Each province determines its own statute of limitations (time limit) for personal injury cases, such as slip and fall claims. In Ontario, for instance, the general statute of limitations is two years. This means that you must file your claim before the two-year anniversary of your accident. If you fail to do so, you will be ineligible to file a slip and fall claim and will be barred from compensation.
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Why does the statute of limitations exist?
Statutes of limitation were created in order to protect potential defendants. With time limits in place, defendants do not have to worry indefinitely about being sued after an incident occurs.
These statutes are important because as time goes by, evidence may be lost and memories will fade – which can affect the integrity of a claim. For instance, if someone tries to file a slip and fall claim against a grocery store 10 years after the incident, the employees and management may be different, the store policies may have changed, and valuable evidence such as surveillance video would likely be gone.
When does the clock start ticking?
In most cases, the statute of limitations for slip and fall claims starts running on the date of your accident. There are very few exceptions to this rule. The Limitations Act, 2002, 5(1) provides that technically, the clock begins on either of the following dates.
- On the day that your injury occurred
- On the day on which you reasonably should have known you were injured
In some cases, there might be a late discovery of an injury. For instance, a brain injury or a compressed spinal injury might not manifest immediately. In this case, the statute of limitations might be altered slightly. For information specific to your case and the time limit for your claim, speak to a slip and fall lawyer.
Procrastination is Not in Your Best Interest
It’s best not to procrastinate in taking legal action and to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. If you accidentally exceed the time limit, your claim will be null and void. Also, if you don’t give notice soon after your injury, the defendant’s lawyer may try to use your delay as a means to say that your injuries are not severe or are fabricated.
You and your lawyer may devise a strategy in which you wait for a period before making the claim in order to allow your injuries to manifest and get an accurate picture of your damages. However, this strategy should be used only under the guidance of a legal professional to avoid inadvertently making a mistake that could cost your entire claim.
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Get a Free Consultation with a Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you were recently involved in a slip and fall accident in Ontario, contact a lawyer at Preszler Law. We will answer questions about your claim and help you take the legal action necessary to pursue a fair settlement. Contact us today at 1-800-JUSTICE® for a free consultation.