Winter Slip and Fall Claims Against Municipalities

Last week, we discussed occupiers’ liability for winter slip and fall accidents. In many circumstances, a slip and fall will happen on municipal property, such as public sidewalks. Although still considered an occupier, it can also be more challenging to succeed in a winter slip and fall claims against municipalities.

Municipal liability for winter slip and falls on sidewalks

In Ontario, the Municipal Act limits the liability of municipalities where slip and fall accidents occur due to “ice and snow on a sidewalk.” In these cases, a municipality is only considered liable where they have been “grossly negligent” in maintaining the condition of the sidewalk.

While a private occupier could be considered negligent where they fail to maintain a reasonable standard of safety, a municipality will only be considered liable where they ignored an unsafe condition, or allowed a clear hazard to continue. This can make it more difficult for injured victims to succeed in their claim against a public occupier.

Time limits for claims against municipalities

A further difficulty in successfully claiming against a municipality for a winter slip and fall is the relatively short timeline for giving notice of your claim. Under the Municipal Act, parties intending to advance a claim in negligence must provide written notice by registered mail within ten days of their injury. This notice must include the date, time and location of the incident.

Many individuals are unaware of this requirement, and failure to provide proper notice can have a serious impact on your rights to compensation if the municipality was negligent.

Personal injury lawyers helping slip and fall victims obtain compensation

As experienced personal injury lawyers, we understand that the aftermath of a serious personal injury can be overwhelming, and dealing with a potential legal claim can be the furthest thing from your mind. At Derfel Injury Law, we pride ourselves on being dedicated to helping accident victims get back on their feet, and focus on recovery.

Don’t hesitate to contact us after a slip and fall on municipal property. When you retain our team to assist with your claim, we will send a proper notice letter, explore your options, and help you move forward. To discuss your potential claim with one of our lawyers, contact us online or call 416-847-3580 to make an appointment. For convenience, we can meet clients in Barrie, Whitby or Toronto.