Slipped and fell on snow or ice? Act fast.

On December 8, 2020, Bill 118 in Ontario came into effect, introducing changes to the Occupiers’ Liability Act. This is the legislation which establishes the duties and responsibilities of those in control of property or premises for things like keeping the property reasonably safe. This law is relied upon by victims of slip and fall or trip and fall injuries in Ontario in claiming against negligent property owners or occupiers for compensation for failing to clear ice and snow.

Among the changes to the Act, is the introduction of a new section which bars claims against an occupier or contractor responsible for a property for personal injury damages caused by snow or ice unless a written notice is provided within 60 days of the incident, which must state the date, time and location of the incident. It is also always a good idea to take photographs as soon as possible identifying the location and the hazard.

Prior to this change, there was no notice requirement under the Act; those injured as a result of a slip and fall on snow and ice had the usual 2 years under the Limitations Act to bring a claim against a negligent owner or occupier. Due to the introduction of the 60 day notice period, it is crucial that you contact an experienced and qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a slip and fall incident occurs, even if you are not yet aware of the full nature and extent of your injuries.

If over 60 days has elapsed since your slip and fall occurred, it is important to note that your claim is not necessarily barred. There is an exception to the above section which states that a failure to provide notice within 60 days when the injured person has a reasonable excuse for the lack of notice. The notice is also not required where the injured person dies as a result of the injury. If this situation applies to you, it is important that you reach out to us right away in order to protect your rights.

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