Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere. At the office, in the public transit, at your local grocery store or in any other public property such as the sidewalk, anyone can be a victim of a slip and fall incident. The accident can result in injuries that quickly turn out to be severe. You may experience a sprain, tear or fracture as a result of the fall.
Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Uneven surfaces
- Poor lighting
- Cracked pavements
- Unploughed/unsalted snow and ice
- Loose carpeting
- Poorly designed steps and stairs
- Construction debris
- Hazardous spills and leaks
How much time do you have to file a slip and fall claim?
In Ontario, you’re given 2 years to act by filing a claim if involved in a slip and fall accident. However, there are exceptions outlined in Ontario’s Limitations Act. For instance, if you are involved in a slip and fall incident at a municipally owned property, you are supposed to report the accident within 10 days, or you will not be permitted to later file a claim. Notifying them beforehand helps to ensure that they can act and eliminate or repair the cause of the incident and prevent others from getting injured at the same place.
According to Ontario’s Negligence Act, if a person’s damages is caused or contributed to by the negligent actions of another party or more parties, then the victim who has suffered damages will be compensated and indemnified by those parties who will be held jointly liable.
If the claimant (the person injured in the slip and fall case) is found to be partly at fault, by contributing to their own injury, some degree of fault may be attributed to him/her. This is because the victim will be seen to have put himself at risk of injury. For instance, if someone slipped and fell due to construction debris and the path is a well-known construction site with posted warning signs and barriers, some degree of fault will be attributed to him for making the decision to go through that path and putting himself at risk of injury.
When involved in a slip and fall accident, the first course of action is to seek medical assistance. Even though you may not feel the injury immediately, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional just to ascertain that there are no underlying issues. Slip and fall incidents often result in conditions that don’t exhibit any symptoms for a long period of time. Issues like chronic pain and fibromyalgia can be due to a slip and fall and you will need to seek ongoing treatment which can be extremely costly.
Consult a lawyer early
Reaching out to a personal injury lawyer early in the process can help you determine if you have a viable case. Even though the accident seems to be minor, it can result in serious debilitating injuries with long term consequences.