Slip and Fall Lawyers

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Slip And Fall Lawyers in Toronto

Slip, trip and fall incidents can be quite serious and often cause severe injuries including strains, sprains, tears and fractures. A fall accident can occur anywhere including on public transit, in grocery stores, on public property such as a city sidewalk, on private property including residential homes, on commercial property and even while you are stepping out of a vehicle.  Anyone can be a victim of another’s negligence and disregard for public safety.

Common causes of slip and fall incidents are uneven surfaces, cracked and eroded pavement, deep potholes, un-ploughed or unsalted snow and ice, loose carpeting, poor lighting, construction debris, unsafe steps and stairs, steep steps and curbs, hazardous spills and leaks.

Preliminary Factors

When these incidents occur, there are many preliminary factors to consider which may act as a barrier to recovery if they aren’t dealt with immediatelyExamples include taking photos and videos of the location and hazard, taking any necessary measurements to ensure the premises is property build to code, putting potential defendants on notice of the claim, obtaining witness information/statements, obtaining any available video footage of the incident, preserving footwear, testing the slipperiness of the area.

Occupiers’ Liability

In Ontario, responsibility for fall incidents lies with an occupier of the premises in question. Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act outlines the duty of care owed to the public by an occupier of a premises.

The definition of “occupier” under the Act, includes:

(a) a person who is in physical possession of premises, or

(b) a person who has responsibility for and control over the condition of premises or the activities there carried on, or control over persons allowed to enter the premises.

Generally, the duty of care owed is to ensure that patrons are reasonably safe while on the premises in question. An “occupier” could be an owner of the premises, a property management company, a tenant, a landlord, or a subcontract responsible for overseeing the premises. Often times, an occupier of the premises may have contracted certain maintenance responsibilities to an independent third party contractor and thus, they may deflect responsibility for the unsafe conditions onto that party.  It is always very important to determine all of the parties with potential liability in these circumstances to preserve your full rights to recovery of compensation from the responsible parties. 

It is difficult to know right away who may be liable in these situations. It will often require investigation by experts and legal analysis. At times, the parties will need to examine the records and documents and attend examinations for discovery of the parties to determine which of the parties are liable at law for the accident. 

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Occupiers are required to ensure they maintain their preemies to ensure it is safe to use and to work actively to ensure any hazards or risks are dealt with. The legal standard of care for occupiers is that of reasonableness in their system of maintenance and inspection. The occupier or responsible parties are required to take all reasonable measures to minimize or reduce risks of accidents. For instance, they are required to conduct regular checks, inspections and patrols. They are also required to actively maintain the premises. If they do not have the expertise or capacity to reasonably maintain, they must hire contractors to do so for them.

In order to establish that an occupier is liable, it often imperative to conduct all necessary investigations. This can include taking on-site measurements, obtaining closed circuit videos (CCTV), speaking with management and employees and obtaining witness statements. Once the matter proceeds through litigation, relevant information can also be demanded from the occupier including their maintenance records, incident reports, policies and manuals. The responsible occupier such as the landlord or company manager will also have to be produced on discovery to be questioned about the accident, failures in their practices and how the accident could have been prevented.

Occupier’s employees, managers and insurance adjusters will often conduct the investigation. Often times, insurers will maintain investigative privilege over their investigations and reports. However, arguments can be made based on case law, to compel defendants and their insurers to produce relevant reports and findings from the investigations. 

A claimant who sustains injuries from a fall accident is entitled to recover from the occupier and their insurers for all of their expenses, damages, and losses including all lost income, medical expenses, therapy expenses, their pain and suffering, and any future complications and future losses resulting from the accident.

Proving Liability

The claimant must prove that the occupier failed in its duties and which resulted in their injuries. The burden of proof to meet depends on the circumstances of each case. For instance, slip and fall cases involving snow or ice on a municipal sidewalk require the plaintiff to meet a higher burden of proving gross negligence on the municipality compared to a similar fall that occurs on private property, in order to succeed in an action to recover damages.

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Occupiers will often try to argue that they maintained a reasonable system of inspection, they followed protocols, they did not know about any risks or hazards, and that they were not around at the time of the accident. These arguments must be critically examined and even cross-examined in Court to determine if they are valid excuses and have any merit to the case. 

In order to be able to establish liability, it is imperative that the incident is properly investigated at the very outset and the matter handled by a lawyer experienced handling these claims.

Time Limit for Slip and Fall Claim

Generally, a claimant has 2 years to bring an action in Ontario when injured in a slip and fall incident, subject to certain exceptions prescribed in Ontario’s Limitations Act.

One or More Parties Could be Sued

Ontario’s Negligence Act provides that where a person’s damages have been caused or contributed to by the fault (or negligence) of one or more parties, those parties are jointly and severally liable to compensate and indemnify the injured person for the damages they have suffered as a result of the negligence.

A certain degree of fault or assumed risk on the part of the injured claimant may result in a deduction to entitlement to claim damages in the form of contributory negligence. The amount of this potential discount depends on the amount, or degree, of fault that is found on the part of the claimant. For example, if a person willingly chooses to take the path of a known construction site with posted warning signs and barriers, and ends up falling and injuring themselves, some degree of fault may be attributed to them for their actions and their choice to put themselves at risk of injury.  The fact that a claimant contributed to their own injury is not a bar to recovery if there are other parties that contributed to the incident as well.  It is important to contact a lawyer early in the process to determine whether you have a viable case.

At Grillo Barristers, we have over 30 years of experience litigating claims involving slip and falls.  We can help you better understand the law and assist you in recovering the compensation that you deserve.

Remember, you will not pay any fees until your case is won or settled.

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Remember, you will not pay any fee until your case is won or settled.

Client Testimonials
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courtland holder
courtland holder
14:27 12 Feb 18
My wife & I had the pleasure of working with Alexander Lee and Ikbir Khongura. They were excellent in research and information, They both were on time and ready.. very professional and determined to get the best results for us. They worked very hard and made sure we as clients were comfortable, happy and well taken care of! Most importantly they are fighters, they made sure our best interest were put first and our needs were met. A lot of lawyers don't really care, but they made sure justice was served! They did an amazing job in taking care of us and will be recommending their services!
Luci S.
Luci S.
21:46 08 Dec 17
From the moment Grillo Barristers took on my case, until I was able to come to my desired settlement, they have been nothing but amazing, caring and professional. I had an amazing team working on my case, and couldn't believe how well and timely my file was handled. My lawyer Anthony Andreopoulos, with the tremendous help of Justine and Zachary, constantly kept me updated with every action that was taken on the file and made me feel at ease knowing my case was in good hands. I couldn't have asked for a better firm to handle my file, so thank you guys so much for everything, I appreciate it more than you know!
Jan MacMillan
Jan MacMillan
23:28 05 Feb 18
I worked with Rachelle Mitri and her team and I found the company in general and Rachelle in particular to be extremely professional, while being nice people to work with. Ms. Mitri kept me informed of my case. And guided me through an unfamiliar system with great diligence. I always felt valued and respected. Great Lawyers !
Theresa Dea
Theresa Dea
23:10 19 Dec 17
It's unbelievable how long it takes for the insurance companies to settle. They live by the fact that they can outlast you! Don't give up! Hang in there! Stefanie and her team worked hard and did an excellent job. I received the best settlement available!!!
Patrick k
Patrick k
19:13 07 Dec 17
Where do I begin?? I am not usually one to leave reviews on services but this one is definitely an exception. From start to finish, I felt incredibly comfortable having my claim in Grillo's hands. I felt as though the team was in complete control and I could just sit back and receive updates when necessary. With the utmost confident I can say that Grillo Barristers is the best personal injury law firm in Toronto. The process was quick, cheap and stress free. I must especially thank Lauren Sivitilli. Having very limited knowledge of lawsuits, Lauren was able to perfectly break the processes down for me and educate me on my claim. She was quick to answer emails addressing any concerns and always kept me up to date. I will definitely be recommending Grillo Barristers services to my family, friends and coworkers. Amazing!
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