Personal injuries due to slip and fall accidents are very common in Canada with over 40,000 happening every year. Many different instances may lead to these accidents – from slippery surfaces to hazardous conditions on a property.
Whatever the reason, if you suffer personal injury as a result, you may be entitled to damages. So, it’s best to immediately give personal injury lawyers a call to set up a free consultation.
The right lawyer from an experienced law firm will be in the best position to advise you on your rights and how to proceed with your slip-and-fall claim.
Below, we take a look at what constitutes a slip and fall incident, the common causes of these accidents, who is responsible, and the damages that one can claim.
What Are Slip And Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents are exactly what the name suggests. A person falls as a result of slipping and suffers injury or harm.
Some slip and fall accidents are bona fide. This means that they are innocent mistakes where no one is at fault. As a result, there will be no slip-and-fall claim.
The majority of the slip and fall accidents in Ontario, however, are a result of the negligence on the part of a property owner or property manager. Sometimes, the liability may even fall on a municipal or provincial government entity.
A person can sustain a number of injuries from a slip-and-fall accident. Some may be minor and only require basic hospital care like stitches and pain medication. However, some injuries may be more severe.
In severe cases, an accident victim sustains injuries, like broken bones, that require days of hospitalization and sometimes even a medical procedure. Following this, the victim may also require post-hospital treatment like physical therapy. This often leads to high medical expenses and many days booked off of work.
Common Slip And Fall Injuries
Some of the most common slip and fall injuries include broken bones or sprains (often in wrists or ankles), head injuries, concussions, paralysis, cuts and lacerations, torn muscles and ligaments, and psychological damage.
Common Causes Of Slip And Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries are most commonly caused by unsafe conditions on a property, such as wet floors. Often, these unsafe conditions lack the necessary warning signs too.
So, not only is it important for property owners to keep their premises safe and well-maintained, but there is also a duty to warn visitors to take precautions where necessary.
Some of the most common slip and fall injuries occur because of the following conditions:
- Cracked sidewalks
- Uneven surfaces on walkways, parking lots and sidewalks
- A wet floor not accompanied by signage
- Torn carpeting
- Broken floorboards
- Loose, broken, or non-existent handrails
- Failing to clear debris from a walkway, parking lot or sidewalk
- Poor lighting
- Other hazards
Who Is Responsible?
If you suffer from a personal injury due to a slip and fall accident, it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A slip-and-fall injury lawyer can assist you with determining who the responsible party is.
This is important when filing a personal injury lawsuit as you need to prove the negligence of another in order to recover compensation.
When it comes to liability, it can either be a private property owner or property manager or the municipal or provincial government.
When Is A Property Owner Liable?
The most common cases of slip and fall injuries occur on someone else’s property because of the negligence of the property owner or manager.
The starting point will require the interpretation of the Occupiers’ Liability Act by slip-and-fall injury lawyers.
The success of a slip and fall injury claim is based on whether the property owner in question has a duty of care under the Act.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act in Ontario says that a host of the property has a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that people on his or her property are kept reasonably safe.
A personal injury lawyer is in the best position to interpret this Act and help you with your claim.
Based on the provisions in the Act, a court will consider the following when determining who should be held liable in a slip and fall case:
- The foreseeability of danger
- The actions of the occupier in maintaining the property
- And the actions of the injured party
No slip-and-fall case is clear cut, and therefore it is essential to acquire the legal services and expertise of slip-and-fall lawyers.
Special Considerations When The Property Owner Is The Municipality
What happens if you sustain a slip and fall injury on public property?
For example, say you slip, fall and sustain injuries as a result of a loose tile on a public sidewalk or a badly maintained parking lot. Who is responsible, then?
In these cases, your lawyer will advise you that the responsible party is the municipality.
In the event of the municipality being the liable party, there are special considerations when it comes to your slip and fall accident claim. You also only have ten days after the fall to give the municipality of your intention to bring a claim.
To succeed in these slip-and-fall cases, you must prove gross negligence on the part of the municipality. This is difficult but not impossible to prove.
What Damages Can You Claim For A Slip And Fall Accident?
A slip-and-fall accident can lead to both minor and serious injuries. Some of the resulting injuries may require long periods of hospitalization and after-hospital treatment. This leads to high medical bills that require payment. In some cases, you may even take off work or require psychological treatment.
So, you may be wondering whether you can claim compensation for these expenses. Below we take a look at what damages you can claim for a slip and fall injury.
The first step to a successful damages claim is contacting a personal injury lawyer. They will advise you that while the compensation you can claim is broad, it must directly result from your slip and fall accident.
If you have any of the below costs from your accident, you can recover them with the help of an experienced slip and fall lawyer:
- Medical expenses not covered by OHIP, like diagnostic certain tests and prescription medication
- Physical therapy
- Nursing attendant care
- Loss of income
- Cost of making your home wheelchair friendly
- Loss of enjoyment of life (pain and suffering)
- Transport costs to and from the hospital and appointments
- Compensation for a family member who assists you
- Physical pain, trauma, and emotional scarring
In your more complex cases, you will need the assistance of slip-and-fall accident lawyers to quantify damages like pain and suffering.
Why You Should Consult A Slip And Fall Lawyer
Slip and fall accident claims arise when a person is injured because of someone else’s negligence. In other words, someone else’s property was not a safe property for visitors. To be successful in your legal claim for a slip and fall accident as an injured victim, you will need to build a case.
Building a case for personal injury accident claims can be a complex process. You will need to gather evidence like photographs, video footage, and witness testimonies.
You will also need to ensure all the information is filed before the court in the form of a pleading within the stipulated time limits.
When it comes to an Ontario slip and fall accident, a personal injury lawyer is in the best position to advise you on your legal rights as an injury victim.
Personal injury lawyers are well-versed in all the processes and procedures, and they will take you through everything step by step, ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.
Plus, you can set up a free initial consultation on a contingency fee basis with an experienced slip and fall lawyer to discuss your slip and fall claim.
How Accident Victims Can Lose A Legitimate Slip and Fall Claim
There are many reasons why injured persons lose legitimate slip and fall claims. The main reason is that they often do not engage the services of experienced slip and fall injury lawyers. As a result, the following may occur:
- Signing an agreement that limits your right to sue
- You fail to preserve the necessary evidence.
- You don’t sue the right parties.
Personal injury claims can be difficult to navigate and prove, and you may lose out on damages because of it.
That’s why it is best to hire a lawyer to guide you through the claims process and ensure you get compensated fairly for your injury.
At Fosters Law, we offer free consultations wherein we can talk about your case and determine the next course of action. Contact our slip and fall injury lawyers today to get the most out of your claim.