With winter looming in Ontario, it is important for people to know their rights with respect to slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. These accidents can happen any time of year due to uneven walkways, wet floors, or other hazards on floors but these accidents become more prevalent when snow and ice appear. The owner or occupier of any land has a duty to ensure the premise is reasonably safe and clear of snow and ice or other hazards.
If the incident happens on private property (such as a mall) vs. public property (such as a sidewalk) there are different provisions that govern the laws on if someone can sue. For example, generally when someone falls on a municipal sidewalk in Ontario they have ten days from the date of fall to put the municipality on notice. Missing this ten day deadline can be fatal to any potential claim. Therefore it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after any slip and fall incident.
Helpful ideas if you or someone you know is involved in a slip and fall include:
- Let someone know that you fell while at the location and as soon as possible after the fall. If at a mall or private location let a nearby employee know that you fell or file an incident report. If on public property call the city or any authority to advise of the location of your fall or call the police and advise them of your fall.
- Take pictures, if you can, of where you fell and what caused you to fall as soon as possible. Preferably you or someone you know would want to take pictures using a cell phone right after you fall, if not, returning to the location as soon as possible to take the photos can be helpful.
- Seek medical attention immediately as this will better your chances of recovery and will help in documenting the injury. Clinical notes and records of doctors who have treated you will be used as evidence in any case.
- Take Notes of what you remember about the fall, what happened or what you were doing just prior to the fall. How you fell and what pains you felt at the time of the fall are also important notes. It is best to take notes when the incident is fresh in your mind as memories can fade or become vague over time.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer at Romano Law Firm and ask them to help you understand if you have a case. We here at Romano Law are available for a free consultation (www.romanolawfirm.ca)
Author: Patrick D’Aloisio
Barrister and Solicitor