426     Slip and Fall: Who can you sue?

If you fall and injure yourself, you may be entitled to sue for compensation for your injuries under Ontario's Occupier's Liability Act. Generally, you can sue the owner of the property where you fell, such as a retail store, a school, a hospital, a city or municipality, or a neighbour.

Common examples of slip and fall incidents include falling on walkways that have not been cleared of snow or ice, or that have not been repaired, falling on dirty or slippery floors, tripping on objects on the floor, or falling as a result of poor lighting.

Limitation periods for slip and fall lawsuits

In most circumstances, the law requires that you start your lawsuit for a slip and fall injury within six years of the date of the accident. However, if you are injured on a sidewalk or other area owned by a municipality, you must notify the municipality of your intention to sue within seven days of the accident, and you must usually begin your lawsuit within three months of the accident. Other limitations may apply if the property belongs to the Crown. If you miss these deadlines, you may not be able to recover any compensation for your injury or loss.

Compensation for slip and fall lawsuits

If your lawsuit is successful, you may be able to recover money to compensate for your general pain and suffering, loss of income, expenses such as prescriptions and travelling to and from your doctor, and for future loss of income.

The amount of compensation you receive will depend on how serious your injury is and how it affects your life. The court will often take into account your age, whether you have any pre-existing injuries or conditions, and whether you contributed to your own injury.

If you have sustained injuries, you should contact a lawyer immediately so that you can get legal advice and avoid missing important notice or limitation periods.