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If a child gets injured during the course of an automobile accident, that young person is not in a position for filing a personal injury claim. The legal system recognizes that fact. Consequently, it has established special rules for children that have been injured in a car accident.

A feature that pertains to many of the injuries suffered by children and pre-teens.

The evidence of the injury is not always obvious. Some symptoms do not make an appearance for several months, or longer. That fact affects the start of the limitation period.

The timeline for the limitation period.

That span of time starts when the injury gets discovered. If a child cannot go to a court and claim the start of an injury, the legal system must establish a different start date. In Ontario that start date is the time when a litigation guardian has been appointed.

The motion for that appointment can be made by someone that is close to the injured child. By the same token, the appointment of a guardian can be requested by the defendant. That is due to the fact that the defendant does not want to encourage the loss of evidence. After appointment of the litigation guardian the limitation period starts. It continues to run until the period’s timeline has come to an end. That is usually 2 years after the accident.

The benefits and drawbacks to Ontario’s system

As indicated above, the existing system reduces the chances that valuable evidence might get lost. Neither party wants his or her case weakened by the loss of evidence. Hence, the limitation period starts as soon as the court has appointed a litigation guardian for the injured child or pre-teen. Consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Moncton becomes an important consideration.

Still, by advancing the start of the limitation period, the court assumes that all of the injury’s symptoms will become apparent during the cases’ short timeline. If those symptoms show up later, the full extent of the child’s injury remains unknown to the court.

Evidence from earlier accidents, those in which a child suffered a traumatic brain injury, show that some of the injury’s symptoms can remain hidden for 2 or more years. The child might suffer a few mild headaches, but something more serious, such as a dizzy spell might not enter the picture for more than 2 years.

On the other hand, there is no way to force the appointment of a litigation guardian. If none gets appointed, the child’s injury remains unknown to the court. Because it stays unknown, it cannot become the basis for a claim. Consequently, the child could go uncompensated for loss of future earnings, or for the expenses arising from any further medical work, including work to treat the injury.