A fall injury is a serious incident that can lead to lost wages and emotional distress. If you have incurred fall injuries due to a slip-and-fall accident, you may be wondering what your legal rights are and what action you should take following the incident.
Before you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent your slip and fall case, finding out where you stand and learning about slip and fall accidents and injury claims is important. This article will explain what slip and fall cases are and provide details on liability laws in Canada.
What are Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents, also referred to as trip and fall accidents are personal injury incidents that involve slipping and falling on someone’s property, including a business, a shop, or a public street. If you slip and fall and sustain an injury on a property that is not yours, you may be eligible to make premises liability claims in many situations.
Approximately 42,000 workers in Canada become injured victims due to slip and fall accidents each year. Two-thirds of these incidents involve slips on a surface level; the other third involves falls from high levels, such as ladders or stairs, and many victims make work-related injury claims.
What Are Some Examples of Negligence that Lead to Slip and Fall Claims?
Various examples of negligence occur when property owners do not adequately handle the hazardous condition of their property or public space. A few examples of negligence that can lead to slip and fall claims include:
- Evidence of wet floors
- Poor lighting on the property
- Stairs that are poorly designed
- Damaged flooring with hidden hazards
- Loose or missing handrails
- Debris in the hallway
- Cracked sidewalks
In a dangerous condition like the examples here, negligence can lead to fall lawsuits and settlements, which may require the property owner to cover the damages for victims using liability coverage.
How Can You Prove Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents?
As the injured person, you must have evidence demonstrating the owner’s negligence to prove their liability for a slip and fall case; the evidence must prove that the party responsible has neglected to take reasonable care over the premises. Therefore, before you make a slip and fall claim, retrieving photo evidence of where the fall occurred is one way to prove liability.
You may also gather evidence, such as eyewitness accounts of the incident that show the property owner is at fault or video footage of the accident scene. In addition to this evidence, your medical bills and medical records and a report documenting the slip and fall incident are all valid documents that can prove liability.
Suppose a property owner is to blame for your injuries and hasn’t been paying attention to the condition of their property. In that case, their liability insurance may cover the legal costs owed to you as the injured victim.
Can You Sue for Slip and Fall in Canada?
Following a slip and fall accident in Canada, you can make an injury claim and sue the responsible party to recover compensation. You may hire a professional fall lawyer to do this if you have incurred the following costs and issues:
- Medical bills compensation
- Medication for the injury
- Pain and emotional suffering
- Lost income due to injury
- Therapy and rehabilitation costs
Another option is to settle by negotiating with the responsible party and their insurance company, meaning you will receive a payment that the other party agrees to to settle the issue outside of court. In this case, you rescind the right to make any future claims that arise from the slip and fall incident.
How Does the Slip and Fall Claims Process Work in Canada?
In the Greater Toronto Area, the laws related to slip and fall accidents state that the time window for legal claims is two years after the incident. You cannot initiate a lawsuit after this time window. With this timeframe in mind, you may claim with a professional legal team by considering the following process.
Stage One: Gathering the Required Information
Stage one involves gathering the required information related to the case. An experienced personal injury lawyer will proceed with investigations and request your medical information related to the case to determine the losses and injuries you have sustained.
At the same time, you must receive the medical care required to heal from the incident and report any affects you have suffered to your doctor. You must inform your lawyer about your loss of income, how you earn your wage, any pre-existing injuries to ensure the incident didn’t affect your own injury, and how the incident happened.
Stage Two: Filing a Lawsuit
Stage two may or may not involve filing a lawsuit. Since many cases settle without lawsuit files, you may resolve the case without one. However, it’s possible to settle a case too early without being entirely aware of all the injuries you have sustained.
Depending on the speed of your recovery, your case may be settled quickly. Professional personal injury lawyer teams will be concerned with long-term injuries that may impact your health throughout your lifetime, such as chronic pain or arthritis due to broken bones.
Stage Three: Initiating a Lawsuit
During stage three, your lawyers will proceed with initiating the lawsuit. They will file legal documents with the court and retrieve information from the insurance company to get extra facts on the incident.
The lawsuit process involves gathering information from the building or property owner, including maintenance logs. Your lawyer will complete investigations and interviews with the property owner under oath.
Stage Four: Mediation
After the lawsuit, mediation occurs between a mediator and the insurance company. During the mediation, a mediator will listen to the evidence and decree a decision. However, even if you are unhappy with the mediator’s decision, you may request that the case goes to a trial. The main goal is to attempt to end the case.
Stage Five: Trial
A trial is usually rare in slip-and-fall cases, but to gain fair compensation, it is sometimes required. Consult with your legal experts to determine whether you should take the case to a trial stage, which may involve explaining how your injuries have negatively impacted you.
3 Common Myths About Slip and Fall Incident Claims
Before you proceed with a slip-and-fall claim, there are three common myths related to cases like these you may consider:
- Physical injuries are the only cause for slip and fall claims – this is not true. Many injured individuals may make a slip and fall claims for pain and suffering, emotional distress, or financial losses.
- A warning sign cancels a slip-and-fall claim – again, this is untrue. Even if a property owner has placed a wet floor sign or a sign indicating dangerous conditions, this doesn’t mean you cannot make a slip-and-fall claim. A sign doesn’t mitigate your case.
- Public area slips and falls do not count for a legal claim – this is not true. If you fall in a public area due to a cracked sidewalk, private entities must bear responsibility for the fall in many cases.
Seek Free Consultation with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you need legal assistance with a personal injury claim, our legal professionals are available in Toronto to get you the compensation you deserve. Arrange a free consultation and reach out to our experts today to get the support and legal expertise you need to handle your slip-and-fall claim.