Slips, Trips and Falls

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    Home > Practice Areas > Slip and Fall Lawyers

    Our feet take us where we need to be, whether climbing the stairs of our apartment complexes or navigating downtown sidewalks. We trust that our paths are clear of dangers, allowing for safe passage. However, unexpected slips or trips can occur, often without warning, resulting in serious injuries. If you have suffered from injuries from a fall, we are here to assist in securing the fair compensation you deserve.

    The Difference Between a Slip and a Trip

    Slip and fall, as well as trip and fall incidents, are distinct types of personal injury accidents, differing in how they occur and the factors involved.

    Despite the different mechanics of these incidents, both can result in serious injuries. The question of liability often hinges on factors such as property maintenance and negligence by property owners or occupants. It’s important to understand the distinction when determining responsibility and pursuing legal action in such cases.

    Slip and Fall Accident

    A “slip and fall” accident typically occurs when an individual loses balance on a slippery or uneven surface, resulting in a fall. Frequent causes include wet floors, icy paths, or surfaces that have been recently waxed or polished. In such situations, the individual’s foot may slide away, causing them to fall.

    Trip and Fall Accident

    On the other hand, a “trip and fall” occurs when an individual’s foot comes into contact with an obstacle or uneven surface, leading to a stumble and subsequent fall. This may occur due to objects left on walkways, uneven pavement, or loose floor coverings. In a trip and fall incident, the individual’s forward motion is disrupted, often causing them to trip over an obstruction or uneven surface.

    Factors Affecting Slips and Falls

    As pedestrians, individuals take numerous precautions to avoid areas that might result in a slip and fall. That includes reading and abiding by signage, assessing flooring or pavement conditions, and exercising caution when necessary. While these actions are important, the overall condition of where you walk also plays a critical role.

    • Hazardous Conditions: Slip and fall accidents often occur due to hazardous conditions such as wet floors, uneven surfaces, loose rugs, or poorly maintained walkways. These conditions create a dangerous environment where individuals can lose their footing and fall.
    • Negligence: Property owners, businesses, and landlords have a legal responsibility to maintain their premises in a safe condition. Failure to address known hazards or provide proper warnings can constitute negligence, making them liable for any slip and fall injuries that occur on their property.

    Weather Conditions: Weather-related factors like rain, snow, ice, or sleet can significantly increase the risk of slip and fall accidents, particularly in outdoor areas or entranceways. Failure to promptly clear snow or ice or provide adequate traction can contribute to these accidents.

    Where Slips and Falls Can Happen

    Property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe and for warning occupants, visitors and patrons of any potential harm. Something as simple as not salting an icy driveway, not fixing cracked pavement, or leaving tools or cords on stairs or pathways can result in a devastating injury.

    In some cases, you might not be aware whether the property you are on is public or private, mainly in outdoor areas. Should you slip and fall, it is important to note your location, as this can play a significant role in your case should you pursue legal action.

    Public Property

    Slip and fall accidents can occur on public property in various locations:

    • Sidewalks often pose risks, especially in inclement weather, when they become icy or uneven due to tree roots. 
    • Municipal parks can also be hazardous, with wet or slippery paths, poorly maintained play areas, or inadequate lighting, creating dangerous conditions. 
    • Inside public buildings, such as government offices or libraries, spills and neglected maintenance can result in slip and fall incidents. 
    • Public transportation stations, including bus stops and subway platforms, may have slippery surfaces or debris that increase the risk of falls.

    Private Property

    On private property, slip and fall accidents can be prevalent in settings similar to public property. 

    • In apartment buildings, poorly maintained common areas, wet or icy entryways, or defective stairs can lead to falls. 
    • Businesses are also common locations for slip and fall incidents, with factors like wet floors, cluttered walkways, or uneven surfaces contributing to accidents. 
    • Retail environments may have hazards like spilled liquids or overlooked maintenance, while restaurants could have slippery kitchen areas.
    • Private residences can also be the site of accidents, with neglected driveways, stairs, or walkways posing risks.

    Catastrophic Injuries From Slips and Falls

    The World Health Organization reports that more than 35 million falls yearly are serious enough to receive medical attention. While many injuries associated with falls in Canada impact older adults, anyone involved in a falling accident could suffer various injuries, such as:

    Time Constraints on Slip and Fall Claims

    Slip-and-fall accidents are subject to strict limitations regarding when you can claim damages. It is crucial to notify both the property owner and municipality, especially when it’s unclear if the incident occurred on public or private property.

    1. Statute of Limitations: In Ontario, the statute of limitations for slip and fall claims is generally two years from the date of the incident on private property. Failing to file a claim within this timeframe can result in the forfeiture of your right to seek compensation.
    2. Notice Period for Municipality: When pursuing a slip and fall claim against a municipality in Ontario, you must be aware of the “notice period.” Generally, you must provide written notice of your intention to file a claim to the municipality within ten days of the incident.

    We recommend consulting with our personal injury lawyers, who are experienced in handling slip and fall claims, as soon as you are able.  Our team has the expertise to guide you through the legal process, ensure compliance with notice requirements, and help build a strong case on your behalf.

    Working with a Compassionate and Experienced Legal Team

    If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall incident that occurred due to the negligence of a property owner or occupier, you have the legal right to seek compensation for your damages. Our dedicated team is committed to assisting injured individuals across Eastern Ontario, and we are here to extend our support to you as well.

    We understand that the aftermath of such accidents can be overwhelming. That’s why we want you to know that we’re here to help you navigate this challenging journey.

    We’re Here to Help

    Our experienced legal professionals recognize the importance of being prompt. We’ll work diligently to ensure that you don’t miss critical deadlines for filing your claim. Our goal is to secure the fair compensation you rightfully deserve, alleviating the financial burden that often accompanies injuries sustained in slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents.

    Your well-being and rights matter to us. Contact us today, and let us take the necessary steps to protect your interests and pursue the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What should I do immediately after a slip and fall accident?

    After a slip and fall accident, your safety and well-being are paramount. Your first step should be to seek medical attention, even if your injuries seem minor. Then, document the scene by taking photos if possible. Report the incident to the property owner, manager, or municipality and collect contact information from any witnesses. As soon as you can, contact our firm for next steps to protect your rights and initiate a comprehensive investigation.

    How do I prove negligence in a slip and fall case against a business owner or municipality?

    To establish negligence, your lawyer must demonstrate that the property owner or municipality failed in their duty to maintain a safe environment. This may involve gathering evidence, such as photos, witness statements, maintenance records, or surveillance footage, to show that the hazard existed and they knew or should have known about it. Our legal team, with its extensive experience, excels in examining these crucial elements to support your claim.

    Is it necessary to hire a lawyer for my slip and fall claim, or can I handle it on my own?

    Although it’s possible to pursue a slip and fall claim without legal assistance, securing professional representation from our firm is recommended. Slip and fall cases often involve intricate legal challenges, requiring expertise in gathering evidence, negotiating with insurers, and navigating the legal system. Our dedicated slip and fall lawyers have the experience and knowledge to protect your rights, assess the value of your claim, and ensure you receive fair compensation.

    What if I was partially at fault for the slip and fall accident?

    In Ontario, even if you were partially at fault for the slip and fall accident, you may still be eligible for compensation. The province follows a comparative negligence system, where your compensation may be reduced based on your percentage of fault. Each case is unique, and our legal team is skilled at assessing your liability while ensuring you receive fair compensation as it relates to your well-being. For personalized advice on your claim, we encourage you to reach out to us.

    How long does it typically take to resolve a slip and fall lawsuit in Ontario?

    Some cases can be settled in a matter of months, while others may take a year or more. Factors influencing this timeline can include the intricate details of the case, the type and extent of injuries, and the communication and cooperation of other parties involved. Our goal is to resolve your case as best as possible while ensuring you receive fair compensation.

    Contact Bergeron | Clifford LLP

    Let our lawyers handle your premises liability claim. Contact us at 866-384-5886 or fill out our online form. We can meet you at our Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Carleton Place, or Perth office locations, or wherever is most convenient for you.

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