Even if the applicable limitation period for your case has expired, you may be allowed to advance your personal injury claim if there are grounds to do so.


In Nova Scotia, the court will consider the hardships you have experienced, the strength of your case and if there are any alternative remedies available to you.


That said, the possibility of having your limitation period (or “statute of limitations”) extended is only available to personal injury claims, and you must be within 2-years after the expiry of the relevant limitation period of your case.


The extension does not apply to the 15-year Ultimate Limitation Period.

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