Bill 118 – An Act to Amend the Occupier’s Liability Act
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 ten days of your fall. If you do not notify them, you may lose your right to sue, except for in very limited circumstances. As it currently stands, this ten-day limitation period does not apply if your fall occurs on private property.
This could change if Bill 118- An Act to Amend the Occupier’s Liability Act becomes law. The proposed law is currently making its way through the provincial Parliament and its effect would be that the ten-day notice period that currently applies only to municipalities would apply to all slip and falls involving snow and ice, regardless of where that fall occurred.
So, if you slipped and fell in the parking lot at the local mall and do not notify within ten-days 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 defence.
The concern with the proposed Bill is that most people will not be aware of the ten-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 ten days.
There is no timeline as to when and if this Bill becomes law, but it is currently being put through provincial Parliament.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a slip and fall incident, speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer. 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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