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Injuries arising as a result of slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall could give rise to claims against the occupier of the premises, entitling the victim to compensation for the injuries suffered.
These types of claims, legally referred to as occupiers’ liability claims, could arise from a great variety of accidents including the following
1. Slip-and-fall on private property due to wet, slippery, or icy floors, uneven floors, torn carpeting, missing or broken stairs or steps, slippery stairs or steps, faulty handrails, or broken furniture
2. Trip-and-fall on public property, such as parks, sidewalks, or roads, due to potholes, ice or snow, or any other negligence or carelessness of the public body in maintaining the premises
3. Assault and injury in public or private property as a result of the failure of the owner, renter, occupier, or security staff and organization to ensure the safety of their property
4. Improperly stacked shelves and the subsequent fall of merchandise on a customer, guest, or sometimes an employee
5. Slip and fall in restaurants, supermarkets, bars, pubs, clubs
6. Altercations or assaults at taverns, pubs, bars, or clubs
In Ontario, the Occupiers’ Liability Act establishes a duty of care on the part of the entities occupying the property (landlord, tenant, lessee, renter, shopkeeper, owner of the property, maintenance staff, property manager, etc.) to make sure that those who visit their premises, and the visitors’ properties, are reasonably safe while on the premises.
What is reasonable may vary depending on a great number of factors, including the nature of the property and the nature of activities carried thereon. In determining whether the occupier of the property where the fall occurred is responsible for your injuries, the courts will look at factors such as the adequacy of lighting where the incident took place, markings, compliance with provincial building codes, or safety features.
In cases where the fall occurred as a result of a step, stair, or change in elevation, the courts will also consider signage, signs identifying the steps, or railings.
What to Do After a Trip-and-Fall
If the accident took place on public property, notice is the most important thing that you must be aware of. See the discussion below on slip-and-falls on public property.
If your medical condition is not urgent try to accomplish any or all of the following :
1. Take pictures of the area. If there is something, such as concrete level differential that seems to have caused the accident, make sure you provide scale to your pictures by adding an object somewhere in your frame.
2. Obtain names and contact information of any witnesses who may be available.
3. Write down the location of the accident. Note all commercial properties around you. Note the closest intersection.
4. Report the incident to the authority that seems to be in charge. If you make a written report, ensure to keep a copy for yourself. Note the names and contact information of anyone you speak with in reporting the slip-and-fall.
Taking good pictures of the area where your fall took place is very important. If you are unable to take pictures at the time when the incident took place, you may wish to go back when you can or send someone who can do it on your behalf.
Try to take pictures depicting your point of view before the fall took place. Remember that you should never alter or edit the picture in any shape or form. It may result in it being useless (inadmissible) in the court.
In the recent decision of Kania v. Heart and Crown Irish Pubs, 2016 ONSC 602, Justice Valin, referring to a photograph taken on behalf of the Plaintiff stated :
“I find that photograph to be instructive and determinative of the issue of whether the Defendant was in breach of its duty to keep the premises reasonably safe during the Plaintiff’s visit on the night when she injured herself. It is taken from the area where the Plaintiff was approaching the step before she fell.”
Slip And Fall
On Public Property
Slip and fall on municipal property such as sidewalks, are litigated differently than, lets say, on a supermarket. Your personal injury lawyer at Haghani Law is experienced in all the nuances and complexities involving injuries on municipal properties.
If your slip and fall happened on municipal property in a municipality in Ontario, you MUST give notice of your claim to the City within 10 days of the accident.
Make Sure That You Send Your Notice, By Registered Mail, To The City Clerk, Explaining The Incident And Injuries.
Remember, calling us for a free consultation does not cost you anything. Failure to seek legal advise, however, could cost you significantly.