Now winter’s almost here, we will see a sharp rise in slip and fall accidents. If you are the unfortunate victim of a slip and fall accident, knowing what to do next is vital. This way, you stand the best chance of successfully recovering compensation. Should you get these steps wrong, winning your slip and fall lawsuit can become increasingly difficult.
That’s why De Rose Lawyers is here to guide you when litigating your slip and fall case. Practicing personal injury law in Ontario, we understand the problems our clients face. Whether they don’t report a slip or fall properly, lack any witnesses at the scene, or report an accident to the wrong person, we’re here to ensure you avoid these rabbit holes. Instead, read this blog and learn what you should do in the immediate aftermath of a slip and fall accident.
Do I have to prove my slip and fall case?
When filing a personal injury lawsuit for a slip and fall accident, you must prove that someone else is negligent.
It’s all about liability. Firstly, who are the potentially liable parties and secondly, were those parties actually negligent? Ultimately, slip and fall accident victims need to disprove any shred of self-carelessness. Instead, you have to prove that someone else contributed to your accident and injuries.
Who is responsible for my slip and fall accident?
When determining liability, liable parties often include property owners, their employees or their agents. These persons can be considered at-fault if they:
- Actually caused the dangerous condition / obstacle
- Should’ve recognized and prevented the dangerous condition / obstacle in the first place.
You need to prove that property owners failed to remove or repair a potential danger, and had adequate time to remedy the situation pre-accident. Potholes or uneven walking surfaces on municipal property often fall into this category.
Ultimately, to win a slip and fall accident lawsuit, you must prove negligence and a failure to act reasonably on the property owners’ part.
Assessing whether the property owner acted reasonably
- Was the hazardous condition or obstacle there long enough for a reasonable property owner or employee to remove it?
- Was the property owner or employee aware of a policy or procedure regarding potential hazards and accidents on their property?
- At the time of the slip or fall, was there reasonable justification for the potential hazard to be there?
- Would’ve the hazardous condition or obstacle been less dangerous through intervention tactics, for instance a warning sign or temporary prohibited access?
- Was poor visibility or poor lighting a contributing factor to the slip and fall?
Assessing whether you acted carelessly
Elsewhere, in order to dismiss and counter any claims that you were careless or at-fault for your slip and fall accident, you should also consider these factors.
- Were you performing any activity that stopped you from noticing the potential hazard in time, for instance calling or texting?
- Were you legally allowed to be in the area where your slip and fall accident took place?
- Did you ignore any warning signs or safety measures at the time of your slip and fall?
All of these factors are key when assessing your chances of winning your slip and fall accident lawsuit.
Understanding municipal property accidents vs. private property accidents
Injuries from slips and falls on municipal property are treated differently to those on private property. In other words, laws under the Occupiers Liability Act (1990) cover private property while Ontario’s Municipal Act (2001) covers city property.
If you experienced a slip or fall on municipal property, for instance pathways and sidewalks, the Municipal Act states you have 10 days to provide written notice to the municipality. You have two years from the date of your incident to commence a legal action. In our experience, these cases are difficult – but not impossible – to win. Municipal entities need to be found grossly negligent in order to succeed.
For private property slip and fall accidents, the limitation period for making a claim is two years from the time of the incident. Ultimately, Canadian business owners have a duty to ensure their premises are safe both indoors and outdoors.
What steps do I need to take after my slip and fall accident?
Step 1 – Seek medical attention
Your health and wellbeing is priority number one. In the immediate aftermath of a slip and fall accident, you should visit your doctor or practitioner so your injuries can be properly documented. Ultimately, these medical records provide concrete evidence in your case.
Step 2 – Report the accident
Don’t just report your slip and fall accident; make sure that your accident is reported to authorized personnel. This person should likely be a property owner, store manager or owner, never a cashier, lot associate or store clerk. An incident report should be completed by the store Manager.
Step 3 – Document, document, document!
Documenting everything is key. Ensuring you have your version of events in order is fundamental to winning your slip and fall lawsuit. This means logging the time, location and details of your slip and fall. Additionally, you’ll need to gather the contact details of all the potential witnesses at the scene of your incident. Elsewhere, taking photographs of the precise accident location is also extremely important evidence in your case.
Step 4 – Stay calm and limit communications
You should never post anything related to your slip and fall on social media. Ultimately, you shouldn’t provocatively place blame, nor accept any carelessness in the aftermath of your slip and fall accident.
Step 5 – Contact a slip and fall lawyer
Proving that a slip and fall accident was the result of someone else’s negligence can be a complicated and time-consuming task. It is best to hire an experienced personal injury firm like De Rose Lawyers to successfully win your case.
Why choose De Rose personal injury lawyers?
With over 40 years of combined experience, De Rose Lawyers will guide you through the complex legal, medical, and insurance issues, allowing you to focus on your rehabilitation and recovery. Our personal injury team at De Rose Lawyers will help you navigate the legal process to make sure you are fairly compensated.
We work tirelessly and passionately for each and every one of our clients, earning us a sterling reputation among the legal community. We empower our clients by providing them with flexible appointments, affordable legal fees, valuable tools and information every step of the way.