If you are injured in a fall due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover damages for your injuries.
However, it is important that you work with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who is experienced dealing with and understanding the law of occupiers’ liability, municipal law and related legislation and limitations associated with slips and falls.
There are many subtle nuances that apply to the law surrounding slip and fall accidents. If, for example, you fall on public property, you must give the municipality notice of your fall and identify other parties that may have created the unsafe condition including contractors, and adjacent homeowners. In claims against a municipality you must prove that the municipality was grossly negligent in its duty to maintain the area where you fell. While this might sound straightforward enough, there are circumstances where it isn’t. In the winter, for example, a City is not required to maintain all pathways. Furthermore, there are important notice and limitation periods that must be strictly adhered to.
If you slip and fall on ice while on a municipal sidewalk, you must report the claim to the City within 10 days; failure to do so may prevent you from making a claim. There is specific information which must be included in the notice, as well as requirements as to how that notice must be given to the municipality. Details like these that make it important to consult a personal injury lawyer immediately.
In all cases, you must initiate a claim within two years of you knowing or ought to have known that you suffered an injury in the fall or 2 years after you turn 18 years old, whichever is later.
In the case of injuries that occur on private property, the Occupier’s Liability Act states that the owner is responsible for ensuring the property is reasonably safe for anyone coming on to it. The issue of what is “reasonable” depends on the property and/or the nature of the business carried out on it. For example, a grocery business that has to worry about products like produce or dairy spilling on the floor will be required to monitor their floors more vigilantly than, say, a retail clothing store where the consequences of dropped merchandise is normally less dangerous.
In the event you are injured in a fall, try your best to do the following:
- Take pictures of your injuries and of the area in which you fell, any warning signs, your shoes, and the object or surface that caused you to fall as soon as possible, before conditions change.
- If there are surveillance cameras in the area of your fall ask the owner to save the footage and keep his or her name.
- Create a point form account of exactly what happened, where it happened, weather conditions, your clothing including shoes.
- If there are witnesses, get their names and contact information.
- Ensure that you seek out medical assistance and follow your doctor’s advice.
- Be careful using Facebook and other social media as your posts may be producible to the other side.