Collingwood’s Tamming Law frequently represents clients who have sustained personal injury due to a slip and fall on someone else’s property.
Slip and falls can cause significant injuries, including fractured bones, concussions, and trauma to the neck and back.
A person may suffer loss of income and can be left with chronic pain as a result of a slip and fall injury. Collingwood lawyers at Tamming Law prepared this article to shed some light on the nuances of slip and fall claims and to discuss some of our top tips for settling a slip and fall claim so you can ensure you receive full compensation for your injuries.
Slip and fall injury claims in Ontario are unique
First, it is important to touch on the unique nature of slip and fall claims and why it is important to get legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer contact us as soon as possible following a slip and fall injury. Slip and fall claims are different from other types of personal injury claims such as those arising from a motor vehicle accident, because slip and fall claims are governed by Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act. The Occupier’s Liability Act imposes a duty on an “occupier” (that is, the owner, person in possession of the property, or person responsible for the condition of the property) to take reasonable care to ensure that people are reasonably safe while on the premises. There are specific elements that need to be established to prove a claim under the Occupier’s Liability Act, and it can be complicated to determine who you should be claiming against. Defendants in slip and fall claims may include the property owner, a caretaker, the landlord, or the city, for example. There are different notice requirements and deadlines (known as “limitation periods”) for bringing claims against certain defendants – if you miss the limitation period, you lose the right to bring your personal injury claim against that defendant. An experienced lawyer will help you understand the nuances of a slip and fall claim and ensure that all proper defendants are named in your lawsuit. Contacting a personal injury lawyer without delay may also prevent you from losing out on the right to bring a claim due to a missed limitation period.
Tips for settling a slip and fall claim
At any stage of the proceedings, a slip and fall claim can be resolved by way of a negotiated settlement. If a settlement is not reached, then the claim will be decided at trial. The vast majority of personal injury claims, including slip and fall claims, are settled without the need for trial. Here are our Collingwood personal injury lawyers’ top tips for settling a slip and fall claim:
1. Do not settle without getting legal advice.
Defendants will often make an early settlement offer to try to get rid of your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. Do not let the defendant or their insurance company pressure you into accepting the offer before speaking with a lawyer to determine if the offer is fair. Each case has different variables and there is a range of compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can review your case and provide you with an opinion on what fair compensation should be. Many lawyers offer a free initial consultation to do just that, so it costs you nothing to get their perspective on your case.
2. Do not settle gathering medical evidence to support your claim.
The full value of your claim depends on the extent of your injuries, which you will need to prove by way of treatment records, clinical records and in some cases, expert medical opinions.
3. Take the time to get all recommended medical treatments.
It is important to take the time to get the medical treatments your doctor has recommended, such as physiotherapy or massage therapy, as that will aid your recovery and prove that you did everything you could to get better. The records and notes from the treatment providers may also be helpful to proving your claim.
4. Do not settle until your injuries have resolved.
You should not accept a settlement until your injuries have resolved, or at least until you have reached what is referred to as “maximum medical recovery” (in the latter cases, the injuries and impairments will be permanent; in those cases, the injured person should not settle their claim until their injuries have plateaued and become stable).
5. Do not settle if liability is disputed.
The defendant will raise defences against your claim (for example, by arguing that they did all that was reasonable to remove snow and ice from the sidewalk on which you fell) and will in many cases also raise allegations of contributory negligence against you (essentially, this is an argument that your actions – for example, running or not wearing proper footwear – caused or contributed to your injuries) in an attempt to reduce the value of your claim. If these liability issues are still in dispute, do not settle your claim.
Get help from an experienced slip and fall lawyer in Collingwood
With our decades of experience, our personal injury lawyers in Collingwood, Port Elgin and Walkerton know that your life can be altered in just the blink of an eye. When a slip and fall accident happens, you’ll want an experienced lawyer, well acquainted with the community he serves, to help protect your legal rights. John A. Tamming and the team from Tamming Law can do just that. They’ll fight to help you receive fair compensation for your slip and fall injuries. Don’t hesitate to contact any of our three locations: Owen Sound, Port Elgin and Collingwood.