Some limitations function like a cap; they hold down a certain aspect of the claims process. The ones that relate to child injuries act more like a belt. They put limits on the time period during which a claim can be submitted. Like every belt, this child-related limitation must remain in one place; it applies to only one area of any victim’s life. It starts when a young person, one that has suffered an injury, reaches the age of 18 and becomes an adult.
Over the years, fashion designers have experimented with placing a belt somewhere other than the waist. At one time hip-huggers were popular. Insurance companies have also tried to alter the area of a victim’s life in which the time limitations apply.
Insurance companies like to deal with a claim and get it out of the way. According to the limits on child injuries, a victim that is under the age of 18 deserves more than two years in which to decide whether or not to make a claim. Adults have been given that two year limit, because the law feels that an adult can reach such a decision within a 2 year time frame.
Insurance companies had been asked to start the limitation period when the child victim becomes an adult. Then the same companies pressured legislatures, so that laws such as the Limitations Act were passed. According to that Act, an insurer could send a notice to proceed to the guardian or Public Trustee of an injured child. The date on the notice that gets issued by the insurer represents the start of the limitation period for those that will decide on how to proceed with that child’s case. Following passage of that Act, personal injury lawyers in Airdrie, developed the tactic that could be used to respond to such a notice. It is called a statement of claim.
If a lawyer files a statement of claim with the court, the 2 year limitation period that has been placed on a guardian or a Public Trustee can be removed. In that case, the period would be returned to where it had been placed initially, namely at the point where the injured victim turns 18. At the same time, the injury lawyer that has filed the statement of claim can also make a request of the defendant. The injury lawyer can request that the defendant recognize the existence of a standstill agreement. If the defendant refuses to recognize a lawyer’s standstill agreement, then the court will proceed to issue one.
In other words, the insurance companies have been like the designers that have played with placement of a waistline, a location for a belt. Like designers, insurers have found it hard to alter the spot where the public prefers to find the belt (the limitations for filing a claim). That spot may seem to have shifted at times, but the courts feel content to keep it where it has always been.