If you have suffered an injury due to a slip and fall accident, to protect your interests you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
As a property owner or an occupier of a property in Ontario you assume certain liabilities relating to the maintenance of your property. Most homeowners know that they need to salt and shovel their driveway so that they or members of the public attending at their property do not hurt themselves on icy, slippery winter morning. Injuries resulting from property owners failing to maintain their property could lead to a lawsuit being filed by an injured party.
Occasionally inadvertent mistakes may happen when life gets busier or if a person forgets to salt and shovel his/her walkway as quickly as it should have been done. However, what happens to another person who visits as a guest, a friend, or a delivery person (like a postman) and slips on that icy walkway? What are the options left with such persons who get injured due to such icy walkway?
AFTER AN INJURY:
A. Crucial Steps by the injured person:
- The person who suffers injury should first seek treatment therefor. Further, if the person suffers severe injuries like fracture, broken limbs, permanent face scarring, in case of an injury that leads to a temporary or permanent impairment affecting the person’s daily life/work or if the person suffers financial loss due to the same, then more likely the person will look forward to receiving a compensation for all the loss suffered due to such accident.
- The next course of action should be contacting a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can help the person in taking the necessary steps to get his expenses and/or pain and sufferings compensated.
- It is important to note that there is a limitation period (last date on which the injured person can file his/her claim).
- If the property where the person was injured is a town or city owned property, the limitation period is very short. For other types of property, the limitation period is 60 days in accordance with the recent amendment in Occupier’s Liability Amendment Act that is in effect since January 2021.
- The injured party needs to send a written notice to the occupier of the property within 60 days from the date of the accident. The written notice must include details like location, date and time of the incident.
- This timeline does not apply if the fall results in death.
- While awaiting his appointment with his personal injury lawyer, the injured person should start gathering evidence pertaining to the injury and harm suffered, i.e.: prescription receipts, ambulance bills, photographs of the injuries, photographs of the accident site, contact information for any witnesses, etc.
- Also, the person should make a record of all the healthcare providers he visits relating to his injury and keep a log of time taken off work due to the injury.
B. Legal Process
Once a personal injury lawyer has been retained, the lawyer and his/her legal team will begin working on a claim. It is to note that claims in Toronto, Ottawa and Windsor have a mandatory mediation session. A settlement between the parties can be reached at any time and most parties settle before trial. The ordinary steps in a personal injury claim are as follows:
- The first step to start a lawsuit against the property owner will be filing a Statement of Claim. The injured person and his/her lawyer will need to show that the owner was negligent in some way in their care of the property and that due to such negligence, the person suffered the injury. The injured person for whom the claim is filed is known as the plaintiff.
- Once, the statement of claim is filed, the other party would then file their statement of defence. The other party is known as the defendant.
- The plaintiff and the defendant exchange evidence in an Affidavit of Documents.
- Before a trial the parties will sit down for what is called Examination for Discovery where they would get an opportunity to ask for evidence. The injured person will likely be questioned by the other side at Discovery. Further, both parties may ask for additional document from the opposite party that may be relevant to the case. This involves an undertaking to provide the requested documents.
- Either side can file a trial record after discovery is completed and all missing evidence is exchanged.
- There will be a pretrial wherein the counsel’s of both the parties will discuss strengths and weaknesses of their case in front of a pre-trial judge who may provide his/her opinion to resolve the case.
- If the matter does not get settled between the parties, then the parties may proceed to trial.
If at any step in the process, there is a settlement or if there is an award at trial the property owner will be required to pay the injured person for his damages. Typically, once the legal fees are paid out the injured person can then collect his award.
If you have any questions about your own slip and fall claim, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. “Ayaz Mehdi Professional Corporation” handles personal injury cases, we can be reached at (416) 462-0187.
Disclaimer: Use of this site and sending or receiving information through it does not establish a solicitor-client (Attorney-Client) relationship in any manner. The views expressed and the content provided on this blog is for non-profit educational purposes. It is not, and is not intended to be, a legal advice on any specific set of facts. If you require legal advice, you should contact a lawyer directly.