The Laws and Liabilities of Slip and Fall Claims

Trips, slips and falls are frequent in Canada, particularly during winter. While most of them result in a stubbed toe or ripped pant leg, occasionally, they can cause a serious injury to you or a loved one. This article will examine the underlying facts surrounding the extent, litigation, and role of personal injury lawyers in slip-and-fall incidents.

The Extent of Slip and Fall Accidents in Canada

Canada is prone to erratic weather. A sunny day in March may immediately turn into a snowstorm within just a few hours. Recent data confirms that a percentage of personal injury claims in Canada are related to slip and fall incidents. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (C.I.H.I.), slips and falls account for around 40% of injury-related hospital admissions. This, by a large margin, makes them the most common cause of hospitalization. The number of slip and fall incidents appears to be increasing. In 2017, there were around 100,000 more additional hospitalizations than in 2016.

This number is even more pronounced among senior citizens. The World Health Organization estimated that every year, 32% to 42% of all persons over the age of 70 encounter a slip-and-fall incident. Such incidents may lower the quality of life, increase caretaker responsibilities, and hasten long-term admissions into retirement homes. Most significantly, the time and cost of treating such injuries are often substantial.

What To Do After an Injury

Most slip and fall incidents occur in the home. In such cases, the medical costs will be covered by the government of Canada. Attending the closest hospital and showing your health card will be enough to access hospital care. However, this will be limited to your immediate medical issues and will not assist in the compensation for additional long-term care costs, missed time at work or loss of quality of life.

 

Slip and Fall in Public Place

If, however, a slip and fall occurs while out in a public place, such as a municipal sidewalk or someone else’s private property, the accountability might fall to the person who owns the same property. In such cases, you should immediately take the following steps:

A personal injury claim is a complex legal process. If made incorrectly, it could result in the entire matter being dismissed outright. It is always advisable to proceed with the help of a professional.

What is the Legal Liability for Slips and Falls?

An occupier or property owner is legally obligated to ensure that their premises are safe and free from hazards. If, for example, you enter your local gym, trip over improperly placed gym equipment and fracture your ankle, the facility might be liable for your injuries and losses. This same principle applies to homeowners and tenants. They must ensure the guests and visitors are safe when the latter is on their property. Further, they may also be liable if a passerby sustains injuries because of unsafe conditions on their driveway or walkway cause an injury. Walking surfaces need to be free of snow, ice, and debris.

The Slip and Fall Insurance Claims Process

Private property owners and commercial establishments usually have liability insurance to cover injuries resulting from negligence. Once a case is ready to proceed, a personal injury lawyer will typically send a statement of claim to begin the insurance process. This includes a summary of the incident, injuries, and the damages claimed, as well as an outline of how the property owner was negligent.

Role of the Lawyer

The lawyer’s role in such cases is to prove that the property owner, referred to as a “defendant” after the statement of claim was issued, owed the injured party, now a “plaintiff,” a duty of care, that this duty was breached, and that the plaintiff suffered an injury as a result. The lawyer will also attempt to prove the losses suffered by their client, from financial losses and pain and suffering.

It should also be noted that most claims do not make it to trial. Lawyers on both sides usually communicate with each other about the facts of the case and potential resolutions. Once the facts are clear, experienced counsel will likely determine the outcome of a trial and settle the matter amicably. It has been estimated that less than 10% of all personal injury claims go to trial.

Types of Financial Compensation

Many types of losses may occur after a slip-and-fall incident. Some of the most frequently claimed ones are:

This blog post does not constitute legal advice and was written solely to provide information. If you would like to consult with a lawyer about the issues raised in this post, please contact Empel Law Professional Corporation at 416-500-1937.

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Arkadiusz J. Empel urodził się w Katowicah. Jako dziecko emigrował do Kanady, razem z rodziną, lecz wrócił jako student aby ukończyć Pracę Magisterską w Krakowie. Przez swoją pracę z polonią w okolicy Toronto utrzymał władność w swojim języku ojczystym. Jeżeli Państwo życzy się skonsultować prosto z adwokatem Polski, proszę przedzwonić na numer 416-500-1937.