When you visit a restaurant, store, or any business, you trust that you will be safe during your time on their property. But a fall could happen in an instant and leave you seriously injured.
After a severe fall, you might wonder who will pay for your medical bills or other associated damages. Here are your rights if you fell at a business.
What Leads to Fall Accidents in Ontario?
Falls can happen at any establishment. While high-traffic stores and businesses see the most fall accidents, some common factors in slip and falls include:
- Boxed merchandise or product displays in aisles
- Unmarked wet floors or spills
- Merchandise pallets or endcap displays
- Inadequate lighting
- Uneven walkways
- Unstable railings/stairs
- Uncleared snow or ice on the property
Common Fall Accident Injuries
Fall accidents might only result in minor bumps or bruises. But they can also lead to more severe injuries. You might not even realize how seriously you’re hurt until days or weeks after the fall. Common fall injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Joint fractures at the hips or knees
- Sprained wrists or ankles
- Back and spinal cord injuries
Is an Ontario Business Liable if You Fall on Their Property?
Under Ontario’s occupiers’ liability law, businesses have a duty to keep people safe who enter or attend their property. If you were injured by a fall at a business, you may be able to hold the business accountable by proving their negligence.
When businesses fail to take reasonable safety precautions, they could be liable if you can prove their negligence.
You can accomplish this in several ways. For example, negligence can be established if there is insufficient maintenance protocols, or if there is proof that the company knew about unsafe areas but failed to address them.
Time Limit for Filing a Claim
Generally, you have two years from the date of an injury to file a personal injury claim for a fall accident.
In Ontario, there are some circumstances where notice of a claim must be given for falls due to snow or ice within 60 days if it occurred on private property or within 10 days on municipal property.
This is a narrow window of time, and missing it could result in you losing out on compensation for your injuries. That’s why it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a fall.
Getting Compensation in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit
You might be eligible to pursue several types of damages in a lawsuit against a business after a fall, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages if you were unable to work because of your injuries.
You might also be able to pursue non-economic damages such as for your pain and suffering. It is important to note that federal law has a cap on non-economic damages that can be recovered through a personal injury lawsuit. Established by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1978 and adjusted for inflation, the maximum award for non-economic damages is currently just over $400,000.
What to Do After a Slip or Fall at a Business
If you slip and fall at a business, here’s what to do:
- If seriously hurt, call 911 or ask someone else to
- Take videos and photos of the scene (ask for security footage if possible)
- Get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the fall
- Keep track of your medical expenses and missed time from work
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer
Questions After a Fall? Call Donnelly Murphy
You don’t have to go up against a business to pursue compensation for your injuries alone. The personal injury lawyers at Donnelly Murphy have decades of experience representing fall victims in Southwestern Ontario and are ready to help you immediately so you can focus on recovery.