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Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Lawsuits


For residents of Ontario, grasping the intricacies of the Ontario Statute of Limitations is crucial. This legal framework sets the temporal boundaries for initiating legal action against individuals or companies. The timeframe generally hinges on the incident’s date or the discovery of harm, varying between provinces. In Ontario, a lawsuit must be filed within two years. Comprehending the Ontario Statute of Limitations is critical if you have been injured, as a means to safeguard your rights and ensure timely justice.

Cracking the Code of the Ontario Statute of Limitations

Understanding the Ontario Statute of Limitations is pivotal, particularly when it comes to personal injury claims, where ignorance can lead to a total loss of your ability to recover damages. You don’t need to be a legal expert to grasp the fundamentals. Essentially, this statute sets a deadline for initiating legal action against an individual or business. Delaying the filing of a lawsuit beyond this deadline will likely result in your claim being dismissed.

As mentioned above, in the context of personal injury claims, the Ontario Statute of Limitations stipulates a two-year window from the incident’s date for filing a claim. Nevertheless, it’s essential to acknowledge that this timeframe might fluctuate based on case-specific circumstances. To navigate these intricacies effectively, consulting with a legal professional is advisable, ensuring you don’t fall victim to the statute of limitations and forfeit your right to justice.

Time Sensitivity of Your Personal Injury Claim

Section 5 (2) of the Ontario Statute of Limitations underscores that “A person with a claim shall be presumed to have known of the matters referred to…on the day the act or omission on which the claim is based took place,” setting the clock in motion from the moment of the incident.

Missing this two-year deadline not only risks claim denial but also places the financial burden of legal costs on your shoulders, intensifying the challenges associated with your situation. To secure your rights and pursue the compensation you merit, prompt action and adherence to the stipulated timeframe are imperative. While an ultimate limitation period of 15 years exists for select cases, relying on this extended timeframe is unwise, as, after 15 years, your claim becomes void, leaving you without recourse.

Don’t squander time and potentially sacrifice your entitlement to compensation. Act within the two-year limit, seek legal counsel and ensure that your personal injury claim aligns with the Ontario Statute of Limitations.

Additional Timelines to Be Cognizant Of

Beyond the two-year limit for personal injury claims, there are other critical timelines which may apply to your claim. While consulting a lawyer before taking action is advised, here are three primary timelines that warrant attention:

  1. Accident Benefits Claim
    If your slip and fall claim relates to the use of an automobile, you may have access to no-fault accident benefits.  Filing an accident benefits claim necessitates doing so within 30 days of the accident.  It is important to commence your claim within 30 days of the accident so you do not miss out on early access to benefits.
  2. Suing Municipalities or the Provincial Government
    If your intention is to sue a municipality or the provincial government for injuries sustained, you must provide notice within 10 days of the accident. Failing to meet this requirement can severely impede your ability to seek compensation for your injuries.Vigilance regarding these additional timelines is critical to safeguarding your rights and enhancing the prospects of a successful claim. Collaborating with a personal injury lawyer well-versed in these regulations is the most prudent approach, ensuring you navigate these timelines adeptly and secure the compensation you deserve.
  3. Sixty Day Notice
    If you intend to make a claim for a slip and fall due to ice and snow, you must put the potential defendants on notice via registered mail, within 60 days.  This notice provision is relatively new and came into effect on December 8, 2020.

The Rationale Behind the Statute of Limitations

The Ontario Statute of Limitations, also recognized as the Limitations Act 2002, serves multiple purposes. While initially established to provide a consistent framework for time limits in legal proceedings, it has evolved to better align with the justice system’s requirements.

The primary rationale for the statute’s existence is to ensure equity in the legal process for both plaintiffs and defendants. By imposing a time limit for filing claims, it prevents plaintiffs from indefinitely wielding the threat of legal action, enabling defendants to move forward without perpetual lawsuit apprehension. Moreover, the statute acknowledges the importance of timely action to preserve fair trials and reliable evidence, considering the fading of memories, unavailability of witnesses, and potential loss or destruction of evidence over time.

If you possess a valid claim, prompt action is pivotal to protect your rights and pursue justice. Complying with these limits and adhering to best practices ensures your case’s proper handling and bolsters your chances of a favorable outcome.

Exceptions to the Limitation Period for Personal Injury Claims

While the Ontario Statute of Limitations establishes a standard limitation period for personal injury claims, exceptions do exist. It’s essential to recognize that minors or individuals physically incapable of making a claim may qualify for an exception, as the law acknowledges their need for extended time.

Furthermore, amendments to the Limitations Act cater to victims of sexual assault, recognizing that these cases often require more than two years to come forward due to their sensitive nature. The law has been adapted to afford additional time for these individuals to pursue legal action and hold their perpetrators accountable.

Should you find yourself in circumstances where an exception may apply to your personal injury claim, engaging a personal injury lawyer is crucial. They can assess your unique situation, guide you through the legal process, and ensure you comprehend your options, enhancing your likelihood of a successful claim.

Navigating the Ontario Statute of Limitations Successfully

Initiating a claim within the Ontario Statute of Limitations’ defined timeframe is paramount to prevent case dismissal. How can you evade the statute of limitations effectively? Here are key steps to follow:

  1. File Promptly: Initiate your claim as soon as possible, recognizing that securing a court date can be time-consuming. Time sensitivity is crucial when seeking justice for your injuries.
  2. Send a Notification Letter: A notification letter to the responsible party, ideally sent by a lawyer, serves as a “notice of claim.” Timely dispatch is vital, as the defendant can dispute receipt, potentially compromising your claim. 

By adhering to these steps and taking swift action, you can steer clear of the Ontario Statute of Limitations’ pitfalls, notice requirements and enhance the likelihood of a successful personal injury claim. Delay no more; act promptly to safeguard your rights and pursue the compensation you merit.

Reach Out to SG Injury Law

If you require legal assistance concerning the Ontario Statute of Limitations or a personal injury claim, you can hire personal injury lawyer in Ontario by contacting SG Injury Law. Our team of experienced lawyers is very skilled at dealing with personal injury cases, and they have a deep understanding of the complex legal rules in Ontario. 

We recognize that coping with personal injuries is physically and emotionally taxing. Thus, we provide unwavering support throughout the journey. Our lawyers attentively listen to your narrative, assess case particulars, and furnish personalized legal counsel tailored to your circumstances.

At SG Injury Law, as one of the top-rated personal injury lawyer Ottawa, we champion justice and ensure our clients receive their rightful compensation. Our track record of success in managing personal injury claims underscores our commitment to providing exceptional legal representation.

Do not let the Ontario Statute of Limitations or other legal complexities impede your pursuit of justice. Reach out to SG Injury Law today for a consultation, and allow us to guide you through the legal process, advocating for your rights every step of the way.