Slip and Fall Back Injury: How Do I Make a Claim in Ontario?September 22, 2020
Slip and Fall Back Injury
If you suffer a back injury as a result of a slip and fall in Ontario, you can make a claim to recover damages from the parties responsible for maintaining the premises where your slip and fall took place.
It is very important that while at the location of the accident you take photographs of the slippery conditions that caused your slip and fall. You should also try to secure contact information from potential witnesses. Finally, you should report the accident to the property owner while you are still at the scene of the slip and fall. This evidence will help you in establishing the liability aspect in your potential claim.
Notify the Proper Parties
You should then identify and send a notification, in writing, of your back injury slip and fall to all the parties responsible for maintaining the property where your accident occurred. Special rules apply to some public properties in this regard. If you were involved in a slip and fall that occurred on a municipal road or sidewalk, it is very important to notify the municipality within 10 days after the occurrence of the injury. Written notice of the accident and of your back injury, including the date, time, and location of the occurrence must be served upon or sent by registered mail to the clerk of the municipality (see section 44(10) of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c 25). Failure to do so may be fatal to pursuing a claim against the municipality.
Once you notify all the responsible parties, you need to turn your attention to establishing the elements that are essential to a viable claim: liability and damages.
Failed to Meet Legal Duty?
In regards to liability, do you have evidence to suggest that the parties responsible for maintaining the property failed to meet their legal duty to keep the premises in a reasonably safe state? In most cases, evidence of falling on a slippery surface will not in itself be enough to prove liability. It requires a much deeper legal analysis.
As for the damages, pursuing a claim for a minor soft-tissue back strain injury that causes little to no disruption to your normal daily activities, is likely not worth your time. Settlement amounts in such minor back strain cases do not justify the effort and costs that you will need to expend in advancing a successful claim.
Significant Back Injury
If your slip and fall back injury is significant, however, such as a fractured spine, herniated disc, or serious aggravation of some pre-existing back condition, for example, you should strongly consider pursuing a claim.
Settlements in back injury slip and fall claims can be explored at a pre-litigation stage, usually through negotiation with a representative from the insurance company that responded to your claim. Once the lawsuit is commenced, a potential settlement will be discussed between the parties’ lawyers.
Settlements in back injury slip and fall cases are comprised of reasonable amounts assessed under various heads of damages, most commonly pain and suffering damages, income loss, and medical and other expenses and losses. The more serious is your back injury and its impact on your daily life activities and functional abilities, including your ability to work, the more in damages you will likely receive. Average settlements range from a few thousand dollars to potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars due to many variables in the assessment of damages.
Get the Help You Need
Many complexities and strict reporting obligations in certain slip and fall cases make it very important that you consult an experienced slip and fall lawyer in the early stages of your claim in order to preserve your legal rights.
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