Slip and fall accidents on private property in Ontario fall under the province’s Occupiers’ Liability Act. This law gives injured victims the right to pursue financial compensation when a property owner’s and occupier’s negligence leads to dangerous conditions. The law also places certain limitations and requirements on injured parties. This includes requiring injured parties prove someone else’s liability or breach of a statutory duty for the accident.
This burden of proof makes it especially important to be cognizant of one’s actions following a slip and fall accident.
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Below are six things to consider in the interest of protecting a claim.
1. Do not dispose of any evidence of the accident.
Maintain all accident reports, medical records and other evidence of the accident. This may include cell phone photos of the accident scene (images of cracks in a sidewalk, snow, ice, a spill on a store’s floor, broken tiles, etc.), clothing or footwear worn at the time of the accident, and witness statements. An injury lawyer can use this evidence to help substantiate a liability claim.
2. Do not neglect doctor’s appointments and other medical necessities.
It is important to seek prompt medical attention after a slip and fall accident, regardless of whether an injury is immediately apparent. Some injuries take time to manifest. Likewise, it is essential to continue with prescribed medical treatment until an injury has healed fully. Do not miss doctors’ appointments or ignore medical advice. Doing so could undermine the legitimacy of an injury claim.
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3. Do not talk about the slip and fall accident.
Do not share details of the slip and fall accident or injuries on social networks like Twitter, Facebook or Bebo. In fact, it is wise to avoid talking about the details of the accident with outside parties, including friends, extended family members and co-workers. Doing so may jeopardize your case. Instead, strive to maintain as much privacy as possible until the case is resolved. Your injury lawyer can offer guidelines for protecting your potential claim.
4. Do not return to work before the injury has an opportunity to heal.
Do not resume strenuous physical activity or return to work before a physician has cleared you. Doing so could aggravate an injury, such as a slipped disk or knee injury. It also may serve to undermine your injury claim.
5. Do not admit to any liability or fault.
The strength of your claim depends on your ability to prove that someone else was responsible for your accident. Seemingly innocent statements like; “I’m sorry, this was my fault,” or “I’m so clumsy; of course I fell!” may diminish your liability claim. Even something as simple as, “I’m fine,” could damage your claim.
6. Do not attempt to talk to property owners or insurance companies without representation.
The statements you make to an insurance company or property owner may be used to harm your claim. If you have hired a personal injury lawyer, then it is best to allow him or her to handle all communications relating to your accident and injuries. This way, nothing you say will be used against your own best interests inadvertently.
To contact a lawyer, call 1-800-JUSTICE or complete this Case Evaluation Form. Our slip and fall lawyers can answer your questions about compensation and how to protect your case.