5 Steps to Building a Successful Slip and Fall ClaimAugust 05, 2014
After a slip and fall accident, one’s initial thoughts as to the cause of their slip and fall might be along the lines of, “I am such a klutz”. However, it is all too common that owners and occupiers fail to maintain their property to the standards required by law, and perhaps the cause of the fall was actually the result of someone else’s negligence. Under the Occupier’s Liability Act in Ontario, owner and occupiers have a legal duty to take reasonable care to ensure that their property is safe for others. If you are seriously injured as a result of a slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your lost employment income, future health care costs, and damages for pain and suffering. So what should you do if you are injured in a slip and fall accident? The steps outlined below are guidelines on how you can act to build a successful claim against an owner or occupier:
1. Immediately gather evidence
An immediate response after falling might be to scurry away from the scene to avoid any embarrassment. Do not do this. If you are able to, it is important to play the role of detective and gather as much evidence from the site of the slip and fall as soon as possible, as it is likely that the police will not investigate the matter. A large hurdle in any slip and fall claim is to provide evidence of actual injury which was caused by the owner or occupier. Thus, if you carry a smart phone, pull it out and snap pictures of your surroundings and any injuries. Look around to see if you can detect any surveillance cameras in the vicinity that may have captured your fall. If there were other persons present when you fell, it is a good idea to talk to those persons and try to gather statements and contact information from anyone who witnessed the fall. Another proactive step in gathering evidence is to write down as many details surrounding your slip and fall as soon as you can. Small details which may be very important to your claim can escape your memory quickly after a traumatizing event.
2. Notify the occupier and property owner
You should attempt to locate the owner or occupier of the premises where you fell, making sure to document whom you talked to and what information from these persons you received. It might help demonstrate the seriousness of your case if you act immediately in seeking out the owner or occupier rather than leave the scene and wait to contact them sometime down the road.
The owner or occupier may have you complete an incident report and call for medical attention if necessary. Furthermore, if the owner or occupier is aware that their property is not safe, they may be able to act immediately to ensure nobody else is injured on their property.
3. Seek medical attention
Medical evidence demonstrating actual injuries will no doubt improve your chance of building a successful claim. Even if you initially believe that your injuries are not very serious, take the time to visit a Doctor. It may be the case that the extent of any injuries are not initially apparent. If there are injuries resulting from the fall, you should ask for a report from the medical professional who assessed you.
4. Contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer
It is important to immediately contact a slip and fall lawyer if you believe your slip and fall was due to the negligence of someone else, as there are many procedural and legal requirements in Ontario for commencing a claim against an occupier or owner. There are strict limitation periods in which you must commence a claim against an owner or occupier, failing of which will deprive you of any damages you may be entitled to. For instance, if you slipped and fell on a municipal or city sidewalk, you only have 10 days to provide written notice of your fall. Himelfarb Proszanski has experienced slip and fall lawyers who have represented clients pursuing claims against occupiers and owners in a broad range of locations. In order to build a winning negligence case, our slip and fall lawyers will utilize their extensive network of experts and investigators to further assess the site of the fall, gather any security records, inspection logs and witnesses necessary to pursue a successful claim.
5. Continue to document all evidence post-slip and fall
Even after you retain a slip and fall lawyer to commence a claim against an owner or occupier, you should continue to document and gather any evidence related to your injuries from the fall which can assist your lawyer in advancing your claim. For instance, keeping thorough records of any medical appointments and examinations you attend post-accident, documenting the progression or improvement of your injuries, and keeping journals of how the injuries from the fall impact your daily life in any way are relevant to building a winning case.
Our firm has extensive experience in pursuing slip and fall claims. If you have been injured from a slip and fall accident, contact us immediately so that we may assess your claim and effectively work towards building a winning case. For more information, visit our slip and fall section.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader's specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.