There are limitation periods you must be aware of if you have been involved in a slip and fall in Ontario.
The first limitation period is found directly in the Limitations Act. The Act says you have two years from the date you knew or ought to know that you have the right to bring a claim against the at-fault party. The date of the fall is usually treated as the start date.
The second limitation period is found in the Municipality Act. This Act says that when a municipality is responsible for the area where you fell, you must notify them within 10 days of your fall. If you do not notify them, you may lose your right to sue, except for in very limited circumstances.
The third limitation period was added recently in the Occupiers’ Liability Amendment Act, which came into effect on January 29, 2021. This act mandates a 60-day limitation period for slip and fall cases caused due to snow or ice on private properties.
This means, if you slipped and fell in the parking lot at the local mall or in an icy sidewalk on a private property, and do not notify the occupier within the limitation period of your fall, you may lose your right to sue. In that scenario, you will only be able to preserve your right to sue if you can convince a judge that there is a “reasonable excuse” for the delay or that the defendant is not prejudiced in their defense.
The concern with the Municipality Act. and the Occupiers’ Liability Amendment Act is that most people will not be aware of the 10 or 60-day notice requirement. In addition, information about the property owner’s name and address aren’t always readily available. Identifying who is responsible can sometimes take longer than the stipulated period.
You should to be aware of the limitation periods for slip and fall cases and serve a notice immediately, if you sustain an injury. If you or someone you know has been involved in a slip and fall accident, speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You have rights as a victim and may even be entitled to financial compensation.
A lawyer at Bergeron Clifford is well versed in this area of law, and we are always happy to have a look at your potential claim.
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