Slip and fall injuries sustained in an Ottawa store. Is it difficult to win a slip and fall case?
Slip and fall accidents are fairly common. Slip and falls or trip and falls can cause serious injuries. Falls caused by slips or trips are the most common. Many falls are caused by wet floors, cracked sidewalks, slippery surfaces, bad lighting, items in aisles, damaged flooring, badly designed stairs, lack of handrails, potholes, ice and snow. If you have been injured in a fall in a local store (or on any private or business property) and sustained injuries, you may be able to recover damages. If a dangerous condition in a store or property has caused you to trip or fall, your case would fall under what lawyers call premises liability or occupier’s liability.
In Ontario, property owners and occupiers must keep their premises safe. That law is codified in the Occupiers’ Liability Act of Ontario which imposes a duty on property owners and occupiers to keep their premises safe. In some cases, others may be responsible for your fall: examples are contractors or tenants or property management companies.
Is it hard to prove liability in slip or trip and fall cases?
In most cases, the onus is on the injured person to prove that the property owner or occupier did not adequately maintain the property which caused the fall and the injuries.
Pedestrian / customers are expected to keep a proper lookout when walking and the standard for property owners and occupiers is not perfection, it is to take reasonable steps under the circumstances to ensure the premises are safe. The owner will claim the injured person was not paying attention when walking and was distracted in some way (running, looking at a phone, texting, talking, wearing inappropriate footwear etc.). In some cases, owners will deny the fall even occurred.
In Ontario, store owners and occupiers should have a system of regular inspections of their property to ensure any dangers or defects are addressed right away. In Ontario, the law is that if the owner or occupier knew of the danger or ought reasonably have known of the danger and failed to correct the danger, they can be held liable.
In general terms, three conditions must exist for a slip and fall victim to recover damages in a fall case:
- There must have existed a dangerous or defective condition on the property at the time the victim was injured;
- The property owner or the occupier of the property must have known or, when exercising reasonable care (often through regular maintenance checks), should have known that the dangerous or defective condition on the property existed; and
- The dangerous or defective condition existed for a sufficient period of time for the occupier or owner to repair it or takes steps to protect against potential injury, using reasonable care.
Why is it important to hire a slip and fall lawyer?
Many stores have video surveillance and so after a fall it is very important to hire a lawyer who can secure vital evidence such as the videotape recording, taking photos of the premises and injuries, deliver notice letters, meet deadlines and limitation periods, document the evidence and by obtaining witness statements.
The insurance companies are very well funded and are not afraid to spend millions of dollars each year to defend slip and fall cases. As a slip and fall victim, you need to even the playing field by hiring one of our experienced slip and fall lawyers who are not intimidated by the big insurance companies. Our legal team is experienced in slip and fall cases and fight hard to obtain compensation for our clients.
Our experienced slip and fall lawyers are accomplished lawyers who have dealt with hundreds of premises liability cases. Our lawyers can quickly establish a slip and fall case by gathering the relevant evidence needed. Through dedication, experience, detailed assessment, investigation and legal know how, our lawyers have obtained millions in compensation for our clients.
If you have slipped or tripped while on another person’s property, we can help. We offer free consultations. Our lawyers charge you nothing unless you are compensated for your injuries.