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Who will be held liable for icy sidewalk slip and fall injuries in Ontario?

Apr 7, 2020 | Slip and Fall Claims

Moussa Sabzehghabaei

Personal Injury Lawyer

Some say that winter is the most peaceful time of the year. But along with the silence and relaxed winter months comes a fair share of challenges. It’s during this time of the year that many Canadians are hospitalized because of falls on icy sidewalks. In 2016/2017, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported that more than 8,000 Canadians got injured in accidents that involve ice. What most people don’t know is that winning a claim for slip and fall injuries can be a complex process. Such cases are never straightforward because the circumstances involved are always different from one incident to another.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a slip and fall accident on the icy sidewalk, get an experienced lawyer to help you file the claim. Factors such as where the accident occurred, how and when it happened will go a long way in determining what type of recovery you might receive.

Was the property owner/manager negligent?

In personal injury law, the events before and after the accident will greatly determine whether a claim is valid or not. In general, property owners have the responsibility of making sure their property is safe for the intended use. Your lawyer must prove that the property owner or manager is negligent by failing to take reasonable steps to keep the property safe. Cases that occur in public properties are often harder to prove. For instance, the Ontario Municipal Act clearly states that the city is not liable for any personal injury cases that occur due to icy sidewalks unless the case involves gross negligence (when it is proven that there was a conscious and voluntary disregard to prevent dangerous or harmful consequences).

How much time do you have to file a claim?

If a slip and fall injury occurred in public or private property, it’s important to take action immediately. The Ontario Limitations Act provides a statute of limitations of 2 years to file slip and fall injury claims. There are even cases where your claim may be barred simply because you did not act immediately even before the 2 years lapse. For instance, if the slip and fall injury occurred in a municipality, Section 44(10) of the Municipality Act requires a written notice of the injury and claim to be filed and brought before the Municipality within 10 days after the accident occurred. Your lawyer may argue that there was a ‘’reasonable excuse” for the delay in order to be allowed to proceed with the case.

How a slip and fall lawyer can help

Icy sidewalk slip and fall accidents can lead to minor injuries like bruises and muscle strains to more serious cases like broken bones and traumatic brain injuries. For you to get compensated after a slip and fall injury on an icy sidewalk, you’ll need to partner with a good lawyer who will preserve the necessary evidence and build a strong case for you.