If you have suffered an injury due to a slip and fall accident, to protect you interests you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
As a property owner in Ontario you assume certain liabilities relating to the maintenance of your property. Most homeowners know that they need to salt and shovel their driveway so that they or members of the public attending at their property don’t hurt themselves on a cold, slippery winter morning. Injuries resulting from property owners failing to maintain their property could lead to a lawsuit being filed by an injured party.
Occasionally mistakes will be made, busy lives get in the way, so the walkway isn’t salted and shovelled as quickly as it should have been. What happens to, Frank, the friendly, neighbourhood postman, who comes to deliver a bundle of coupons, Christmas cards and bills, only to slip on the icy walkway? What is Frank to do?
First Steps After an Injury
- Frank’s first order of business should be seeking treatment. But what if there are lingering issues, severe injuries like broken bones, what if there are injuries that never heal, time taken off work, uncovered medical expenses?
- Frank’s next course of action should be to contact a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer could help Frank take the necessary steps to get his expenses and/or pain and suffering compensated.
- Frank should remember that there is a limitation period (last date on which he can file his claim). If the property where he was injured was town or city owned property, the limitation period is very short. For other types of property, the limitation period is 2 years depending on discoverability.
- While awaiting his appointment with his personal injury lawyer Frank should think about gathering evidence, i.e.: prescription receipts, ambulance bills, photographs of the injuries, photographs of the accident site, contact information for any witnesses, etc.
- Frank should also make a record of all the healthcare providers he visits relating to his injury and keep a log of time taken off work due to the injury.
After Frank has retained a personal injury lawyer, he and his legal team will begin working on a claim. These are the ordinary steps in a personal injury claim:
*note claims in Toronto, Ottawa and Windsor have a mandatory mediation session,
*settlement can be reached at any time and most parties settle before trial.
- The first step will be filing a Statement of Claim (starting the lawsuit). Frank and his lawyer will need to show that the owner was negligent in some way in their care of the property and that the negligence lead to Frank’s injury. Frank is known as the plaintiff.
- The other party would then file their statement of defence. They are known as the defendant.
- The plaintiff and the defendant exchange evidence in an Affidavit of Documents.
- Before a trial the parties will sit down for what is called Examination for Discovery where they would get an opportunity to ask for evidence. Frank will likely be questioned by the other side at Discovery.
- Either side can file a trial record after discovery is completed and all missing evidence is exchanged.
- There is a pretrial.
- There is a trial.
If at any step in the process, there is a settlement or if there is an award at trial the property owner will be required to pay Frank for his damages. Typically, legal fees are paid out and then Frank can collect his award.
If you have any questions about your own slip and fall claim, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. Mehdi Au LLP handles personal injury cases, we can be reached at (416)238-5100.
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