Slip and Fall: Who is Liable for My Injuries?February 12, 2019
Slip and fall accidents are far more common than most people realize. They occur in private residences and stores and parking lots across Toronto every day. When they happen and someone is injured as a result, who is at fault?
Determining slip and fall liability isn’t easy. This article aims to help victims better understand their rights and whether they may make a claim against an at-fault party.
When someone suffers a slip and fall at work or on the premises of a business, there is always a possibility that the owner or occupier of the property may be at least partially at fault for the accident. This means that the owner or occupier may be held financially liable for the injuries suffered by the victim.
Slip and Fall Liability Factors
Three main questions are at the heart of determining liability in a slip and fall accident. These questions are:
1. Who is ultimately liable for causing the accident?
2. Was the liable party negligent or did they otherwise contribute to the accident?
3. Did the victim contribute to or cause the accident?
Property owners and other occupiers, such as tenants, are required to keep the premises in a safe condition for persons on the premises. Frequently, these personal injury cases are decided based upon whether the property owner, or other occupant, such as a tenant, acted with sufficient care with regard to the safety of people on the premises. This is known as a Duty of Care.
In looking at how much at fault the property owner, or other occupant, such as a tenant, may be, it also is necessary to look at whether the victim contributed to the accident. For instance, were they texting and not paying attention to where they were walking when they fell?
Was There Negligence?
Anyone who is injured in a slip and fall will soon hear the word “negligence.” Negligence is a failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury or loss to another person.
In order to be considered negligent, one of the following must apply to the property owner, or other occupier, such as a tenant, or at least one of their employees in the case of a slip and fall accident:
1. The spill, worn out spot or slippery surface was caused by the owner, or other occupier, such as a tenant, or an employee.
2. No one did anything to address the dangerous surface.
3. Someone should have known about the slippery surface because any reasonable individual charged with caring for the property would have noticed the problem and corrected it.
Many slip and fall accident cases are decided on a common-sense basis. The judge or jury responsible for deciding the case will consider whether the party that owns or occupies the property was sufficiently careful and whether the steps taken to make the property safe were reasonable.
Taking a Reasonable Approach
Anyone who has been injured in a slip and fall accident would be wise to consult with a personal injury lawyer. We can also provide 5 Steps to Building a Successful Slip and Fall Claim to help you understand how evidence is gathered and used by your lawyer.
Even if you feel that you might be partially at fault in the accident, slip and fall liability may be divided between you and the party that owns or occupies the property. Because medical bills may quickly add up if your injuries are serious, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help determine the liability of the other party and potentially bear some of that financial burden.
Slip and fall accidents can be dangerous. And determining liability is complex. Consulting a lawyer will help to give you clarity regarding the other parties’ responsibilities and your legal options.
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.