If you have slipped and fallen on someone else’s property, a slip-and-fall lawyer in Hamilton can help you recover the full compensation you’re owed. Many of us pay little attention to the risks of slipping and falling—until it happens to us or a loved one. The average person takes approximately 8,000 to 10,000 steps every day, each of which represents a potential slip-and-fall accident.
If you have been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident in Hamilton or elsewhere in Ontario, you have rights. Matt Lalande has recovered millions of dollars for injured slip-and-fall victims over many years in Hamilton, and throughout all of Ontario. If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall accident, call us province-wide at 1-844-LALANDE
Property owners in Ontario have a responsibility to provide a safe environment free from dangerous conditions. Every business has a responsibility to provide its customers with a safe and clean environment, free of hazards. Under Occupier Liability Law in Ontario, all property owners can be held financially accountable for slip-and-fall accidents that occur on their premises.
Slip-and-falls are a serious cause of injury in both working and non-occupational environments. In many provinces, slip-and-falls are the most common cause of non-fatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. The consequences of a slip-and-fall can be disastrous for the human body.
Some of the more common injuries that we helped slip and fall clients over the year have been:
Serious Fractures and Broken Bones – slip and falls account for 87 % of all fractures in people over 65. Slip and fall injuries is often the cause of shoulder trauma (fractures and dislocations), patella (knee) fractures, tibial plateau fractures, hip fractures, wrists and ankles. Ankle fractures, such as bimalleolar or trimalleolar fractures, which refers to a three part ankle fractures involving the medial malleolus, the posterior aspect of the tibial plafond and the lateral malleolus are tremendously common. Having three parts, this is a more unstable type fracture and often involves ligamentous injury.
Other types of common slip and fall fractures are:
Spinal cord injuries – Traumatic spinal cord injury as a result of slip and falls have consistently increased over the last 4 decades in the Canada and the US. Falls cause about 31% of traumatic spinal cord injuries in Canada. Slipping, tripping, and stumbling are the most common cause, followed by falls from roofs, stairs and steps and then falls from ladders. People over 61 years old have the uppermost frequency of falls from slipping.
Brain Injuries (TBI) – Slip and falls are one of the most common cause of head trauma and traumatic brain injury, and poses an especially serious risk for older adults. Brain injuries from slip and falls are also a major cause of disability and death in Canada. Serious brain injuries can cause brain bleeds, seizures, render a victim forgetful, confused, disoriented, left with a speech impediment, blurred vision, cause mood swings, changes in behavior, word-finding difficulties or difficulty speaking and distractibility issues, among other things. NBIA.ca has reported that annual occurrence of traumatic brain injury in Canada is 44 times more common than spinal cord injury and 30 times more common than breast cancer. Traumatic Brain Injury occurs at a rate of 500 out of 100,000 individuals yearly in Canada. Brain injury has also been reported as the leading cause of death and disability in Canada for victims under the age of 40. More then 30% of traumatic brain injuries are suffered by kids and youth – and are a leading cause of death and disability among children.
Torn Ligaments and Tendons – ruptured tendons can be caused by direct trauma of slip and falls. Common causes of tendon ruptures are quadriceps tendon rupture, achilles tendon injury, rotator cuff tendon injury and bicep tendon ruptures or tears. Ligament tears occur when ligaments around a particular joint tear away from the bone. The most common types of torn ligaments are knee ligaments and ankle ligaments. Torn ligaments can be directly caused by trip and falls.
If you or a loved one has suffered life changing injuries in a slip and fall accident it is important that you contact a Hamilton slip and fall lawyer today to learn your rights.
Property owners in Ontario (whom we sometimes call occupiers of a property) have a reasonable duty to keep their premises safe for visitors—but that reasonable duty is decided on a case-by-case basis.
This means keeping the property free of dangerous conditions, disrepair issues, hazards, and defects. Property owners are required by law to promote positive action and implement procedural safeguards to make their premises reasonably safe. It is called a positive responsibility: meeting that property owners need to actively promote and ensure that their premises are safe for visitors.
For example, the law imposes an affirmative duty of reasonable care on property owners to keep their parking lots safe. Allowing asphalt to fall into a state of disrepair full of potholes and divots is not promoting positive safety. It is easy for someone to roll his or her ankle in the winter, potholes and divots to freeze over, and slippery conditions to occur.
The neighbor must salt his or her driveway. A restaurant must clean its floors. A grocery store must routinely follow a plan to ensure that food is picked up off the floor. A department store must ensure that snow and ice are not carried into the store. There need to be policies and procedures to minimize the risk of potential injury to visitors and customers on any property.
When issues are not addressed in a timely matter, slip and fall accidents occur. Slip-and-fall injuries in Hamilton, Ontario, often happen in different types of residential and commercial settings:
In an Ontario slip and fall case, the standard of care for occupiers is that of reasonableness, not perfection. An occupier is required to take all “reasonable” steps to minimize risk of injury to its patrons. In order to meet this standard, occupiers must tailor their preventative measures to the particular circumstances which could give rise to an unusual danger. Reasonable, however, is not as easy as you would think. Reasonable care has been defined by our Courts over the years in many different ways – with most cases pointing to the fact that an occupier must have some type of procedural safeguard in place, which it follows, to protect visitors from harm.
Determining responsibility in a slip-and-fall case is not as easy as it seems. You need the assistance of a Hamilton slip and fall lawyer to advise you whether or not the occupier of a premise violated Ontario’s slip and fall legislation. An occupier of a premise must be identified—which often requires property or corporate searches to determine the owners of a business, residence, building, structure, parking lot, or shopping mall.
The proper defendants must be put on notice. Surveillance videos as well as any pertinent physical evidence must be preserved and not disturbed or destroyed. Witnesses must be identified and interviewed, historical weather must be recorded, photographs must be taken, and contractors must be identified. Often, the notice of a personal injury lawsuit happens almost immediately, but the lawsuit itself does not happen until a full investigation is complete.
During depositions, the lawyers will often want to identify any policy and procedure manuals, charts, documentation, procedures in effect, and the like. If there was a snow removal company, for example, then it would be important to investigate the fleet size, work experience, accreditations, employees, salt chemistry, actual snow removal, mappings, maintenance logs, procedural logs, whether recordings, and contract particulars.
Once this has all been discovered and investigated, liability can be determined (i.e., did the occupier of the property take reasonable care, in an affirmative and procedural way, to protect visitors from foreseeable harm, or in the alternative, could this accident have been prevented?).
Our Hamilton slip and fall lawyers have been representing victims injured in trip and fall accidents since 2003. We specialize in representing individuals who have suffered serious injuries caused by such trip hazards as:
If you have suffered a serious injury in a trip and fall accident, call our trip and fall lawyers in Hamilton at 905-333-8888 or submit an online enquiry and we will get back to you within several hours.
Along with uneven ground, trip ledges are the most common reason for slip and falls in Ontario. Trip ledges can be in the form of uneven sidewalk slabs, walkways meeting entrances and exits, potholes, asphalt cracks and dips, pavement sinkholes, thresholds of doorways, cracks in concrete etc. the question often asked by clients concerns the height of trip ledges in which liability will be imposed. Unfortunately our courts have come to different conclusions on this – however – the rule of thumb seems to be approximately 3/4 of an inch to an inch, depending on the circumstances of the case.
In one case several years ago, a 69-year-old woman tripped on the lip of a cement ramp where it met a walkway at the main entrance of a Beaver Lumber store, then she slipped and fell. The walkway had shifted, resulting in the cement ramp being 3 to 3.5 inches higher than the walkway. An attempt was made to fix the lip by placing a cold patch of black asphalt along the lip, which soften the rise. Unfortunately it left a bump in the walkway approximately 1 to 1.5 inches. The court found that this was much too high and there was no doubt that it constituted a danger.
In another case, a plaintiff slipped and fell while entering a Westfair Foods Grocery Store. The court, in determining whether there was contributory negligence, found that the plaintiff had tripped on the lip formed by a worn floor covering which had curled up between 1/4 and 1/8 of an inch. The court found that anyone entering the store would have been aware of the worn area, but not of the danger it presented. The court found that the plaintiff was not negligent and did not contribute to the cause of the accident.
In another 2009 case against Costco, the plaintiff tripped on a grate inside the defendant’s store. The grate moved when the plaintiff stepped on it, sinking downwards. The court held the defendant liable. There was considerable debate before the court as to whether the grate sunk down by 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch. The court found that the movement of the grates was such that no matter what the elevation, it caused the tripping.
A sidewalk trip ledge can cause terrible slip and fall injuries. A sidewalk on private property and not abutting a highway or roadway (such as a hospital or sidewalk that wraps around a shopping mall) will fall under the Occupiers’ Liability Act. Business owners, storefronts or adjacent property owners may be found to be occupiers of a municipal sidewalk and thus responsible for the cleaning, clearing or maintenance of sidewalks.
A municipality, however, is held to a different standard concerning sidewalk liability. In determining whether a municipality is liable for a victim’s injuries, a court will consider whether the sidewalk was in a state of disrepair; and if so, whether the state of disrepair caused the person’s injuries; and whether the municipality can rely on any defence under the Municipal Act to shield itself from liability. In particular, a Court will consider section 44(1) of the Act, which provides that a municipality has a duty to keep its sidewalks in “a state of repair that is reasonable in all circumstances.” Prevailing law is that a city sidewalk with height differentials greater than 3/4” will constitute non-repair. It must be determined whether or not the municipality was aware or unaware, prior to the accident, of the uneven sidewalk. If a municipality is deemed to be aware of the uneven sidewalk, or sidewalk trip ledge, and did not make proper attempts to fix the sidewalk, a Court may find that a height disparity constitutes an unreasonable state of repair in the circumstances.
The limitation to sue is two years in Ontario – unless you have slipped and fallen on snow or ice. In that case, it is vital that you speak to a slip and fall lawyer and make sure that you have the property parties on notice withing 60 days.
Hamilton slip and fall lawyer is often asked this question, but unfortunately, it is one we cannot answer immediately. Any Hamilton slip and fall lawyer that tells you what your case is worth soon after your injury is wrong. There is absolutely no way to properly evaluate or estimate what a slip-and-fall case is worth until well into your injury claim or lawsuit.
Our Hamilton slip and fall lawyers are experienced at properly evaluating an injury, and we are dedicated to obtaining the maximum recovery of compensation for you and your family. However, we do not believe it is possible to resolve serious orthopedic cases without a full investigation and medical legal opinion. In order to help our clients recover the maximum compensation possible, we prefer to have medical experts provide a prognosis on how your injuries will affect you in the future.
Additionally, evaluating your claim or estimating what your case is worth is difficult if there is a loss of income. With many slip-and-fall cases, there is a past loss of income to be calculated from the date of the accident or injury to the settlement date. From that day until your retirement date, a future loss must be calculated. Oftentimes actuaries and accountants are hired to calculate these numbers in order to be as precise as possible.
Equally important is the calculation of your future needs, health requirements, and assistive devices if you were seriously hurt in the fall. We frequently engage the services of an occupational therapist to assist us with determining the future cost of your care. An actuary or accountant would then provide a precise calculation of the value of what you will need for your recovery and beyond, from a medical and rehabilitative perspective.
Our Hamilton slip-and-fall lawyers will present your case in a persuasive and professional way, with the appropriate medical professionals, experts, accountants, and occupational therapists. Factors that will also be important in determining your compensation will be the severity of your injury, your medical treatment, the permanency of your injury or disfigurement, the amount of your lost wages, and how much insurance coverage is available under policy limits.
Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers has extensive experience in litigating slip-and-fall cases in Ontario. If you were a visitor on someone else’s property and were hurt, whether it was your neighbor’s driveway, a parking lot, a roadway, an airport, or anywhere else, and you have suffered an injury in a slip-and-fall accident, you may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers are Hamilton slip and fall lawyers who understand that dealing with trying to recover compensation from an insurance company in a slip-and-fall case can be a complex, confusing, and exasperating time for victims and their families. We also understand that many people have never dealt with a personal injury lawyer before.
Our Hamilton slip-and-fall lawyers make it easy. We encourage inquiries, and we will thoroughly discuss your legal options with you. There is no cost to contact our Hamilton law firm, as our consultations are free, without obligation, and confidential.
Our lawyers are flexible and can arrange a consultation at a time that is convenient for you and your family—and we are happy to answer any questions you may have. Please fill in the contact form below or call us 24/7 at 905-333-8888 or 1-833-4-LAWFIRM.
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A municipality has a duty to keep public roads in a reasonable state of repair. Section 44(1) of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25 provides:
Despite subsection (2), a municipality is not liable for failing to keep a highway or bridge in a reasonable state of repair if,