Imagine this scenario: You’re visiting one of your favorite Toronto restaurants when you slip and fall on the way to your table. Was there a patch of water on the ground? No sign indicating that the tile might be slippery?
You’re in a bit of pain, so you go to the emergency room and a doctor determines that you broke your wrist in the fall. Who is at fault, and what do you do? And how can you pay for the treatment you may need?
It’s important to note that you are not entitled to any compensation unless the owner of the property has been found to be negligent. This post will discuss what negligence means, how it affects slip and fall claims, and how you can prove your slip and fall was the fault of the restaurant owner and get compensation today.
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Definition of Negligence
Negligence in regards to premises liability is similar to negligence in other legal circumstances, such as proving who is at fault in a motor vehicle accident. The Occupiers’ Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.2 outlines who is liable in cases of on-premise accidents.
An “occupier” is the person who physically owns the property where the accident occurred, such as a homeowner, or is responsible for activites which transpires on the property, such as a store manager, landlord, or snow removal crew. Private property cases can have their own variables compared to commercial property ones, and vice versa, so it’s a good idea to have a premises liability lawyer who is skilled in both areas representing you in court.
In order to establish liability, you need to prove negligence on the occupier. Ontario law states that occupiers owe anyone who enters their property a duty of care, in which premises must be maintained in a reasonably safe manner. If he or she failed to have an adequate system of inspection or maintenance in place, the occupier may be determined to be negligent and therefore is in breach of their statutory duty
What Negligence Means in a Slip and Fall Claim
Accidents happen every day. Your actions also can make a difference in a slip and fall claim, though they are partly protected by the Negligence Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. N.1, and levels of negligence may be assessed against one or both parties.
In the example where you attended a restaurant and slipped on water that wasn’t marked as a hazard with a cone, you likely have a case against the property owner or restaurant owner. But if the area was marked clearly and you slipped because you weren’t paying attention, it will be very difficult to recover damages. If an accident happened while you were trespassing on property, like if you got hurt on a property that was gated off, that also could be cause to throw out your slip and fall claim.
If you and the property owner were both partly at fault for the accident, you’ll still be able to recover some damages.
In those cases, as well as ones in which the occupier is found at fault entirely, a Toronto premises liability lawyer can help you prove liability and negligence.
Slip and Fall: Types and Damages
It’s important to take precautions to prevent a slip and fall accident. For example, be sure to teach your children that running on a property, such as around a swimming pool, is unsafe and not acceptable. Slipping on ice is pretty common in Toronto, so be extra cautious when walking on sidewalks, in parking lots, and in high-traffic areas. For information on unique premise liability cases and locations, visit our “Types of Toronto Premises Liability Cases” page.
The costs of a slip-and-fall accident can vary depending on severity. Some injuries are short-term while others are lifelong and can affect future earnings.
In slip-and-fall accidents, we frequently see the following types of injuries:
- Bone fractures
- Lacerations and torn ligaments
- Neck and back injuries
- Severe burns
- Disc herniation and spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
And yes, even death.
Damages for slip and fall claims range from medical expenses to pain and suffering and lost wages. You may have lost your housekeeping capacity, as well, of which you should be compensated.
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How to Get Help with Your Toronto Slip and Fall Claim
To prove that the property owner or occupier was responsible for your accident and ensuing injuries, you’ll want to hire a skilled Toronto premises liability lawyer. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, don’t hesitate to act now, as the law limits the amount of time you have to file a claim.
Make sure to preserve all evidence immediately after the accident — photos and measurements of the hazard, witness accounts, and inquiring about video surveillance — then contact a Preszler Law Firm premises liability lawyer. Do not speak to any insurance representatives before speaking to your lawyer.