Taking Notice of Notice Periods! - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Thursday, 14 April 2016

Taking Notice of Notice Periods!

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When you sustain injuries, you may be obligated to notify the responsible party of your intention to sue them for compensation.  Giving notice to another party alerts them to the fact that you’ve been injured, and intend to hold them responsible.   Notice periods are often very short.  You may be unaware that in the case of injuries sustained on municipal or provincial property, including sidewalks, roads, highways and public lands, notice must be given within 10 days of the date that you were injured.  The rationale behind providing notice quickly, is to allow municipalities and the provincial government to inspect the accident location and take steps to protect the public from the same peril.  It also allows the municipality or government to conduct timely investigation into the potential causes of the accident.   Failure to give timely notice may be fatal to your lawsuit, unless you can offer a valid excuse.  The death of a party, or the physical or mental inability to provide notice, have been found by courts to be acceptable excuses for failure to give timely notice. 

Notice to government bodies must be given in writing, including the date, time, exact location of the accident, a description of the accident and of your injuries.  When taking action against the Province of Ontario, notice must first be provided within ten days of the date of the accident, followed by a period of 60 days, before commencing an action. 

Great care must be taken to identify the responsible owner/occupier of the property upon which the injury occurred.  Some roads may be the responsibility of County, municipal, or provincial governments depending on their classification.  For example, four hundred series, super-highways are the responsibility of the Province of Ontario. Major, two lane highways are often the responsibility of County or District governments, and town, or city roads are the responsibility of local municipalities.  A quick phone call to your town or city municipal office will often resolve this problem, but when in doubt, send a notice letter to all possible parties! 

Notice letters to the Province of Ontario must be delivered to the Crown Law Civil office located at 720 Bay Street in Toronto.  Notice letters to county or municipal governments can be mailed to their respective clerks. There are other notice periods too.  Actions for certain types of defamation require that notice be given to the responsible party within six weeks of discovering that you were defamed.  In auto accident claims, pre-judgement interest will only start to run from the date that the at-fault driver receives written notice of your intention to commence an action for damages.Navigating notice periods can be complicated, and we remain committed to guiding you through these stormy seas.  Please feel free to contact our offices to discuss your potential claims.

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