Do you know what to do after slip and fall incidents? When you’ve experienced a slip and fall accident, whether it’s on a public sidewalk, in a store or on somebody else’s property, taking the right steps immediately can make all the difference in your path to recovery and compensation. In this guide, we walk you through the critical steps to take after a slip and fall accident, tailored to the Canadian legal system. Slips and falls are only one area of personal injury law. If you suspect you have a personal injury law case in Ontario, you can find our guide to personal injury claims.
What to Do Right After a Slip and Fall Accident
Swift action is paramount in the moments and hours following a slip and fall accident. Your well-being and the strength of your potential legal case depend on the steps you take. Here’s how you protect yourself and your legal interests in the aftermath of a slip and fall:
Check for Slip and Fall Injuries
Your first priority is your health. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, assess yourself. Are you in pain? Do you notice any injuries or discomfort? Sometimes, the full extent of injuries is not immediately apparent.
Seek Immediate Medical Assistance
After an accident, seek medical treatment immediately. Even seemingly minor injuries can develop into major health issues if left untreated. Medical records play a significant role in potential legal action, and immediate treatment ensures that your injuries are well-documented. Prompt medical care is essential for your safety and your case when injured in a slip.
Document the Scene
If you are physically able, then take photographs of the scene where the accident occurred. Capture the area where you fell, the hazard that caused the accident and any relevant signage or warnings. The more evidence you can gather, the stronger your case will be if you decide to pursue legal action. Visual records can be invaluable in supporting your claim.
Reporting the Slip and Fall Incident
One’s actions extend beyond personal care to public responsibility when a slip and fall occurs. Reporting the incident and following proper procedures serves your interests and contributes to the safety of others, which is why you should take these steps:
Notify the Property Owner/Manager
Reporting the incident to the property owner or manager where the accident happened is very important. In Canada, property owners have premises liability, a legal obligation to maintain safe premises. By reporting the incident, you not only help to prevent future accidents but also strengthen your case.
Contact Witnesses for your Claims
Were there any witnesses to your slip and fall? Make an effort to get their contact information if there were. Witness testimonies can serve as powerful evidence to support your case. They can aid in establishing the circumstances of the accident and confirm your version of events.
File a Police Report for Slip and Fall Liability
In some cases, filing a police report may be necessary, especially if your slip and fall accident occurred on public property. While not always required, a police report can provide an official record of the incident. This can be beneficial when pursuing a legal claim.
Initial Legal Steps for Compensation
While the steps you’ve taken so far are crucial, navigating the complexities of slip and fall cases requires the expertise of a legal professional. That is why you should take the following actions:
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
After the initial steps above, it is advisable to consult with a reputable personal injury lawyer who is experienced in Canadian law. A knowledgeable lawyer can accurately assess the strength of your case, advise you on your rights and guide you through the legal process. In Toronto, Ontario, Allan Rouben has over 35 years of litigation experience, dedicated to helping clients like you.
Understand Your Rights in Slip and Fall Cases
Your lawyer will help you understand your rights in slip and fall cases. They will explain the legal principles and how they apply to your situation. This knowledge is vital for making informed decisions about your case.
Start a Claim
With your lawyer’s guidance, you can start the process of making a claim for your injuries. Your legal representative will help you gather the necessary evidence, fill out the required forms and take the appropriate steps to seek compensation for your injuries.
Filing a Lawsuit
A slip and fall accident may necessitate taking legal action in some cases, to seek the compensation you deserve. The following steps outline the process of determining liability and initiating legal proceedings:
One of the key aspects of a slip and fall lawsuit is determining liability. Your lawyer will investigate the circumstances of the accident and assess who may be responsible. Understanding liability is imperative for building a strong case.
Prepare Legal Documents
Your lawyer will assist in preparing the necessary legal documents for a slip and fall settlement. This includes gathering evidence, drafting legal pleadings and initiating legal proceedings.
Your slip and fall case may proceed to legal proceedings. Your lawyer will represent you, advocate for your rights and navigate the legal process to achieve a favourable outcome.
Potential Damages and Settlement
There are various types of damages you may be entitled to, and there is a settlement negotiating process. Understanding the potential damages and the settlement process is integral to achieving a fair resolution in your slip and fall case.
Types of Slip and Fall Damages
In a slip and fall case, you may be entitled to various types of damages, including medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. Your lawyer will help you understand the potential damages you can claim.
The Settlement Process
Slip and fall cases often result in settlements. Your lawyer will negotiate with the responsible party or their insurance company to secure a fair settlement on your behalf.
Time Limits for Filing
It’s important to be aware of the time limits for filing a slip and fall claim in Canada. These time limits, known as statutes of limitations, vary by province. Your lawyer will ensure your claim is filed promptly.
We understand that dealing with a slip and fall personal injury can be overwhelming. If you’re seeking experienced legal guidance in slip and fall cases in Ontario, we invite you to consult with Allan Rouben. We are able to provide the legal support you need. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation.