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How Trip and Fall Claim is Established and Assessed

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How Trip and Fall Claim is Established and Assessed

Don’t delay discussing your matter with us to find out how to build a winning case.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

You don’t pay us unless we win your case. No Out of pocket expenses required.

Note: Your Privacy is Safe with us. We will never disclose your information to external parties.

If you suffer an injury as a result of a trip and fall, whether in a public place, or at a private residence, you may have a claim under the Ontario Occupier’s Liability Act for your losses. Under the Occupier’s Liability Act, an “occupier” is a person in physical possession of the premises, or a person who has responsibility for and control over the condition of the premises or the activities there carried on, or finally, control over persons allowed to enter the premises. Pursuant to the Act, an occupier of premises owes a duty to take such care to see that the premises are reasonably safe.

Determining whether there has been a breach of this duty is not always an easy task and is fact-specific to each situation. These cases are often dependent on expert and scientific evidence, which demonstrate the unusual dangers of the premises or departure from expected norms of maintenance. For instance, a sudden change in the height of a public sidewalk or the presence of a loose object on the street could be enough to cause someone to trip, fall and sustain injuries. Also, it is common in these cases for the defendant to argue that the injured plaintiff contributed to their losses (“contributory negligence”). It is important to consult with a trip and fall lawyer as soon as possible to assess the strength of your case.

The recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Grayling v. The Corporation of Haldimand County, 2014 ONSC 198 (“Grayling”), demonstrates how Courts in Ontario are assessing liability in trip and fall cases. Ms. Grayling was injured as a result of a trip and fall injury that occurred on a city sidewalk. Ms. Grayling states that she stubbed her toe on the sidewalk due to the difference in height between two slabs of the sidewalk. She then took 4-5 steps forward (tripped) and fell onto the grass beside the sidewalk. As a result, she broke her right upper arm.

Justice J. Lofchik states that it is for the plaintiff to demonstrate that a condition of non-repair existed which in turn caused the injury. Once the plaintiff is able to establish there is a condition of non-repair, the onus shifts to the occupier (in this case, the Municipality) to establish that the condition of non-repair existed despite its attempt to exercise proper care and diligence in the inspection and maintenance of the sidewalk. The decision states that an elevation difference between sidewalk slabs is not necessarily a “non-repair”, as sidewalk installation is not an exact science and pedestrians should not expect a perfectly flat surface. However, previous case law had indicated that the judicial “rule of thumb” as to what height differential establishes a non-repair is between ¾ of an inch to 1 inch. Accordingly, Justice Lofchik determined that a trip hazard existed. The trip ledge that caused her fall was concluded to be ¾ of an inch to 1 ¼ inches and there was a state of disrepair of the sidewalk.

With respect to liability, Justice Lofchik found that both sides bore responsibility for the accident. He felt that Mrs. Grayling did not pay enough attention to where she was walking. In his opinion, each party was 50% liable for the accident, meaning each party shared equal responsibility. The total amount awarded was $215, 530. Mrs. Grayling received $107, 765, after the 50% reduction for what is known as “contributory negligence”. If you have been involved in a trip and fall, consult with a personal injury lawyer to understand your rights by booking a free consultation or calling 1-855-446-7765 for immediate assistance. 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.

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Note: Your Privacy is Safe with us. We will never disclose your information to external parties.

Timing is Critical. Help is Free.

Don’t delay discussing your matter with us to find out how to build a winning case.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

You don’t pay us unless we win your case. No Out of pocket expenses required.

Note: Your Privacy is Safe with us. We will never disclose your information to external parties.

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Sherene AlySherene Aly
16:02 23 Mar 24
I was very pleased with my decision to retain David and his team for my case. Melissa Gizzo was simply amazing and was able to secure a fair settlement for me.
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Experienced and excellent law firm. Their lawyers are wonderful, articulate, dilligent, amicable, calm, respectful, responsible, resourceful and have good human and customer relationships Especially DAN HOLLAND 👌 He is an amazing lawyer as regards dealing with any of the Accident case.I was involvedIn an accident in 2019 February. He was God sent as he dutifully and relentlessly worked hard until the case was settled
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22:43 18 Jan 24
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Neeshanth SritharanNeeshanth Sritharan
21:49 01 Jan 24
My mom was involved in an accident impacting her daily life and ability to work. Dan Holland has worked with us during the duration of our case and has been helpful in fighting for her and supporting us, and organizing the things we needed. Our family is incredibly grateful of the outcome Dan was able to obtain for us. I would highly recommend him!
Faiza HamidFaiza Hamid
01:26 22 Dec 23
I'm so happy I chose Mena Brar and her team represet us . We could not ask for a better team she is so kind, loyal, and honest. she spoke to me as an equal and made me feel as if my case was definitely important and that I deserved to be fairly compensated. I appreciate you. Did it for me and how this will help me get back on track with my life. keep helping others. You are doing amazing works, Mena Brar. I wish you all the best.
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23:38 12 Dec 23
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ShaunaShauna
15:52 06 Dec 23
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Andrew CoutoAndrew Couto
23:10 21 Nov 23
I'm so happy I chose David as my lawyer. I spoke to a few lawyers before finding David and I noticed majority of them spoke to me in a way that felt demeaning or that my case wasn't big enough or important enough to take. One phone call with David and my opinion on lawyers changed. He spoke to me as an equal and made me feel as if my case was definitely important and that I deserved to be fairly compensated. The whole process was wonderful. From dealing with David's law clerk Ingrid whom is an amazing and kind woman to his legal assistant Melissa whom is another amazing kind and talented young woman. I was so stressed about this case but from day 1 they helped ease that stress and always answered all my questions promptly and respectfully. I couldn't believe David got me to mediation within 6 months of being cut off my LTD and got me a settlement way beyond my expectations. I can't say enough good things about this law firm but I guarantee you that if you need a lawyer to fight for you David is your guy! . Believe me when I say this is the law firm for anyone dealing with personal injuries especially LTD denial claims. Thank you so much to David, Ingrid and Melissa you truly don't know how much I appreciate all you did for me and how this will help me get back on track with my life. Keep helping others you guys are doing amazing work! I wish you all the best!
Rose RegazziRose Regazzi
21:15 11 Oct 23
I sustained a relatively painful injury, affecting me long term.I wouldn't otherwise had pursued it, as it involved a relatively large corporation, but felt it necessary to do so. However, many lawyers were daunted, with one, who actually referred me to HIMPRO.I was connected with Dan Holland, who reviewed the case, provided with me realistic expectations, sound advice and had a willingness to move forward and represent me.His calm and professional demeanor, brought me to a place of reassurance. His ease in addressing all facets of this process, clearly demonstrated a wealth of experience. There was never any hesitation, when being challenged, and felt my best interest was always in the forefront.This case has since been resolved, to my complete satisfaction.Without reservation, HIMPRO (and Dan Holland, in particular), would be the only firm I would recommend for these type of cases.
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