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What you need to know about new slip-and-fall legislation

Person walking in snow with text 'what you need to know about new slip and fall legislation' written over the picture

This post was written by Andrea Girones:

Slip-and-fall accidents can happen at any time, but in Ontario these accidents occur most commonly in the winter when ice and snow build up on sidewalks, front steps, and roadways, creating hazards for pedestrians.

While victims of slip-and-fall accidents on snow and ice previously had two years to file a notice of a claim, new Ontario legislation is tightening the time period plaintiffs have to launch an action following an incident.

Bill 118, an amendment to the Occupier’s Liability Act, was enacted earlier this year and requires plaintiffs in slip-and-fall accidents on snow and ice to file a notice of a claim to a private property owner within just 60 days of the incident.

This amendment and short time frame make it more difficult for injured people to successfully sue, as filing a claim is unlikely to be your first priority when recovering from injury.

If you have been involved in a slip-and-fall incident, it is essential that you consult with experienced personal injury lawyers. At Girones Lawyers, we will help you navigate the legal system in order to receive the settlement that you deserve.

If you are involved in a slip-and-fall accident caused by snow and ice, here are three steps the new act requires you to take within 60 days of the incident:

  1. Determine the occupiers of the property where the accident occurred.

The victim must identify at least one occupier, or snow contractor, of the property on which they fell, although there might be more than one occupier. The victim should identify as many occupiers as possible following the injury. According to the act, the occupier can be:

  • The person in physical possession of the area where the victim fell, or;
  • The person who is responsible for the area where the victim fell – this can mean the person who controls the conditions of the area, who controls the activities carried out in the area, and/or who controls the persons allowed to enter the area.

2. Write a letter to the occupiers with details of the slip-and-fall

The victim must write a letter addressed to each occupier that includes the following:

  • The date of the incident;
  • The time of the incident;
  • The location of the incident;
  • A statement that says the victim intends to bring a claim against the occupier and/pr contractor for damages for personal injury resulting from the slip-and-fall incident.

3. Serve or mail the letter to the occupiers

The victim must either mail the letters to the occupiers by registered mail within 60 days of the slip-and-fall or pay a process server to personally deliver the letters.

Once these steps have been taken, the victim preserves their right to sue. However, the victim must still bring an action within two years of the incident in order to successfully sue.

At Girones Lawyers, we can walk you through this process as our skilled lawyers know exactly what steps to take and what language to use in order for your lawsuit to be successful.

If you ever find yourself the victim of a slip-and-fall accident, contact us immediately to book a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.

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