Slip and fall claims are complicated to begin with but if you have suffered an injury on city property, it becomes even more so. But if an injury is due to the government’s lack of care, then you do have legal rights. A personal injury claim can be brought against municipalities and the government with a few more limiting deadlines than a typical slip and fall claim.
The Municipality Has a Duty of Care
The government or municipality offers services to the public and there is a duty of care expected of them, the same as any other occupier. If that “duty of care” is not met, the government becomes a defendant in any claim. Municipalities carry a great amount of liability insurance for these specific instances. There are many scenarios where a municipality may become party to a personal injury claim. These can be:
● Road maintenance
● Sidewalk maintenance
● Sewer maintenance
● Building code enforcement
● Park or trail maintenance
● Property development
● Transit system operations
● Environmental clean-up
● Police activity
If you have been injured on public or municipal property there are important rules and deadlines in filing a claim that you must keep in mind. The Ontario Municipal Act sets these out specifically.
Deadline Limits to File a Complaint
You have ten days from the date of the accident in order to notify your city. This must be done in a written notice of intention that you are planning on pursuing a claim. This notice must be mailed via registered mail or hand-delivered to the proper division of the municipality. If this does not happen within the allotted time, your right to a claim may expire.
In some cases, a judge may excuse a late notice but there must be sufficient evidence that you were unable to make this deadline. This is when it is very important to have a personal injury lawyer assisting you.
Information That Must be Included
A complaint against a municipality must include specific information regarding the details of the accident. These include:
● The date and time of the accident
● Any photographs taken of any injuries sustained.
● Any photographs of the area where the accident occurred including any corroborating information.
● An itemized cost accounting of the medical care and treatment obtained after the accident
● Any details around the medical treatment itself, the doctor’s name and any of the notes taken by the doctor.
● Any estimates of receipts for repair of damaged property.
● Names and contact information of any witnesses of the accident
Proof of Negligence
As with any slip and fall accident, it is up to the victim to prove that the injury was caused by an act of negligence. The Ontario Municipal Act specifically defines a municipality’s responsibilities when it comes to its roads, sidewalks, or any other infrastructure. If you have been injured, the burden of proof is yours to show that your injury was the result of negligence on the part of the municipality. Because of this burden of proof, it’s important to have the advice and counsel of an experienced Leamington injury lawyer.
If you have been injured in an accident on municipal or city property, call the legal experts at A M Injury Law to understand your legal rights to compensation for your injuries.