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Can municipalities be sued after slips and falls on city streets?

Anyone who walks around the streets of cities in Ontario must take reasonable care to prevent slipping or tripping. However, if walking surfaces are hazardous, some of the responsibility to avoid slips and falls is carried by the municipality. Just like the occupiers of private or commercial premises, cities have a duty of care to the public.

Municipalities must ensure that sidewalks or pavements are safe by taking reasonable precautions. However, if a person falls on a pavement that forms a part of the premises of a business, the occupier or person who controls the business might be liable for injuries. The occupier is not necessarily the business owner.

Although anyone who suffers injuries in a slip-and-fall accident in dangerous conditions might have grounds to pursue financial relief, premises liability is a complicated field of the law. However, when it involves a municipality, it becomes even more challenging. In Ontario, a fall victim usually has to inform the city of any plans to take legal action within 10 days. This is done by submitting a notification of intent to sue, and the legal action must commence within two years.

Because this is such a challenging process, many victims of slips and falls on municipal streets in Ontario seek the support and guidance of an experienced premises liability lawyer. A lawyer will examine medical reports and bills related to the injuries along with cellphone pictures or videos, witness information and other potential evidence. He or she can then navigate the complicated legal endeavour in pursuit of recovery of financial and emotional damage.

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