Limitation Periods for Slip and Fall Accidents in Ontario
Clients often inquire how much time they have to file a personal injury claim following a slip and fall accident. The simplest answer is that if you do fall somewhere, are injured, and are considering a lawsuit, you should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your rights. Limitation periods vary depending on the type of injury, and where it occurred, and it is important not to miss the window for filing a claim and ensuring you receive compensation if you require it.
What is a Slip and Fall?
“Slip and fall” is the term commonly used by personal injury lawyers for situations where an individual falls to the ground. Slip and falls can occur for a number of different reasons, and do not necessarily have to involve someone actually slipping (although they often do).
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, and commonly occur on a sidewalk, in a parking lot, in a grocery store or other retail establishment, at a bar, in someone’s home, at someone’s cottage, or on someone’s property. As long as you were not trespassing, the owner of the property you enter onto or into has a legal duty to keep that premises safe. This includes both private property owners, as well as municipalities.
If you have fallen, or otherwise injured yourself due to poor property maintenance, ice, snow, standing water, bad lighting, debris or any other such hazard, it is likely that you have a claim against the establishment or the individual on whose property the incident occurred.
It is important to note that there are time limitations for filing a claim/bringing a lawsuit following a slip and fall incident, and those time limits vary depending on the circumstances.
The general limitation period for making a personal injury claim, including a slip and fall claim, is two years. That means you have two years, generally, from the time of the incident to file your lawsuit. However, if you fall on municipally-owned property, such as a sidewalk or a city-owned parking lot, you must notify the municipality within 10 days of the incident, or you may not be permitted to later sue. Such notification brings the incident to the municipalities attention so that whatever caused the incident can be repaired or removed, to prevent others from injuring themselves.
Best Practices Following a Slip and Fall
Your first course of action following a slip and fall accident should be to receive prompt medical attention. You may not immediately feel injured, or suffer any effects, however, a slip and fall can result in conditions that may not present any symptoms for some period of time. Conditions such as fibromyalgia or chronic pain syndrome can be a result of a slip and fall, and may result in ongoing health conditions.
Your second course of action is to contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in slip and fall matters immediately. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible will protect your rights, and ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries.
At Derfel Injury Law, our experienced personal injury lawyers work hard to get our injured clients the compensation they deserve. Call us at 416-847-3580 to schedule a visit or contact us here.