Feb 17 2021 |
A Brief Guide to Winter/Fall Slip and Fall Notices & Limitation Periods
Of the many rules that govern lawsuits in Ontario, the notice period and limitation period are two of the most important. Having a clear understanding of the limitation and notice periods are all the more critical during the winter/fall season.
With the increased risk of slipping and falling, you must know how to file a claim properly should you suffer an injury. This quick guide will get you up to speed on the basics of both the notice and limitation periods for slips and falls and recent changes to Ontario law that may affect your rights.
What is a Notice Period?
The notice period means that you need to give the person you are filing a claim against written notice about what happened and that you plan to take legal action.
How Much Time Do I Have to Give Notice of a Slip and Fall?
If you slip and fall and are injured on an icy or snowy sidewalk or road managed by a municipality, the Municipal Act, 2001 requires that you deliver written notice of the date, time, location, and the injuries to the local municipal clerk in person or by registered letter within 10 days of the incident. If you do not do so, a court may not allow your claim to proceed.
Suppose you are injured on an icy or snowy municipal sidewalk or road. In that case, the incident must be immediately documented so that you can give proper notice within 10 days.
Additional New Notice Period
As of December 2020, Bill 118 amended the Occupiers Liability Act and created a new notice period for slips and falls on snow and ice on private properties. Now, if you suffer a slip and fall accident on snow or ice on someone’s property, you are required to provide written notice of the date, time, location, and any injuries to the property owner or the contractor managing the property. You must do this within 60 days. The notice must be served in person or by registered mail to the property owner or contractor.
What is a Limitation Period?
The limitation period is a given window of time when legal action may be carried out. After an injury or loss that occurs due to negligence or omission, the victim is given a time limit to make a claim if they so choose. If you decide to file a claim for an incident after this predetermined period has ended, a court can refuse your case and leave you without legal recourse.
When something happens to you, and you want to file a claim, you should not put it off for another time. If you do, you may be limiting yourself and your chances of your case being successful.
The basic limitation period defined in the Limitations Act, 2002 was two years after the date when the incident occurred. This means that you have two years from the date of the incident in which you were injured to file a court claim. Delivering notice is not enough – if you hurt yourself on snow or ice, you must do this, and you must also start your case in court.
Get The Legal Help You Need
With new changes to the law related to winter injuries, it pays to have the right team on your side providing you with the most updated legal information. Should you find yourself with an injury after falling on snow or us, please feel free to contact us.