Slips, trips, and falls are common causes of hospitalization in Canada. When these accidents occur at a place of business or another person’s property, there may be a case for liability. Under British Columbia’s Occupiers Liability Act (OLA), occupiers are legally bound to keep their properties reasonably safe for others. Otherwise, they may be liable for any injuries caused. When you need a slip and fall law firm, Preszler Law in Kelowna is ready to assist you.
Do You Have an Occupiers Liability Act Case?
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property in British Columbia, it is an Occupiers Liability Act case. Of course, there are many subtle shades of gray. Who is the occupier? Is it the property owner, the tenant leasing the space, the manager on duty, or the staff member in charge of maintaining the area?
The occupier is in charge of keeping the premises “reasonably safe,” but what exactly does that mean? Typically, property owners are expected to salt and shovel their sidewalks and entrances in the winter, keep floors free of debris and spills, maintain level carpeting and flooring, and remaining in compliance with building codes, such as ensuring the stairs have guardrails.
To win an OLA claim, you must substantiate that you have medical injuries and demonstrate how extensive they are (with the help of medical professional records and/or testimony).
Next, you must prove that these injuries were caused by an accident on another person’s property, rather than some preexisting condition.
Lastly, you must show what other losses (such as lost wages, out-of-pocket therapies, assistive technologies, disability-related modifications to your home) require compensation.
If possible, you can strengthen a slip and fall case by taking pictures of the hazard that caused your fall (or having someone do it for you if you are too injured). Write down the names and numbers of any eyewitnesses who saw the accident or the hazard. Report the incident to the property owner and seek immediate medical care. Keep all your records in one folder for future reference, should you decide to pursue a lawsuit with a slip and fall lawyer.
Are You Under 19?
Children cannot file a lawsuit until they reach 19 years of age. Once a child turns 19, he or she has up to two years to file a slip and fall lawsuit. Another option is for a parent or legal guardian to file a lawsuit right away on the child’s behalf. In some cases, a child may receive compensation for “reduced future earning capacity” taken over an estimated 45-year working career.
Are You Elderly?
British Columbia courts have recognized that older Canadians can suffer more significant and permanent effects from a slip and fall. Maximum compensation becomes more likely due to the “substantial impairment in the limited amount of activity and movement” a senior citizen can do.
Get Help Dealing with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies fight to make a personal injury claim arduous for you. When they’re forced to pay, they try to pay as little as possible. It is prudent to hire a lawyer who will advocate for your rights. Following correct legal protocol becomes especially important when you’re suing for a slip and fall on government-owned property, where the general limitations period can be as short as two months. Contact a slip and fall lawyer at Preszler Law in Kelowna to discuss your case.