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Slip, Trip and Fall: Who can you sue?

Region: Ontario Answer # 478

If you fall and injure yourself, you may be entitled to sue for compensation for your injuries under Ontario’s Occupier’s Liability Act. Generally, you can sue the owner of the property where you fell, such as a retail store, a school, a hospital, a municipality or city, or a neighbour.

Common examples of slip and fall incidents include falling on walkways that have not been cleared of snow or ice, or that have not been repaired, falling on dirty or slippery floors, tripping on objects on the floor, or falling as a result of poor lighting.

Limitation periods for slip and fall lawsuits

In most circumstances, the law requires that you start your lawsuit for a slip and fall injury within two years of:

  • the day that your injury occurred; or
  • the day on which you reasonably should have known you were injured

 

However, you must notify the owner/occupier or the municipality of your intent to sue within a certain period of time. The limitation periods are as follows:

Private property

If a slip and fall on private property is due to ice and snow, you must serve the owner/occupier by written notice of the fall within 60 days of the incident. Include the time, the date, and the exact location of where the fall occurred. Notice can be made by personal service or by registered mail.

Municipal 

If a slip and fall occurs on municipal property, you must provide the city with written notice by of the fall, including the time, the date, and the location within 10 days of the incident. Notice can be made by service on the City Clerk or by registered mail.

 

Other limitations may apply if the property belongs to the Crown. If you miss these deadlines, you may not be able to recover any compensation for your injury or loss.

What to do if a fall occurs on private property

In order to ensure you have all the necessary information to begin a claim, there are a number of things that should be done if the slip and fall occurs on private private, including:

  • Ascertain who is the legal owner of the property.
  • Find out if there is a tenant responsible for maintenance.
  • Ask if there is a property manager, and a snow removal contractor.
  • Put all parties on notice of a claim.
  • Take photos of the location right away (if possible).

 

Compensation for slip and fall lawsuits

If your lawsuit is successful, you may be able to recover money to compensate for your general pain and suffering, loss of income, expenses such as prescriptions and travelling to and from your doctor, and for future loss of income.

The amount of compensation you receive will depend on how serious your injury is and how it affects your life. The court will often take into account your age, whether you have any pre-existing injuries or conditions, and whether you contributed to your own injury.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact our preferred Personal Injury experts, Nicola (Nick) Giannantonio Legal Services . They offer a free consultation and do not charge up-front fees.


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