A slip and fall can cause serious injuries such as orthopaedic injuries, severe muscle strain, traumatic brain injury or trauma to internal organs. If you have been injured as a result of a slip-and-fall you should not assume that it was your fault. Stores, private residences and municipalities have a responsibility to keep their premises safe. This includes taking reasonable measures to ensure that there are no hazards that could cause an injury to people using their property. The lawyers at Mann Lawyers can help you to understand your rights following a slip-and-fall injury.
Owners and occupiers must take reasonable steps to maintain their property. This includes quickly cleaning up spills, fixing damaged railings, and clearing snow and ice from sidewalks. A trip is often not just a trip; a serious fall can cause broken bones, orthopaedic injuries and even traumatic brain injury. These injuries can take a long time to heal, or may never heal completely.
In Ontario, the Occupiers’ Liability Act codifies the law regarding an occupier’s liability in respect of damages to individuals entering onto an occupier’s or owner’s premises. The Act applies to most cases involving slip and fall accidents brought against an owner of a private property, a commercial establishment or in some cases involving a municipality.
If you bring a claim against an occupier or an owner of a property, the occupier or owner will try to argue that you were wholly or partly responsible for your fall. This theory will be based strictly on facts. Thus, gathering the following information will be crucial to refuting the theory.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall you should keep a record of the following information in order for your lawyer to be in the best position to determine your chances of success and the amount of your potential damages:
- Prepare a general summary of the event including the time, date, cause and preciselocation of incident.
- Take photographs of the general location of your fall and the hazard that caused you to trip or slip as well as of your injuries – a picture is worth a thousand words.
- Preserve the footwear you were wearing –take photos of the footwear including the soles.
- If weather was a factor, such as a slip and fall on ice, note the weather conditions leading up to and at the time of the fall.
- Report the incident to the property owner or property management immediately.
- Get the name of the owner of the premises and if possible the name of any contractors hired to maintain the property.
- Submit an incident report, leave a copy with the owner and keep a copy.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Make a list of the injuries you suffered as a result of the fall.
- Keep a record of the treatment(s) you have received and are receiving for your injuries.
- Keep a record of the name(s) of health care providers you are seeing for your injuries.
- Keep a record of any out-of-pocket expenses associated with your injury such as mileage and parking costs for medical appointments, medication costs, physiotherapy, massage therapy costs, etc. and keep the receipts.
- Keep a record of missed work or income opportunities.
Legal advice immediately following your fall is important to ensure legal deadlines are met for filing an injury claim. If you have been hurt on city property, the timelines are particularly short and strictly enforced by the courts. Quick action is also necessary to allow for proper investigation of the scene and gathering of physical evidence such as photographs or videos.
Mann Lawyers has a longstanding relationship with the Ottawa community. We have seen our city grow, our sidewalks become more congested and our shops busier. When a slip-and-fall injury happens and you are badly hurt, you deserve assistance and advocacy from a respected local law firm.