Ice, Injuries and the 10 day Deadline.
This post was written by Andrea Girones:
Written by Andrea Girones
Now that winter has arrived in earnest with ice and snow storms, it always good to review an important deadline for injuries that occur on municipal property. You must give the municipality notice of your injuries within 10 days of your accident on City roads, sidewalk, parks or other city locations.
If you miss the 10 day deadline, call the City anyhow and seek legal advice right away. There are some exceptions to the general rule.
Sometimes you don’t know right away that you have a serious injury. Call the City anyhow just in case. If you heal quickly and without any problems, you won’t need to start a lawsuit. However if your health deteriorates and the situation worsens, you’ll be happy you called.
What if you are not sure who owns the property where you fell? Call the City anyhow as it cannnot hurt your case. My office often puts the City of Ottawa on notice when we are not sure, at first glance, who owns the land.
You must call or email the municipality and provide them with;
- The date of the accident,
- The location
- The nature of your injury
- Your intention to seek compensation.
- At the end of a phone call ask for an “incident” or “report” number.
And that’s all you need to do to preserve your right to sue. Do not speak to any insurance adjusters or City claims workers should they call to get more information. Leave that to your lawyer. Your role is to simply give the City notice of the claim.
Finally, always take pictures, both of the detailed area where you fell, as well as the general surroundings. Large potholes or ice patches in front of a busy apartment building are more treacherous than icy patches in the far corner of a remote parking lot, so context is key.
Lawyers love pictures!
Andrea Girones is head of the Kanata office of Girones Lawyer and will be happy to speak for free to anyone who has a concern about their winter accident at 1-866-701-5811.