If you have slipped on ice and have been injured on municipal property, it is imperative to note that Ontario’s Municipal Act requires you to notify the municipality of your claim within 10 days of your injury. The legislation provides that municipalities are not liable for personal injuries caused by snow or ice on a sidewalk; unless it is a case of gross negligence. It is often difficult to determine what constitutes gross negligence. In McNulty v. Brampton (City) the Court has determined that gross negligence will depend on the circumstances of each case. Another determining factor is whether the practices implemented by the city were adequate in meeting its statutory duty. In order to show they are liable, it must be proven that they knew, or ought to have known of the danger as well. Liability often focuses on whether the municipal authorities actually had notice of the dangerous condition, and whether they had an opportunity to remedy it. There are many nuances for what constitutes gross negligence on behalf of the municipality, such as allowing a piece of ice to remain on the sidewalk for an extended period of time. There are several exceptions with respect to what constitutes gross negligence, and it is recommended that you seek the advice a qualified Toronto personal injury lawyer.
When it comes to private property, the legislation states that occupiers of land are obligated to ensure the safety of individuals entering their property. If you have slipped on a patch of ice on private property, such as the parking lot of a mall, then the occupier of the property may be liable for your injuries. Additionally, the entity hired to remove snow and ice may also be found liable. In these circumstance, you generally have two years from the date of your injury to commence legal proceedings against liable parties. Even though the ten day notice period does not apply in the case of an injury that may occur on private property, you should still provide notice to the occupier as soon as possible and ask to preserve any investigative evidence that may exist. These scenarios are often complex, and require the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.