As you may be aware, business owners and homeowners have a duty to maintain their premises for the safety of all invitees. An invitee is anyone who is on the property lawfully. An invitee may be a patron within a restaurant or an invited guest for a pool party. An invitee may also be an elderly person with poor balance, or a middle aged person with normal balance and walking abilities. Regardless of the type of premises, the age and abilities of the invitees, and what they were doing there, the property or business owner (whoever is responsible for managing that property) is liable for injuries caused by slip and falls under the Occupiers Liability Act. However, if the land owner or business owner showed that they took reasonable care to ensure that the property was safe, you may not be able to collect any compensation.
All premises owners are required by law to take reasonable care to maintain the safety of their premises. An example of taking reasonable care would be to place floor mats at the entrance of a store when it is raining or snowy out. The store owner may not be required to constantly mop up every single slick spot in the store, but they should have a system in place for identifying hazardous conditions. Reasonable care requires the following:
Sometimes the premises owner will try to blame the fall or trip on the victim by claiming that they were not taking reasonable precautions to prevent such an injury. They may claim that you were running, wearing hazardous or non sturdy footwear, were intoxicated or high, or that you fell for some other reason that was of your own causing. Because of this blame game that a store owner may play, it is the best practice to quickly report the fall to an employee or manager, get the contact information of anyone who saw the fall, and take pictures of the floor or tripping hazard that caused the fall.
This can be a lot to remember in the immediate aftermath of a fall that leads to injury and embarrassment, and if you did not take these steps, you can go back soon to follow through with them. Take a camera and photograph the area. Talk to a store manager and report the incident with details such as times and dates. Keep the shoes you were wearing at the time of the fall in your closet at home and do not wash or wear them until your lawyer says that it is okay. They may be used as evidence of being reliable, safe footwear. Most importantly, contact a lawyer as soon as you can.
A study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that among Canadians 65 and older, falls accounted for 85% of injury hospitalizations, and fall stays were 70% longer than the average hospital stay for this age group. Falls affect all age groups, both the very young to the very old, but for older people there may be more consequences, as falls are a leading cause of death amongst senior citizens.
You typically have up to two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. This may seem like a long period of time, but the sooner a lawyer can get started on your case, the better your outcome will be. Moreover, if you were injured on a sidewalk, bus stop, or any other property that was owned by a municipality, you may have as few as two months to first notify the municipality of the accident in writing. In these scenarios, you must take action immediately to ensure that your damages get covered.
Whether you tripped on a loose wire or ripped rug, or you slipped on a patch of ice at a storefront that was left for weeks on end, you can collect damages for your injuries, such as lost wages, out of pocket medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. Contact our Preszler Law slip and fall lawyers today at 1-844-373-8202.