Limitations on a Slip and Fall Lawsuit

Limitation Set Aside in Slip and Fall Lawsuit

This blog has often repeated the advice: when it comes to slip and fall accidents, it’s important to take action fast. Even though injuries, or their extent, may not present themselves immediately, your time to launch a lawsuit is limited.

The two-year limitation period is specified in section 4 of the Limitations Act, 20022, which provides that no action shall be commenced after the second anniversary of the day on which the claim was discovered. However, a recent decision by an Ontario judge seems to indicate that circumstances may dictate the way that limitation is applied.

The Case

The plaintiff sustained a slip and fall injury in November of 2008. She retained a lawyer but because she accidentally gave her lawyer the wrong date for the injury, the lawsuit was commenced two years plus three days after the accident.

There is, however, a qualification of the limitation. Section 7(1) states that the limitation period does not run when the claiming party “is incapable of commencing a proceeding… because of his or her physical, mental or psychological condition.”

Once her lawyer realized the mistake, he included an amendment in the pleadings which made such a claim. The documents alleged that while the claimant had been hospitalized for 15 days following the accident, she had been “incapable” and so the limitation period ran from the time that she got out.

The Decision

Typically, medical evidence is required to make such a claim, however in this case the judge sided with the plaintiff even in the absence of medical proof from either side. The decision seems to have been swayed by two points:

  • The plaintiff had indeed been hospitalized for 15 days.
  • The limitation period had only been exceeded by three days.

Legislation and Application

In a lawsuit, things can get tricky. As this case illustrates, even small errors can cause long delays and in some cases even the failure of a case. Even if something seems clear cut, there are always attempts to put matters into terms that favour one side or another. Judges are to be guided by what the intent of the law is, but that too can be open to interpretation. Two things are clear:

  • Don’t wait – contact a lawyer right away.
  • You need someone in your corner. Contact Petrillo Law today by calling (905) 949-9433 for a free consultation with an experienced slip and fall injury lawyer. We look forward to hearing from you.

At Petrillo Law, we work on behalf of injured people to get them the compensation they deserve. As experienced slip and fall lawyers, we understand the pain and uncertainty that comes with being injured. We have successfully recovered damages on behalf of thousands of slip and fall victims throughout Mississauga, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Ontario. And we can help you too.

Get the Legal Representation You Need

Contact us today at (905) 949-9433 to schedule your free complimentary consultation. We look forward to hearing from you. We are located at 2600 Skymark Ave., Unit 1, Suite 201, Mississauga, Ontario, L4W 5B2

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