In early December 2020, in anticipation of the winter weather season, the Ontario government passed Bill 118. This piece of legislation has a profound impact on the rights of individuals to bring claims for injuries caused by slip and fall accidents.
Section 6.1(1) of the Occupiers’ Liability Act now requires an injured person to give written notice of a possible claim or lawsuit within 60 days. Before Bill 118, the required notice period was 2 years.
Who does this impact? It impacts anyone who falls because of ice or snow at a residential or commercial property. It includes driveways, parking lots, walkways, stairs, etc. It is important to note that slips and falls on City property have an even shorter notice period of 10 days.
What is required? You must give written notice of the incident including details of the date, time and location. The notice must be personally served or sent by registered mail to at least one potentially involved person or company. This could include the owner of the premises, an occupier of the premises, or a snow removal contractor.
The government has said that the purpose behind the new legislation is to ensure that companies that own properties and the snow removal contractors they hire for winter maintenance will be in a better position to investigate claims. But this legislation puts an unfair burden on those who have been injured. Many people who are injured never call a lawyer or, if they do, their injuries heal and they do not pursue claims. This new 60 day notice period now forces individuals to contact a lawyer right away, to ensure their rights are protected if their injuries are serious. And they are required to do this when they should be focused on healing and recovering from their injuries.
If you, or someone you love, has been injured in a slip and fall incident, we encourage you to contact the lawyers at Burn Tucker Lachaîne as soon as possible. We will provide a free consultation, with no obligation, to ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities. If you decide to hire us, we will proceed with your case on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not be asked to pay anything unless and until your case is settled or we have won at trial.
By Laurie Tucker of Burn Tucker Lachaîne Personal Injury Lawyers
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