A slip or trip and fall is one where someone falls due to unreasonable conditions allowed to exist on a property. Such incidents can occur anywhere and at any time. The cause of the fall can be due to snow or ice, the lack of a handrail on a flight of steps, failure to mop up a spill on the floor at a supermarket, a pothole or any other type of hazard that may impact someone while they are walking.
In Ontario, the law surrounding an accident on premises is governed by the Occupiers’ Liability Act. The law does not establish a standard of perfection but simply that the occupier of the premises has a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable for those entering the premises and that the premises are reasonably safe. Therefore, simply falling or tripping on the premises does not entitle you to recovery.
It is important that you speak to a lawyer immediately when you are involved in such an incident. Investigations must be undertaken following the incident sooner rather than later.
When you meet a lawyer to discuss the circumstances surrounding the slip/trip and fall, it is a good idea to bring the following:
- Copies of photographs taken at the scene of the accident, information about who took the photos, and digital copies of the photos.
- It is not uncommon for property owners to prepare an incident report. If such a report was taken, it is a good idea to bring it to the lawyer for review if a copy was provided to you.
- If there are any witnesses to the accident, bring any contact information regarding these witnesses including their names and phone numbers.
- If you went to the hospital, bring a copy of the emergency report with you for review.