How Do Slip and Fall Cases Work in Ontario?February 05, 2020
How do slip and fall cases work in Ontario? While no two slip and fall accidents are the same, they each follow a familiar pattern. How a case will play out depends not only on the facts of the case but how the plaintiff’s lawyer approaches the claim. Recovering monetary compensation is the goal, but it can vary how this goal is achieved. Below, we take a comprehensive look at answering the question “how do slip and fall cases work?”
How do slip and fall cases work?
Like with most injury cases, slip and fall claims follow a similar chain of events. A lawyer must first carefully evaluate a claim before they move forward with recovering compensation. One the initial investigation is complete, there are two ways for a lawyer to successfully resolve a slip and fall claim: negotiating a settlement or winning a trial verdict.
The initial investigation into a slip and fall claim is important. This first step can set the tone for a claim. When handled poorly, it could result in the loss of important evidence. A lawyer will typically begin the investigation by reviewing the case with their client. This usually involves a discussion of the severity of their injuries. Prior to filing suit, a lawyer will typically obtain copies of medical records to ensure they have a thorough understanding of these injuries.
The lawyer will also review the facts of the case. If the fall occurred at a grocery store, hospital, or retailer, they could request copies of any incident reports stemming from the fall. The lawyer will also review any evidence collected by their client including witness contact information or photographs of the scene. After the investigation is complete, it is time to make contact with the responsible property owner.
Prior to filing a lawsuit against the owner or manager of the property where the fall occurred, the victim’s lawyer will typically attempt to resolve the case amicably. In fact, the vast majority of favorable outcomes stem from a negotiated settlement as opposed to a trial verdict. If the lawyer carefully built a strong case during the investigation phase, the property owner may feel they have few options outside of taking responsibility.
Negotiation can occur at various times. Many parties resolve a case early on in the process, before a lawsuit is ever filed. The filing of a lawsuit does not end the possibility of a settlement, however. In many cases, the two parties will only reach an agreement on the eve of trial.
Often, property owners will carry insurance that will cover these losses. While insurance companies provide a strong source for compensation, they also tend to fight back against claims regardless of their strength. While negotiation is possible, some cases seem destined to go to trial.
If settlement is not an option, a trial is the only chance a slip and fall victim has for recovering compensation. These trials can be time consuming, and there is never a guarantee of success. On the flip side, a favorable outcome could result in damages that are much higher than what the defendant was offering in a settlement. Trials are risky, and the decision to take that risk or take a lower amount for a settlement will ultimately be your decision. If you win at trial, the insurance company for the defendant could appeal. Often, they will simply pay the amount awarded by the court.
An experienced slip and fall lawyer in Ontario can provide you with a better understanding of how your claim might play out.
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.