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If you’ve recently experienced a slip and fall accident, you might be wondering about the deadline for filing a claim. Your priority is to recover, not to worry about missing the chance to seek compensation. Understanding the time constraints involved in slip and fall claims is crucial to safeguarding your rights and securing the compensation you deserve. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of filing a slip and fall claim, shedding light on the crucial timeframe and providing tips to avoid missing important deadlines.

Navigating the Statute of Limitations

When it comes to personal injury law, time plays a pivotal role. Each jurisdiction establishes its statute of limitations for personal injury cases, so it’s essential to acquaint yourself with the specific regulations in your area. For instance, in Ontario, the general statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents stands at two years. This means that you have a two-year window from the date of your accident to initiate a claim.

Missing this deadline can bear severe consequences. Failing to file your slip and fall claim within the two-year timeframe renders you ineligible for compensation, a situation known as being “barred” from filing a claim. To safeguard your rights and bolster your case, it’s imperative to take swift action. Avoid procrastination and promptly seek legal assistance, allowing your lawyer ample time to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and construct a robust case on your behalf. Time is undoubtedly of the essence when it comes to filing your slip and fall claim, so stay vigilant and act promptly.

Unpacking the Purpose of Statutes of Limitations

Statutes of limitations may seem like a hindrance for slip and fall victims seeking compensation, but they serve a vital purpose. Over time, evidence can deteriorate, and memories can fade, significantly impacting the integrity of a claim. Imagine, for instance, a slip and fall incident at a grocery store, with the claimant deciding to file a claim a decade later. By that time, the grocery store could have changed ownership, employees might have moved on, and crucial video footage could have been deleted. These factors can undermine the construction of a strong case.

Statutes of limitations offer assurance to potential defendants, preventing them from enduring perpetual uncertainty regarding potential lawsuits. They facilitate a fair and efficient legal process by ensuring that claims are filed while evidence remains fresh and witnesses’ recollections are reliable. While statutes of limitations might appear restrictive, they serve the vital role of preserving the legal system’s integrity and safeguarding the interests of all parties involved.

Commencing the Countdown

Understanding when the clock begins ticking is crucial for slip and fall claims. In most scenarios, the statute of limitations initiates on the accident date. According to the Limitations Act, 2002, 5(1), the clock starts either on the day of the injury or the day when the injury was reasonably known.

However, exceptions can arise. For instance, if an injury, such as a brain or spinal injury, is discovered late, the statute of limitations may not commence until the injury becomes reasonably known. This can alter the time frame for filing a claim significantly. To ensure accuracy regarding the timeframe for your specific case, it’s advisable to consult with a slip and fall lawyer. They can assess your circumstances and provide guidance tailored to your situation. Remember, time is paramount in filing a slip and fall claim, so don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel and gain clarity on the applicable deadlines.

Procrastination: A Detrimental Approach

Procrastination is the enemy when it comes to filing a slip and fall claim. Taking swift action after your accident is essential to protect your rights and enhance your prospects of securing rightful compensation. Exceeding the time limit for filing your claim renders it null and void, leaving you without recourse. It’s crucial to comprehend the statute of limitations and act promptly.

Delaying your claim can also weaken your case. The defendant’s legal counsel might argue that your injuries are not severe or suggest fabrication due to the delay. While waiting to observe injury progression may seem tempting, it’s a strategy best employed under the guidance of a legal professional. Legal experts can advise you on the optimal course of action while ensuring your rights remain safeguarded. Time waits for no one, so avoid procrastination in filing your slip and fall claim. Seek legal assistance promptly to maximize your chances of success.

The 60-Day Notice Requirement for Ice or Snow-Related Incidents

In December 2020, the Ontario government enacted Bill 118, introducing new prerequisites for slip and fall claims. Under Section 6.1(1) of the Occupiers’ Liability Act, individuals injured in slip and fall incidents on ice or snow must provide written notice of a potential claim or lawsuit within 60 days. 

A recent update to the Occupier’s Liability Act states that no lawsuit can be initiated for damages caused by personal injury due to snow or ice against the occupier or an independent contractor hired by the occupier to clear snow or ice unless written notice of the claim is provided within 60 days after the injury. The written notice should include the date, time, and location of the accident, and should be served in person or sent by registered mail to the occupier or the independent contractor.

While these regulations aim to enhance the investigation process, they place an added burden on injury victims. Instead of focusing on recovery, individuals must promptly engage a lawyer to adhere to the notice requirements. If you’ve suffered a slip and fall on ice or snow, don’t delay—seek legal assistance immediately to ensure compliance with the 60-day notice deadline. A slip and fall lawyer experienced in such claims can provide guidance and protect your rights.

The Ten-Day Notice Under the Municipal Act

All streets, pathways and parks are handled by municipal authorities, meaning that they all follow federal and provincial laws. When someone gets injured while using these public properties, they are liable to file a claim. However, there is a shorter notice period when it comes to accidents that happen on municipal properties. 

Under the Municipal Act, injured parties must promptly provide notice of their slip and fall claim to the municipality where the incident transpired. Section 44(10) of the Act expressly states that notice should be furnished within 10 days of the occurrence. Swift action is crucial for preserving your rights if you find yourself in this situation.

This applies regardless of the cause of the accident, be it a slip and fall due to the accumulation of snow or ice, a vehicle collision due to inadequate signage or snow clearing, or any other reason.

According to Section 44(10), it is mandatory to provide written notice containing information on the type of injury, the date, time and location of the accident. The written notice should be sent either by registered mail or served in person to the clerk of the municipality. In case the claim is against multiple municipalities that are jointly responsible for repairs of roads or bridges, written notices should be sent to the clerk of each municipality.

While missing the 10-day period doesn’t automatically bar a claim against the municipality, it necessitates demonstrating two critical elements: a valid excuse for the delay and an absence of prejudice to the municipality due to the late notice.

When evaluating the reasonableness of an excuse, courts consider various factors. These encompass the injured person’s awareness of the notice requirement, their physical and mental state, and any legal counsel they sought. These elements collectively influence the court’s judgment on the legitimacy of the excuse.

In the event of a delay, it is imperative to construct a compelling case demonstrating a valid excuse and the absence of prejudice to the municipality. This underscores the significance of acting promptly and seeking professional legal guidance.

Proceedings Against the Crown Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.27

According to Clause 5(1)(c) of the law, no proceeding can be initiated against the Crown unless the notice, in subsection (1), is served to the Crown within ten days after the claim arises, and there are no exceptions to this federal limit. In legal contexts, “Crown” signifies His Majesty the King. In other words, it represents the provincial government and its associated entities.

This requirement is in place to ensure that all parties involved have a fair and just understanding of their legal responsibilities in property disputes. The clock starts ticking from the moment the claim arises. To comply with the legal process and protect your rights, it’s vital to serve the required notice to the Crown within the specified timeframe.

This legal requirement is outlined in the R.S.O. 1990, c. P.27, s. 7. It’s a fundamental part of the legal framework that governs property-related disputes involving the Crown. By adhering to this regulation, all parties involved can ensure a fair and just resolution to their property matters.

Act Now with MacIsaac Gow LLP

If you’ve experienced a slip and fall accident, time is of the essence in protecting your rights and pursuing rightful compensation. Don’t let valuable time slip through your fingers. At MacIsaac Gow LLP, we understand the challenges and uncertainties that accompany slip and fall claims. Our seasoned team of slip and fall lawyer serving Ontario possesses the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the process and champion your rights.

Don’t navigate the legal labyrinth alone. Contact MacIsaac Gow LLP today to schedule a consultation and gain insights into how we can support your slip and fall claim. We’ll ensure you comprehend the specific deadlines and timeframes relevant to your case, and we’ll tirelessly construct a strong case on your behalf.

Remember, time is fleeting. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Reach out to MacIsaac Gow LLP now and take the crucial first step toward securing the compensation you rightfully deserve.