Slip and Fall Accident
All You Need to Know About Slip and Falls Legal Claims
Table of contents
- What should I do if I fell and injured myself?
- In what situations can I sue for slip and fall injuries?
- I fell and hurt myself who’s responsible for my injuries?
- Who’s responsible for my injuries if I fell in an apartment building/rental property?
- Who’s responsible if I injured myself on a sidewalk?
- Who pays for compensation in a slip and fall lawsuit?
- Under what circumstances will I not receive compensation for my injuries?
- Can I get compensation if I was partially responsible for my fall?
- Can I sue if I was injured while trespassing?
- What must I prove to have a successful personal injury lawsuit?
- I was injured what damages can I be compensated for?
- How long after a fall can I sue for my injuries?
- Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer for my slip and fall case?
- I can’t afford a personal injury lawyer what can I do?
Slip and falls can happen anywhere and unfortunately, the injuries that result can be very severe. You may have had to take time off work, pay for physiotherapy and other medical expenses and deal with pain or loss of motor abilities. By filing a lawsuit you can recover compensation for your injuries and the damage they caused you. Slip and falls are often the result of negligence by the property owner. Property owners and people in charge of premises are responsible for the safety of the people on them. If you have been injured by unsafe conditions in a house, mall, grocery store, train, pool, boat, trailer, and other portable structures you can sue for compensation. The following will help answer any legal questions you may have about slip and fall cases.
What should I do if I fell and injured myself?
- Take a picture of the area where you fell and try to identify what caused your fall. – You want to have evidence because it’s likely they will fix the issue right away.
- Take a picture of the shoes you were wearing.– preferably get a picture while you are still at the location of the incident
- Write down where and when the incident happened- this will help you recover any surveillance footage
- Try and get the contact information of witnesses
- Take photos of your injuries– not just immediately but also in the days to follow
- If your injuries didn’t require an emergency visit schedule a checkup with your doctor. – Having a professional medical assessment can help strengthen your case
- Keep track of all your medical records related to the injury
- If you intend to file a lawsuit you must notify the other party within 2 years of the incident
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We understand that injuries can be severe and you may not be able to get all the information so ask someone for help. Getting the information on the list helps build a solid case. If you are unable to collect all the information don’t worry. Our experienced lawyers can still help you build a strong case.
In what situations can I sue for slip and fall injuries?
Common preventable safety hazards that cause injury:
- Messy floors (spilled liquids, cluttered with objects, food on the floor)
- Uneven walkways/torn carpets/loose flooring
- Poor lighting in stairwells
- Unsafe ladders/stairs
- Improper warning signs or lack of warning signs
- Parking lot cracks or potholes
Property owners are responsible for fixing or cleaning their property to prevent injury. If an injury results, you can file a legal claim to receive monetary compensation for the damage done.
I fell and hurt myself who’s responsible for my injuries?
The owner of the property or building you hurt yourself in is responsible for your injuries.
The owner of any of the following premises/property can be held responsible:
- Mall/grocery store/commercial buildings
- amusement park/community centre/pool
- sidewalk/driveway/parking lot
Furthermore, someone or a company in charge of ensuring the safety of the premises could also be responsible. For example, if the property owner hired a snow removal company that failed to do their job, and you got injured, the snow removal company is liable. Any independent contractor hired by a property owner (cleaning, construction, renovations, etc.) can be held liable if an injury has resulted due to their negligence.
For example, in 2012 a woman was walking into a Hudson’s Bay store when she slipped on water at the entrance. She fell onto her knees and broke her right knee cap. The store had hired a cleaning company that was responsible for keeping the floors clean and safe. That day the cleaning company failed to clean the store properly. The judge found the cleaning company liable for her injuries, not Hudson’s Bay. The court ordered the cleaning company to pay her $100,000 for the damage.
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Who’s responsible for my injuries if I fell in an apartment building/rental property?
Landlords who are responsible for the maintenance of the property are at fault if someone gets injured. They have a duty to keep the property safe. They are responsible for the safety of common spaces like hallways and stairs as well as inside units.
Who’s responsible if I injured myself on a sidewalk?
In general sidewalks are the responsibility of the city or municipality. If you fell on a sidewalk and want to recover damages you must notify the city of your injuries and claim within 10 days of the incident. The notice must include the time, date, and location of the incident as well as the injuries you suffered.
However, cities can only be sued in cases where they were very negligent. There are a lot of sidewalks and it’s unreasonable to expect the city to constantly clean and repair everyone. In past cases, cities were deemed “very negligent” when snow remained on a sidewalk longer than 2 to 3 days. In 2013, a man sued the City of Toronto after falling on an icy patch in Nathan Philips square. He broke his leg and had to undergo surgery to place a metal rod in his leg. He received $45,000 in compensation for his injury.
In some instances, homeowners can be responsible for injuries on the sidewalk that runs by their property. If they have placed a hazard on the sidewalk they can be held liable. In 2001 a woman sued her neighbour after she broke her elbow falling over pipes her neighbour left on the sidewalk. She was awarded $92,000 in compensation for her injuries.
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Who pays for compensation in a slip and fall lawsuit?
Insurance will cover the compensation awarded in a lawsuit. In Canada, property owners must have property insurance. Although the property owner is responsible for your injuries their property insurance will cover them.
Under what circumstances will I not receive compensation for my injuries?
If you are on someone’s property with the intent of committing a crime, trespassing, or using it for recreational use and you injure yourself, you can not sue for compensation. In these circumstances you have willingly accepted the risk of being on a person’s property; therefore, they are not responsible for your injuries.
Property owners who own fields and forests often allow people to use their property for recreational activities like dirt biking, four-wheeling or even just a walk. If you have been allowed to use someone’s property for recreational use without payment they are not responsible for any injuries that result. However, the owner has a duty to inform you of any dangers they know of, such as where ponds are located or any other potentially dangerous things. If they do not they can be held liable for your injuries.
Can I get compensation if I was partially responsible for my fall?
Yes, you can still receive compensation if you are partially responsible for your fall. If a judge finds you contributorily responsible for the accident the value you are awarded can be reduced by the percentage of which you were found responsible. For example, wearing improper footwear that contributed to your fall could make you 10% responsible for your injuries. As a result, there would be a 10% reduction in the compensation you receive from the lawsuit.
In 2016 a man sued Ontario Place but was found partially responsible for his injuries. After a concert, Ontario Place had blocked off a pedestrian bridge forcing concert goers to reroute. Many went down a hill that joined another path. The man was going down the hill and tore his ACL when jumping to clear the bottom of the hill. The judge found him 25% responsible for his injuries since he jumped in flip-flops at the bottom of the hill while intoxicated. Regardless he was awarded $130,000 for his injuries.
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Can I sue if I was injured while trespassing?
Maybe. Occupiers cannot intentionally hurt trespassers by setting up traps or other such things. If they intentionally try to hurt a trespasser they can be held liable for the resulting injuries. However, if you enter a rural premise such as a forest, field, or even vacant land, you have willingly assumed the risk of going on the property. This applies regardless of if there are no, no trespassing signs. The owners are not responsible for any injury.
What must I prove to have a successful personal injury lawsuit?
To successfully sue someone for your injuries you must prove that they were negligent.
There’s a 4 step process the courts use to determine if someone was negligent:
- The person you are suing had a duty of care – This is fairly easy to prove in slip and fall cases. Property owners are responsible for the safety of their premises. They have a duty of care to the people on or using their premises.
- The duty of care was breached– there was a failure to safely operate or maintain the premises (failure to do safety checks, floor inspections, repair broken structures etc.)
- Injuries or damages occurred because of failure to operate/maintain the premises responsibly
- The injury/damages were foreseeable – a reasonable person could see that the breach of the duty of care could result in an accident.
I was injured what damages can I be compensated for?
- Loss of income (past and future)
- Loss of household services. – if you can no longer clean your house, mow the lawn or take care of your children and have to hire someone
- Medical bills (past and future)- surgeries, physiotherapy, medication, dental procedures, crutches etc.
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
How long after a fall can I sue for my injuries?
In general, you have 2 years from the date you suffered the injury or the day you became aware you suffered an injury to file a lawsuit. The lawsuit does not need to be completed within 2 years. All that is required is that you give notice of intent to sue to the party involved and commence the legal claim within 2 years. To learn more about the statutes of limitation click here:
However, falls due to ice/snow require you to send a notice of intent to sue within 60 days of the incident. This applies to private parking lots, driveways and walkways.
If you slipped on a snowy or icy sidewalk and injured yourself you must inform the municipality of your claim within 10 days.
Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer for my slip and fall case?
There is a lot that needs to be done to file a slip and fall lawsuit. First, you must find out who the owner of the property is. You may also need to figure out if a private contractor was responsible for the property. Then you have to send out a notice. Notices need to be sent fairly quickly, especially in slips and falls involving ice or snow. Then you need to work on finding proof of their negligence to build a strong case. Chances are you are still recovering from your injuries and don’t need the added stress of dealing with a lawsuit.
Our experienced lawyers can make sure the notices are sent out in a timely manner. We also have lots of experience and can work on gathering the proof needed to build a strong case. Furthermore, with our expertise, we can make sure you get fair compensation for your injuries and the damage it caused you. If you’ve been injured in a fall or have questions contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at Equillibium law for a free consultation.
I can’t afford a personal injury lawyer what can I do?
If you are worried about the cost of hiring a lawyer it may help you to know that at Equilibrium law we work by contingency fees. This means we are paid a percentage of the money you are awarded in the lawsuit. If you are looking to file a personal injury lawsuit, contact Equilibrium law for a free consultation. Consultations are offered virtually or in person at whatever location is best for you (hospital, home etc.). We look forward to helping you get the compensation you deserve!