Ontarians who slip and fall on icy or snowy stairs and walkways will soon have less time to file an insurance or personal injury claim than they have had in the past. Bill 118, an Act to amend the province’s Occupiers’ Liability Act, was recently passed by lawmakers and will soon be implemented. The upcoming changes have been criticized by slip and fall lawyers in Toronto and elsewhere.
What Are the Changes?
In the past, when a person was injured in a slip and fall accident, they had up to two years to decide whether to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the ‘occupier’ of the property where the accident occurred. Under the new rules, they will have just 60 days to make that same decision. They will also have to submit formal written notice to the occupier.
Here’s how CTV News explained the new rules:
“For a slip and fall on private property that is due to ice and snow, you must serve the owner/occupier with written notice of the fall, the time, the date, and the precise location with 60 days of the incident by personal service or by registered mail.”
The time limit for falls on municipal property is even more restrictive. Again, from CTV:
“For a slip and fall on municipal property, you must provide the city with written notice of the fall, the time, the date, and the location within 10 days of the incident by service on the City Clerk or by registered mail.”
The one circumstance in which the two-year rule still applies is if a person dies in the accident.
What Has Been the Reaction?
Slip and fall lawyers are, unsurprisingly, not thrilled with the change. They fear that 60 days is not necessarily enough time for the victim of a serious injury to weigh their options, determine who is the legal occupier of the property, and craft and deliver an official notice of intent. The result could be seriously injured accident victims missing out on much-needed compensation.
“This could lead to the barring of a number of legitimate claims,” one personal injury lawyer told CTV News Toronto in a separate article. They added that “being able to identify the appropriate parties that need to be put on notice within 60 days is not always possible.”
Snow plow operators, on the other hand, are happy. Slip and fall claims can drastically increase their insurance premiums, and the stricter time limit is almost certain to reduce the number of claims that are submitted in the province.
Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or someone you know has been involved in a slip and fall accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Our slip and fall lawyers will review your case and provide the guidance and support you need during this difficult time.
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