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It is that time of year again when freezing temperatures will create dangerous conditions on walkways and roadways. Ice and snow increase the risk of pedestrian slip and falls and motor vehicle collisions. Property owners and occupiers must adhere to their obligations under the Occupiers’ Liability Act, while Municipalities and the Province must adhere to maintenance obligations specified under the Municipal Act and Public Highway and Transportation Act, respectively.

Occupiers owe a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances to see that persons entering on the premises are reasonably safe. Municipalities and the Province that have jurisdiction over a specified area shall keep it in a state of repair and free from default that is reasonable in the circumstances – These locations may include, but are not limited to, highways, roadways, and sidewalks.

Depending on the location and character of the incident determines which legislation applies. Whether it be a slip and fall or a motor vehicle collision, there are strict timelines under each legislation that an injured victim must comply with when providing notice to an at-fault party. Absent reasonable excuse, an individual must give notice within the following time periods:

  • Municipal Act – 10 days.
  • Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act – 10 days.
  • Occupiers’ Liability Act ­– 60 days.

The notice described above must be “served upon or sent by registered mail” in-writing and the information contained within must meet certain legal requirements. Typically, the details required include the date, time, and location of the incident. Failing to provide adequate notice may preclude commencing a lawsuit. It is best to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer when preparing your written notice and contemplating a claim for damages suffered.

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