What should you do if you are hurt in a slip and fall accident?

January 12, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Person Standing in Front of a TrainSlip and Fall accidents are one of the most common personal injury claims in Ontario. The number of slip and fall accidents increases in the winter months when snow and ice become major hazards on walkways, parking lots and stairs. Snow, ice and moisture tracked into buildings can also be a leading cause of slip and falls indoors. There were almost 9000 slip and fall admissions to hospital due to falls on ice in Canada during the winter of 2016-2017 according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.


Common injuries from slip and falls include concussion, wrist and ankle fractures, and head trauma. Soft tissue injuries can also occur, along with other broken bones particularly if the fall occurs on stairs. The elderly and mobility impaired individuals are at particular risk for falls and injuries.  


Until recently an injured person had up to two years to file a notice to sue. The law has now changed in Ontario though requiring injured persons to serve written notice to the owner/occupier of private property within 60 days of the incident occurring. The notice must include the incident time, date and precise location of the fall and must be delivered via personal service or registered mail.


If the slip and fall occurs on municipal property, the reporting requirement drops to 10 days. The notice must include the fall, the time and date and location. It must be served on the municipal clerk or delivered by registered mail. Municipalities have a responsibility to keep public spaces safe in the winter and there are minimum standards that they must adhere to.


Neither of these timelines applies in the event the victim dies as a result of the incident. In the case of a death, you may have up to two years to file a claim but should consult with a lawyer immediately to ensure you don’t miss any filing deadlines.


What should you do if you fall on private property?

  • Make note of the circumstances and exact time and location and address of the fall. Call 911 if you are seriously injured.
  • Make note of what shoes or boots you were wearing. Take a picture of them if you can.
  • Take pictures of the location and conditions, and take the contact information of any witnesses to the fall
  • If you are taken to or go to the doctor or emergency department describe the location and circumstances of the fall completely.
  • If you know the owner/occupier of the property record that information as well.
  • If you are injured contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately to ensure you are following the correct steps.


What should you do if you fall on public property?

  • Note the exact time and location of the fall.
  • Take pictures of your footwear.
  • Take pictures of the location of the fall and gather witness contact information.
  • If you are taken to / or attend the hospital or doctor make sure to tell them exactly what happened and where
  • If you are seriously injured contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately as notice periods are very short.


As a property owner, you have a responsibility to keep your own walkways and driveway safe for access. Shovelling immediately after snowfalls, and applying sand or salt as required will help accomplish that. 


If you are a commercial property owner you should hire a contractor who will ensure regular and prompt maintenance of the property. Keep all records of the contract in case there is an incident on your property.


Posted under Accident Benefit News, Concussion Syndrome, Pedestrian Accidents, Personal Injury, traumatic brain injury

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About Deutschmann Law

Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.

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