While slip and fall incidents are so common they may feel like an everyday occurrence, they can sometimes leave the victim with injuries that will follow them for life. When a slip and fall accident occurs on someone else’s property and it was the fault of the property owner, he or she may be held liable for any injuries. Accident victims can often seek compensation for things like medical bills and lost income that are a direct result of the accident.
If you’ve experienced a slip and fall, it’s important that you seek the help of a Toronto slip and fall lawyer. There is no time to lose, yet plenty of mistakes an injured victim can make along the way.
How Slip-and-Fall Incidents Happen
Unfortunately, a slip and fall incident can occur anytime and anywhere. Because of this, the causes of slip and fall accidents are varied.
The most common causes are:
- Cluttered walking spaces
- Loose floorboards
- Cracked, defective or broken sidewalks
- Potholes in parking lots
- Carpeting that is ripped or torn
- Slippery floors
- Weather conditions such as ice and snow
- Nursing home accidents, when nursing home staff do not properly monitor and assist their residents while they are walking
- Improper footwear
When individuals are in a slip and fall accident, and they believe it was due to someone else’s neglect, it is imperative that they speak to a Toronto slip and fall lawyer immediately.
Common Injuries Associated with a Slip and Fall
Most individuals will walk away from a slip and fall with only minor bruises and scrapes, and some might not be injured at all. But sometimes injuries resulting from a slip and fall can be quite severe.
The most common injuries that warrant immediate medical attention are:
- Broken/fractured bones
- Back and spine injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken hips and/or pelvis
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Internal bleeding
For individuals who are particularly vulnerable to slip and fall accidents, such as seniors, slip and fall accidents can even cause death.
Parties Involved in Toronto Slip and Fall Accidents
Anyone can be injured in an accident, from young children to adults. There can be other plaintiffs, as well. Family members and spouses, called Family Law Act plaintiffs, are usually included in a case where there is a loss of care, guidance and companionship or a loss of shared family income as a result of the injury to the plaintiff.
As for the defendants, anyone who is deemed an occupier can be a defendant. Owners of a property where an accident occurred are commonly included as a defendant in a slip and fall case. A property manager, someone the owner has hired to manage the property and make sure it’s safe, is one example of an occupier.
In the case of a slip and fall incidents that are a result of harsh winter conditions, a winter maintenance contractor can also find themselves involved in a claim, as he or she was hired to take care of the property.
Age Considerations in Slip and Fall Claims
When it comes to age, for a younger claimant like someone in their teens, an injury they have sustained may have consequences that affect their life for a very long period of time. In such cases, Toronto slip and fall lawyers often retain medical, vocational and future care experts that put forward an opinion on what the future holds for an injured young person, helping to guide their assessment in settling the case.
An elderly person who sustained an injury in a slip and fall accident, meanwhile, may be faced with the argument by an insurance company that their damages for pain and suffering are worth less because of their age. Courts have rejected this argument on a number of occasions in recognition of the Golden Years Doctrine, which places greater economic value on the remaining years of pain and suffering of an elderly person as compared to the increased life expectancy of a younger person with similar injuries.
Proving Fault in a Toronto Slip and Fall Claim
To have a legitimate slip and fall accident claim, the slip and fall must have caused injury and that injury must have been caused by the negligence or lack of care of another person. For instance, if a person is walking in a mall and trips over their own shoelace, there is no eligible claim for a slip and fall accident. The individual was responsible for making sure their shoelaces were tied properly, and no one owed them a duty of care.
However, if the same individual was walking in the same mall and trips over construction materials that were left out, they could have a legitimate claim because the mall owners owed them a duty of care to ensure they had a safe space to walk.
The first thing a slip and fall lawyer will look for is any evidence related to the particular hazard that caused the accident. Ideally, this will be photographs of the condition that caused the accident, as well as the identities and evidence of any witnesses who actually saw the accident.
Contact a Toronto Slip and Fall Lawyer
Time is of the essence in any slip and fall accident case, but this is particularly true in Toronto. While accident victims often have two years from the date of injury to file a claim, there are circumstances, depending on the entity that owns the property, where written notice is required.
An example of this are claims that occur on “highways” that are owned by the City of Toronto or any other municipality. In these circumstances, accident victims may have only 10 days to give written notice. It is not always clear what is city property and what is not.
Don’t hesitate — speak to a qualified Toronto slip and fall lawyer today. You may be eligible for compensation. Contact us today for a free case review.