Slip & Fall Accident Lawyers
In Vancouver, personal injury lawyers will see many different types of claims, but some are more common than others. One common type of accident claim is known as a “slip and fall” and often occurs when the property has not been properly maintained. Injuries on property share some common characteristics.
These injuries can be caused by many factors, such as slippery conditions on the floor caused by ice, snow, water, or a spill. Inadequate lighting or inadequate warning of conditions can make it hard for the victim to see danger—for example, when the elevation of the floor changes suddenly. Regardless of the cause, you should contact a Vancouver personal injury lawyer to help you investigate the situation. These cases can be hard to win on your own and not all injuries on property are compensable. A lawyer can advise you whether your case is winnable and help you collect the information and proof you need.
Stores and other properties are required to be reasonably safe for its users, but reasonably safe does not mean perfectly safe. To be held responsible for an injury on property, the owner or manager must have demonstrated negligence—which can be shown to have caused the injury. A personal injury lawyer in Vancouver can help you determine if this is the case. Together, we can determine if the responsible party:
- failed to address a problem which would not be unreasonably expensive or difficult to fix
- ignored responsibility to maintain the property, which caused the injury
- failed to take reasonable steps to avoid a foreseeable accident
- put up sign or provided any other warning of the hazard
These cases can be extremely difficult to win on your own. If you hire a trusted, experienced attorney, your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries are greatly improved. Don’t leave your claim to chance! Call an expert on personal injury today to discuss your case.
Slip & Fall Accidents on Owner’s Property
The “occupier” (or owner) of a property is supposed to ensure that their property is safe for people to use as intended. If they fail to keep the property safe for reasonable use and someone is injured because of that, the injured person can sue for damages under the Occupier’s Liability Act.
Many things that can make a property unsafe, but some of the most common accidents that occur are called slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. These accidents are usually caused by slippery or wet floors, dangerous walkways, poor lighting, debris on the floors, ice or snow, or negligently placed equipment.
Common places where slip and falls or trip and falls occur are:
- Private Homes
- Retail Stores
- Grocery Stores
- Apartment Buildings
- Shopping Malls
- Community Centres
- Bars and Pubs
Defences to Slip & Fall Accidents
The most common slip and falls we see are falls on ice or snow when the property was not properly salted/sanded during icy conditions or falls on spills of liquids in restaurants and grocery stores. However, there are defences to slip and falls, the strongest being having a reasonable system of inspection in place.
It’s unrealistic to expect a business to constantly be on the lookout for spills, especially large stores like grocery stores with hundreds of people coming and going and handling the products each day. As the law currently stands, so long as a business has a reasonable system of inspections/maintenance in place, and that system is followed, they may not be liable for a slip & fall accident. What is reasonable is fact dependent on the nature of the premises and the business being carried on and reason you’ve visited it.
Compensation for Slip & Fall Accidents
If you’ve been injured in a slip & fall accident you could be entitled to compensation. What you would be entitled to depends on the particular facts of your case but generally compensation can be awarded for:
- Pain and suffering (often called non-pecuniary damage)
- Past loss of wages
- Future loss of capacity to earn income
- Loss of homemaking capacity
- Cost of future care
- In-trust claims
- Out of pocket medical expenses (often called special damages)
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Slip & Fall Accident
If you or someone you know has been injured in a slip & fall accident you should make sure you:
- Take photographs and/or videos of the scene of the accident
- Get names and contact details for any witnesses
- See if there is any security camera footage, either at the spot the accident occurred or at surrounding businesses/buildings. Often security camera footage is only kept for a short time so it is important to act on this quickly.
- If police attend make sure to get the file number and a copy of a police report if there is one
- Contact the owner of the property where the accident occurred or their representative and make sure that they prepare an incident report regarding the accident.
- Seek medical attention immediately. If it is an emergency go to a hospital. If it is not an emergency, get an appointment with your family doctor. If you don’t have a family doctor go to the same walk-in clinic for all visits related to your accident.
If you are injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident on someone else’s property due to it being unsafe, or due to the negligence of the property owner or their employees or agents, you could have a claim.
There are strict time limits in which you have to act if you were injured in a slip & fall accident. Contact the lawyers at Taylor & Blair LLP for help with your slip and fall or trip & fall claim today.