Slip and fall cases happen year-round in Ontario, but winter ice and snow ramps up these injuries. The results can range from minor pain and embarrassment to broken bones and pain that can lead to medical bills and limitations on your enjoyment of work and life.
With weather fluctuations predicted this winter, it’s necessary for Ontarians to know what to do in the event of a slip and fall. That includes filing a claim to get the compensation you deserve.
To that end, our slip and fall lawyers in Brampton have provided this guide on how to successfully file a claim.
What to Know About Filing a Snow or Ice-Related Slip and Fall Injury Claim
Take a look at what you should do when filing a claim for a slip and fall accident in Ontario.
1. Know the Laws
If you suffer a slip and fall on a municipal sidewalk, you are required to give the municipality written notice of any potential action against them within 10 days. That’s not long, but you can only protect your right to sue when you complete this action within the stipulated timeframe, with a few exceptions. Expect the municipality to fight you if you file late.
As of December 8, 2020, another law has come into effect for victims who slip and fall on private property. According to amendments made to the Occupier’s Liability Act R.S.O. 1990, the victim must notify the at-fault party of a potential action within 60 days of suffering a slip and fall on their property which results in injury. That means the victim must send a written notice of claim to either the occupier (the owner or someone in control of the premises) or someone else employed by them regarding the date, time, and location of the fall. This can either be sent by registered mail or served personally. Furthermore, it should also mention that the occupier or employee needs to remove the ice or snow from their premises as soon as possible.
Once the concerned parties have been served this notice, they are obligated to ensure that any other potential parties are served with it as well. Failing to do so can raise problems that complicate the entire lawsuit.
2. Contact a Reliable Lawyer
Hiring a personal injury lawyer or one who specializes in slip and fall cases can be beneficial in these matters, but it’s necessary to ask them certain questions before hiring them. Without a reliable lawyer, it will be extremely difficult to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. The right lawyer will be able to help you in the following ways:
- They will explain your legal rights and obligations as a victim.
- They will document all proof of negligence.
- They will investigate the circumstances leading to the accident.
- They will represent their client in a court of law.
- They will notify the at-fault parties in a timely manner.
- They will negotiate compensation with the victim’s insurance provider.
An experienced lawyer will also be able to explain the limitation period and what circumstances may or may not apply to your claim. Moreover, they will ensure that a proper liability investigation is conducted. This will help the victim prove what caused them to slip and fall and whether the property owner took appropriate measures to prevent it. It’s in your best interest to inform your lawyer of any new diagnosis or specialists you begin seeing as that information might come in handy for the case.
3. Prepare for a Claim Resolution
After you have notified the defendant and have readied all necessary documentation, you can proceed with your claim. However, it’s vital that you recognize the individual or people against whom you are making your claim. For instance, if you are injured while walking on a sidewalk outside their apartment building, you may assume you can only sue the property management or city. However, multiple parties can be found partially or fully guilty. This is another reason to hire a slip and fall lawyer, in Brampton or elsewhere in Ontario, as they will help structure the claim to ensure the responsible parties are targeted.
During this time you can decide whether you and the defendant want to take the case to court or settle. If you or the defendant don’t accept the settlement terms, the case will proceed to court.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Ontario related to ice or snow due to someone else’s negligence, don’t waste any time. You have a small window of opportunity to take action and pursue a claim. Get in touch with a reputable slip and fall lawyer in Brampton as soon as possible and discuss the circumstances of your case. A professional will help determine whether you are entitled to financial compensation.