Have you slipped or tripped and fallen while walking along a city property such as a sidewalk? Generally speaking, an individual has ten (10) days from the date of the slip or trip and fall to put the city on notice of a claim for slip and fall injuries (or injuries of any kind). Failing that, it was thought the plaintiff’s claim would be barred. The recent 2015 Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Seif v Toronto may give hope to those who failed to put the city on notice within the ten (10) day limitation period.
Slip & Fall Accidents – Giving The City Notice of a Claim
On August 19, 2011, Robin Seif tripped and fell on a city sidewalk, fracturing her wrist but believing it would heal. In November of 2011 she was advised that she would have pain and limitations for the rest of her life as a result of her slip and fall accident. She hired a personal injury lawyer on December 20, 2011 and a notice letter was sent to the city the following day, approximately four (4) months following the incident. The defendant argued the plaintiff was barred from bringing her claim since the city was put on notice well beyond the ten (10) day limitation period. The motion judge held that failure to give notice within this period will not bar the plaintiff from bringing an action if it can be shown there was a reasonable excuse for the delay and if the City would not be prejudiced as a result of the delay. While the motion judge did not accept Ms. Seif’s argument, the Court of Appeal did.
The Court of Appeal held that the test to be applied was whether, in all of the circumstances of the case, it was reasonable for Ms. Seif not to give notice until she did. The Court of Appeal considered the fact that Ms. Seif did not initially intend on suing the City and only ended up doing so once she was informed her injury would be permanent and serious. The majority of the Court of Appeal felt that the issue as to whether or not the City would be prejudiced by the delay was a genuine issue requiring a trial.
Slip & Fall Injury Advice
If you are someone who has slipped or tripped and fallen on city property but have not given notice of your injuries within the ten (10) day period, it is important that you review the facts and evidence with a lawyer to determine the date on which you knew or ought to have known you suffered a significant injury as a result. The next determination to make is whether or not there was any prejudice to the defendant in not providing notice within ten (10) days.
KCY at LAW has the experience and expertise necessary to help determine whether or not your claim for injuries has been barred by a limitation period and what your options are.
Contact KCY at LAW today by calling (905) 639-0999 or online and book a FREE consultation!