Who are the Parties Involved in Slip and Fall Accidents?
The parties typically involved in a Slip and Fall Accident are the injured person, the occupier/owner of the lands for which the person fell, and possibly a Third Party Maintenance Contractor who was hired to provide maintenance to the area of the fall. In a situation involving a Municipal sidewalk or property, this could also extend to the City or Township.
What is the Joint and Several Liability?
Joint and Several Liability is a legal term that implies that if an at-fault party is at least 1% for the fault for the cause of the injury then they would be responsible for the entire damages award if there is a finding of liability on that Defendant. If the Defendant blames another Party for fault then they would be required to advance what is called a Crossclaim or Third Party Claim to recover anything back for what is eventually paid out to the injured person(s).
When can property owners be deemed liable for unsafe conditions in Ontario?
This is set out through the Occupiers Liability Act for guidance.
An occupier includes a person who is in physical possession of the premises or a person who has responsibility for and control over the condition of the premises or the activities there carried on, or control over persons allowed to enter the premises.
The property owner is often defined as the occupier as above. They may not be at the property but they have control of who is there, what goes on and specifically how the conditions are monitored for maintenance.
If the property owner fits in this definition and dailies to take such care in all the circumstances of the case that is reasonable to ensure patrons and those on the property are reasonably safe when on it then this could result in a breach of the statutory condition of duty of care under Section 3 of the Occupiers Liability Act and trigger liability to the property owner for unsafe conditions.
How are slip and fall settlements calculated?
Every care is unique with its own set of facts on how the slip and fall occurred and how it has impacted the individual.
There are no 2 cases the same and no chart to go to calculate what you would receive for fair compensation.
At CRB Law, we have helped countless individuals that have suffered from a slip and fall and would be able to provide you with a detailed analysis of your case for the legal issues and what a fair settlement for your Claim would be at no expense to you.
How long does a slip and fall case take to settle in Ontario?
As above, no 2 cases are the same and no 2 cases will settle at the same time period as each other. For some, it may be appropriate to settle a Claim within the 2 year time frame and without the need to file a Lawsuit. For others, a Claim may need the passage of time for the full extent of the injuries to be noted and to determine the impact for future care costs, impact to work and lifestyle changes that may not be obvious in the first 2 years.
The experienced team at CRB Law will be able to tell you when you case would settle and the appropriate timelines for each step along the way.
How do you prove negligence in a slip and fall?
Facts and information at the time of the fall are helpful. Photos, videos, witnesses can all help to provide evidence as to the scene when the slip and fall occurred.
If there is a process of reporting the fall then this is helpful in establishing negligence. Was the fall reported to the owner/occupier? Was an incident report completed? Was a statement provided about the poorly maintained area?
Detailed weather reports can be of assistance. If the owner/occupier hired a Contractor do they have snow logs and daily maintenance records? What is the past experience for clearing the area?
The gathering of information on the details of the Claim is an important aspect to establishing liability and proving negligence of the occupier/owner.
How much can you sue for a slip and fall in Ontario?
Just as every injured person is unique with a unique set of facts, every settlement for your injuries in a slip and fall accident is different and unique. There is no general “$X” settlement for this type of injury.
You need the expertise of a lawyer to be able to identify all of the areas of possible compensation for your case and what is a reasonable assessment for your Claim.
Should I get a lawyer for a slip and fall?
It is worth consulting with a slip and fall lawyer to assess whether or not you have a valid legal claim. There is no fee for the consultation so you do not have to pay anything out of pocket. The advice is free and based on our initial meeting, the team at CRB Law would be able to inform you as to the benefits to proceed forward on your claim arising from your injuries arising from the injury.
Slip and Fall Injuries Basics
Every day we are faced with hazards from poorly maintained properties.
Property owners Sarnia are obligated to keep their properties safe for anyone who enters the property. Ice, snow, water, poor lighting, structural defects, trips and falls that cause personal injuries.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
- Occupational Hazards Slip & Fall Accidents
- Ladders, Stairs And Stairway Slip & Fall Accidents
- Environmental Conditions
- Surface Conditions
- Weather Conditions
Pedestrian on a Municipal Sidewalk
If you are walking on a City or Town Sidewalk and suffer an injury as a result of a fall then you may have a Claim against the Municipality if there was “gross negligence” for failing to maintain the sidewalk in a safe manner.
This could be the result of failing to apply salt with icy conditions, failing to clear off snow properly after a snowfall or damage to the concrete and surface that caused a rise in the walking path or non-obvious tripping hazard.
If a sidewalk has not been maintained or inspected then you may have a valid claim to advance against the Municipality for contribution to the cause of your injuries from the fall.
Pedestrian walking through a Parking Lot
If you attended a store, went to work or headed out to do your day-to-day activities, you may need to park in a Parking Lot and walk into the building.
If the parking lot is not properly maintained and serviced then there is the possibility of a build-up of ice / snow-related conditions that can be an unforeseen tripping hazard as you are trying to walk from your vehicle to the building.
If you suffer a fall when walking from your vehicle to the building Sarnia and suffer an injury then you may have a Claim against the occupier of the parking lot and the service provider.
Occupiers’ Liability Act
The Occupiers Liability Act is legislation that applies to occupiers and/or owners of lands in the Province of Ontario. The legislation sets out a statutory duty from the legislation of the occupier in control of lands to ensure that they are reasonably safe for access for customers, pedestrians and individuals that would be walking in their store, building, parking lot, or abutting sidewalk to a home or business.
The Occupiers Liability Act sets out at Section 3 that an occupier of premises owes a “duty to take such care” as the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that persons entering on the premises, and the property brought on the premises by those persons are reasonably safe while on the premises.
Time Limit for Making a Slip and Fall Claim
In the unfortunate event of a slip and fall injury, you must report the incident on City property within 7 days of the occurrence.
The Statute of Limitations for starting the claims process in Ontario is two years. However, there are exceptions and certain factors that might affect this time period, depending on the circumstances of the fall.
What to do in the event of a Slip and Fall Injury
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention
- Ask for a Copy of Security Camera Footage if available
- Gather Witness Information
- Find the Owner
- Take Pictures
- Document Your Injuries
Slip and Fall Compensation
Non-Pecuniary General Damages
The main type of claim for a Slip and Fall is for what is called Non-Pecuniary General Damages. This is a legal reference of damages that are traditionally known as “Pain and Suffering”. These claims are for the pain, treatment, disability, loss of day-to-day activities, etc. that an individual faces regardless of work status.
Pecuniary General Damages.
Other claims include Pecuniary General Damages. There are claims that are traditionally referred to as “Income Losses”. The income losses may be a past income loss for being off work until the time your case resolves and can also include future income losses if as a result of the fall you can not work into the future after the time your case resolves.
There are other damages that include Special Damages. This can include Out of Pocket Expenses that you have paid for treatments such as a Walking Boot, Crutches, Therapy, Transportation Expenses. It may also include the cost of OHIP Funded payments or a Disability Provider payments which is recovered through a Subrogated Claim as against the at fault party.
The negligence in failing to take the proper care for the maintenance of the land is cause for a tort claim. Failing to salt a parking lot, monitor for any dangerous condition, clear off snow properly, failing to maintain an area that is safe to walk may lead to an accident, even if it was not intentional.
As a slip and fall accident victim, you may be compensated for:
- Home maintenance costs while injured
- Lost income and lost earning potential
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Pain and Suffering