Slip-and-Fall Injuries: Who Is At Fault? - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Slip-and-Fall Injuries: Who Is At Fault?


Tripping or stumbling while walking or climbing steps is such a common occurrence that most people do not give it a second thought, but more Canadians are injured by falls than by any other form of accident. Fall-related injuries result in more than 150,000 hospital admissions a year with the average stay in hospital averaging more than 14 days. If you suffer a slip-and-fall injury, the owner of the property on which it occurred could be at fault and liable for the payment of compensation for your injuries.

Serious injuries from slip-and-fall accidents

In most instances, a fall caused by tripping over a broken section of sidewalk or by slipping on a wet floor results in nothing more serious than a moment of embarrassment and a bruised ego, but it could also cause serious and debilitating injuries. Injuries caused by a fall could include the following:

  • Head injuries: Falls are sudden and without warning, so victims usually do not have time to protect themselves from injury. Striking your head on the floor or against an object as you fall could cause head and brain trauma ranging from a minor concussion to a serious traumatic brain injury.
  • Soft tissue injuries: Chronic pain and long-term impairment are two consequences of injuries to muscles, tendons and ligaments caused by a fall. These so-called “soft tissue injuries” might seem minor at first, but they can worse in the days following a slip-and-fall accident.
  • Cuts and lacerations: Abrasions and cuts on the hands, knees and elbows are common when you fall on concrete and other rough surfaces. Depending upon the severity of the impact or if you strike an object, such as a piece of furniture, serious lacerations could require specialized medical care to avoid scarring and disfigurement.

Bone fractures and spinal cord and neck injuries are some of the other types of injuries you could suffer in a fall.

Property owner liability

Ontario property owners have a legal duty of care to people entering upon their property to keep them reasonably safe from harm. It is important to note the duty of care is one based upon the expectation that property owners will act reasonably to ensure conditions on their properties are safe by performing routine maintenance and repairs.

Conditions left uncorrected that could lead to a property owner being held liable for injuries suffered in a slip-and-fall accident might include:

  • Not checking for debris on the floor or not taking appropriate measures to remove it
  • Failing to warn people of wet or slippery floor surfaces
  • Allowing snow and ice to accumulate on sidewalks and parking areas
  • Broken steps, sidewalks and floor surfaces
  • Placement of displays or other objects in walkways where they become a tripping hazard

The duty of care required of the occupiers of property under Ontario law applies to retail stores, restaurants, hotels, apartment and office buildings, arenas and other establishments where people might enter.

Exception to a property owners duty of care

If you are injured in a fall on a sidewalk or other property owned by another party, you should seek advice from an Ontario personal injury lawyer about your right to compensation and how it might be affected by the law. The duty of care imposed on property occupiers and owners excludes risks associated with certain activities. For example, if you go to an ice skating rink to skate, the law does not impose liability on the operator of the rink for injuries you could suffer in a fall while skating, but the operator might be responsible if your fall was caused by the poor condition of the ice surface caused by poor maintenance.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation for individuals injured through the negligent or intentional conduct of other parties. Their experience handling claims for slip-and-fall injuries makes them a valued resource for trusted legal advice. Call the Diamond & Diamond injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT at any time of the day or night. You can also visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and confidential case evaluations throughout Ontario.

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