Slip and fall accidents are common throughout Windsor and Ontario, especially during the winter season when hazards like snow and ice are prevalent.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it may be possible to obtain compensation through a slip and fall lawsuit. The experienced slip and fall accident lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners have decades of experience handling these types of cases and can help you file a claim and recover compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and other damages you have experienced.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
There are several important steps you should take after a slip and fall accident that can help ensure your injuries are cared for and that you have the proper evidence for building your claim.
After an accident, you should:
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Keep all documentation related to your injuries, including copies of medical records
- Report the accident to the proper authorities including whoever is responsible for the building or sidewalk where your accident happened
- Get the contact information for any witnesses
- Take photos of the accident scene and your injuries, making sure to document the conditions of the area
- Contact a personal injury lawyer for legal guidance on filing a claim for compensation
Determining Liability for Your Slip and Fall Accident
One of the most important elements in determining if you have grounds to file a lawsuit is identifying who was liable for your slip and fall accident.
Accidents on Private Property
In most cases, the person who was responsible for the property at the time of the accident can be held liable for any resulting injuries. This person is known as an occupier. Under Ontario’s Occupier’s Liability Act, an occupier includes anyone who:
- Is in physical possession of the property
- Has responsibility and control over the property and the activities that occur there
This can include:
- Property owner
- House sitter
- Maintenance or repair workers
Under the law, occupiers have a legal duty to ensure that the premises are safe and will not cause harm to anyone. If a hazard exists on a property, the occupier must take reasonable steps to fix the dangerous situation or warn others about the hazard. This can include:
- Conducting regular inspections of the property
- Providing the necessary maintenance and repairs to ensure a property is safe
- Posting signs that warn of a potential hazard
- Blocking access to a potential hazard
- Removing the hazard or threat
The occupier can be held liable for any injuries that result from his or her failure to maintain this duty of care.
To establish that the occupier is liable for the accident, we must determine if:
- The occupier was aware of or should have been aware of the hazard
- The occupier failed to uphold his or her duty of care by failing to make the appropriate adjustments to prevent injury
- The injury victim acted in a reasonable manner when the accident occurred
An occupier’s liability could be reduced or eliminated if the injury victim was:
- Committing a crime at the time of the accident
- Trespassing on the property
- Knowingly entered a hazardous situation
- Negligent at the time of the accident, which can include running or wearing the wrong shoes for the weather
Accidents on Government Property
According to Ontario’s Municipal Act, the government cannot be held liable for a slip and fall injury caused by snow or ice on a sidewalk except in cases involving gross negligence.
In the case of Dorschell v. City of Cambridge, the court determined that gross negligence includes situations where:
- A layer of ice was allowed to remain on a level sidewalk for two or three days
- Ice and snow were allowed to remain on a heavily traveled sidewalk for a period of time
- The city did not act quickly enough to address a situation involving a thaw and rain followed by a freeze, which the city knew would cause icy conditions
Deadlines for Filing a Claim
Ontario has strict deadlines in place that outline how long you have to file a lawsuit.
- Claims against a private property owner must be filed within two years.
- If your claim is against a local city or other government, you must provide written notice via registered mail within 10 days of the accident.
If you miss these deadlines, you will not be able to file a claim.
Evidence to Support Your Claim
In order to file a successful case, you must have evidence to support your claim. This includes documentation of your injuries, proof that your injuries were directly caused by the accident and evidence that the at-fault party’s negligence caused the accident and your injuries.
If we take your case, our slip and fall accident lawyers will work with you to gather the necessary evidence to prove your claim, including:
- Photos and other physical evidence from the accident scene that show the extent of your injuries and the conditions at the time of the accident
- Details of your injuries and how they affect you
- Copies of your medical records
- Copies of the accident report
- Records of the maintenance and repairs that have been made on the property
- Statements from witnesses
Legal Help for Your Slip and Fall Claim
Because the laws surrounding slip and fall accidents can be complicated, it is in your best interest to consult an experienced slip and fall lawyer. The team of barristers at Greg Monforton & Partners has decades of experience fighting for the rights of injury victims throughout Windsor and the surrounding areas.
We are well-versed in the many laws of the province and have the skills and resources to thoroughly investigate your claim and build a strong case on your behalf. We can help you obtain compensation for the damages you have suffered, such as:
- Medical expenses from doctors’ visits, hospital stays, prescription medication and more
- Lost wages or lost income if you can no longer work because of your injuries
- Travel expenses to and from your doctors
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
If you have fallen on another’s property you should contact our slip and fall lawyers as soon as possible to schedule a free legal consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis and will not charge you anything unless we recover compensation for you.