Is There a Statute of Limitations in Alberta

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Many people assume that claiming a criminal act at a later date makes a case weaker. So, that suggests claiming immediately to fight the case staunchly. It is not wrong. But, some people further think that there is a specific time period of it. And, after that, either the claim becomes invalid or not considerable. Is it so?

The answer to the question can be easily the YES, or sometimes NO. That is not enough to grasp the whole subject. Most importantly, the question may appear how critical or essential a statute of limitation can be for a case.

Also, what is the ground for practicing it? Read further to know is there a statute of limitations in Canada. Did you know what the statute of limitation is? Don’t worry. We’ll start from the beginning.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitation is the law setting the maximum time limit to initiate legal action against an event. The time frame starts from the day of the crime or dispute taking place.

This law is practicable both for civil and criminal cases. In most federal crimes cases, the statute of limitation is 5 years. Also, the length of the time varies by jurisdiction and the types of the offense.

For example, we can mention medical malpractice or negligence. Suppose, in a particular state, the statute of limitation of this act is 2 years. The victim must sue the responsible party within this duration. An extra day after the 2 years will revoke the option to allege.

Why is there a statute of limitations?

The main objective of the statute of limitations is to serve fair justice, both the accuser and the accused. The courts assume that the needy people contact the court the fastest. On the other hand, even it takes time, with proper evidence, a case brings out the truth.

Does Canada have a statute of limitations?

Canada has a statute of limitations. But, depending on the types of the cases, the duration may vary. Also, in some cases, like indictable cases, there is no exact time frame.

How Long Do You Have To Start A Claim In Alberta

As with many things in law, exemptions apply to limitation periods. Some exemptions appear below as examples. However, the general rule is that a person or company has two years from when they knew or should have known that:

  • An injury occurred;
  • The injury was caused by a specific company or person; and
  • The injury, loss or damage warrants starting action against that person, assuming that person is liable.

Consequently, since the law uses the word “and”, this means that all three things must occur prior to the starting of the limitation person. If you knew you incurred a loss but it reasonably took a year to find out who caused the problem, that extends the limitation period from when the loss occurred.

There is an additional restriction in this statute. There is a “drop dead” date that is 10 years after the story first surfaced. Therefore, the action is time-barred if it takes 11 years for you to realize you had an issue or who created the problem.

Collections Statute of Limitation

The term may confuse you for a moment. It is about the offenses related to financial crimes. Such cases occur if a person cannot repay a loan taken from another person.

In general, the creditor doesn’t take any legal action at the beginning. It is costly to go through the court’s intervention. So, it’s okay if someone personally attempts to get back the money.

It is not easy to collect the money back either. Thus, it may make the lender seek help from the court after a couple of efforts. But, interestingly, there is bad news for the debtor. No statute of limitation is viable for collection related to debts.

So, the borrower also must have the idea of the statute of limitation if there is a possibility of a delay or other complications in repaying on time. Moreover, a bad intention can never be expected to be entertained with a welcome.

Read Also: Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule

Exceptions of Statute of Limitations in Canada

The statute of limitation doesn’t sustain as unchanged in some cases. There are some exceptions. If the victim cannot commence an action regarding the claim, the limitation period won’t be under consideration. There are some conditions, though.

In cases like physical or sexual assault, the court accepts delay from the victim. It appears to the court that the victim was incapable of filing a charge against the accused because of trauma or injury.

What are the indictable crimes?

Murder, major theft (that is over $5000), rape, kidnapping, etc., are some of the indictable crimes. For these crimes, there is no time limit to charge against the responsible person or entity. These types of cases prosecutions are applicable in all provinces and territories of Canada.

Also Read: How Many Hours Do You Have to Report an Accident in Alberta?

So, in some cases, it is never too late to seek justice. But, at the same time, the defendant can deny some charges as well. The condition is- the delay of the claimant is not good enough that the court can justify in its favour.

In the end, the most important fact is- there is no Canadian statute of limitations for serious crimes.


We know that law is for citizens, and the law aims to provide them with justice. It’s not surprising that often some pros and cons that arise with laws. That’s why a law is not eternally the same. At least no one guarantee it. It is the same for the statute of limitations in Canada.

It might seem that this idea may create a barrier to carrying out a judgment. On the other hand, it might seem to favour the other party. But, a judgment doesn’t come as simply as it appears to. One must not give up their case without filing it and fighting it properly. Therefore, we can expect a fair result.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the statute of limitations?

According to a law in Canada, the plaintiff cannot claim in court against any criminal or offender after a particular duration of the crime that took place. It is called the statute of limitations in short.

How many years after motor vehicle accidents and Slips & Falls can I claim in Canada?

The plaintiff will have 2 years from the incident to file a lawsuit against the responsible person if the cases are motor vehicle accidents or Slips & Falls.

What are the statutory accident benefits?

The most important and basic concept of the statutory accident benefit is that it helps recover from the injury. It may vary in different territories in some points, but the basic idea would be the same. The statutory accident benefits cover a portion of health costs and expenses associated with income.

What to do after running out of the statute of limitations?

Actually, there is nothing to do after the expiry date of the statute of limitations. That is the answer in general. But, if the court is satisfied with certain factors, it is possible to claim. Again, this flexibility is entertained for only some particular and serious cases.



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