If you’ve had a slip and fall on city property in Ontario, you might be entitled to compensation. It is important to note that there is a strict time limit to initiate a lawsuit for accidents occurring on city property. Unless you have a reasonable excuse, you must notify the city within 10 days of the accident.
Slip and fall accidents can happen just about anywhere:
- Icy sidewalks
- Wet floors
- Unrepaired roadways or sidewalks
- Parking lots
- Inside of businesses or stores
What are the steps you should take if you have slipped or tripped on city property or a highway?
Here are some guidelines to help you:
- If you are injured, go to the doctor immediately and have the injuries documented.
- Take note of the exact location of the fall, the injuries you sustained, and the date and time of the incident.
- When consulting a lawyer, provide them with this information and the doctor’s documentation.
- Send the notice to the township or city clerk by registered mail within 10 days of the fall.
- If you slipped due to ice or snow, take note of whether there was any sand or salt.
- Know exactly what you tripped or slipped on, whether it was ice, a raised ledge, crack, obstruction of some type
- Try to get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Keep the footwear you were wearing at the time of the incident.
- If you have a camera on you, take pictures of the object you tripped or slipped on. Take pictures from different angles, and be sure to zoom in.
The 10 day rule is a requirement for claims against the city; it is not applicable to claims against private property owners.
If you successfully submit your notice to the city within 10 days, you generally have a two year limitation to start legal proceedings.
Even if you do everything correctly, you still might not be able to make a case, depending on whether the conditions fall under the category of gross negligence.
A few examples of gross negligence for which the city can be held responsible include:
- If no effort was made to remove a layer of ice on a level sidewalk for two or more days.
- If the city did not move quickly enough at a reasonable speed to correct the icy conditions, even knowing that under certain conditions, the temperature could drop to below freezing on the streets.
- If snow and ice had been allowed to remain on a heavily travelled sidewalk for a period of time.
- If it can be proven that no effort was made to repair rough surfaces or to fill cracks on sidewalks.
What kind of compensation can you seek? If you had to go to the hospital due to injuries sustained from your slip or fall, you might be able to receive compensation for medical expenses. You might also be able to receive compensation for wage loss if you were unable to go to work. Just remember: it’s always wise to seek consultation from experienced slip and fall lawyers in Toronto, such as those with Clarke Law, to find out if your claim is worth pursuing.