Under the Act, property occupiers can include homeowners, business owners, companies, municipalities, or other entities. These occupiers are required to keep their premises in safe condition so as to ensure that visitors will not be injured. The duty to keep the premises safe also extends to the activities taking place on the property and the conduct of third parties on the property.
Once an occupier becomes aware of a hazardous condition, they are responsible for remedying the condition to return the premises to a safe condition or minimize the risk to avoid accidents.
Although there is no duty owed to a person who willingly assumes some risk, there is still a duty on the part of the property owner to refrain from intentional conduct that causes the visitor’s injury or reckless conduct that shows a disregard for the safety of a visitor.
When you maintain that your injuries were the result of another person’s negligence, the accused party will often attempt to reduce liability or remove it altogether by providing a defense. The property occupier may argue that you were at fault for all or at least some part of the accident. If this is successful, your recovery will be reduced by a percentage in proportion to your fault. In other words, if you are found to be 40 percent at fault for your injuries, you are entitled to recover 60 percent of damages.
It is critical to work with a lawyer to demonstrate that you were not at fault for the accident or that your fault played a minimal role.
How Can a Vancouver Slip and Fall Attorney Help Me?
When you are injured on someone else’s property as a result of someone else’s negligence or the occupier’s failure to maintain a safe premises, you have rights. You may need a lawyer’s assistance in fully investigating the property and the circumstances to determine whether moving forward with a slip and fall claim is feasible.
A skilled personal injury lawyer will inform you of your rights and provide assistance in proving the responsible party’s fault in the accident that caused your injuries. A personal injury lawyer will also work to fight insurance companies of the occupier, who will likely attempt to settle with you for less than you deserve.
At Warnett Hallen LLP, our personal injury lawyers know that in order to make a full recovery, you need full compensation. Our skilled lawyers know the best strategies to purse the money you deserve for your losses. With a lawyer’s help, you are more likely to receive the full amount of compensation you are owed.
Compensation Available When You’ve Been Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident
The damages that can be potentially awarded with a personal injury claim, specifically a slip and fall claim, can be broad. As a victim of an accident resulting from a property occupier’s breach of duty to keep the property safe, you could be entitled to damages for:
- Medical expenses incurred as a result of your injury
- Lost wages as a result of your inability to return to work after the accident
- Costs of future care you may require
- The pain and suffering you endured following the accident
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Out of pocket expenses
- Damages associated with losing enjoyment of life
If a family member tragically passed away as a result of a slip and fall, you may also be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost future income, and other damages through a wrongful death claim.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in BC
Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Lack of proper lighting
- Wet, slippery flooring that has not been cleaned up or blocked off
- Inadequate warnings relating to wet or slippery floors or other hazards
- Icy or snowy walkways
- Uneven walkways
- Cluttered walkways
- Lack of proper lighting
- Wet or slippery floors resulting from leaks and spills
- Torn or uneven carpeting on slippery surfaces
- Lack of matting or carpeting where it is needed
- Building code deficiencies and other unsafe circumstances
Our skilled personal injury lawyers can help you to determine whether the occupier is liable for failing address or warn you of hazards on the property and what compensation may be owed to you for your resulting injuries.
Places Where Slip and Fall Accidents Often Occur
While injuries on someone else’s premises can happen anywhere and at any time, there are certain places in which slip and fall accidents most often occur. These places are those usually frequented by the public, and they include:
- Restaurants which are prone to slippery floors and wet walkways, as well as aisles that are cluttered or obstructed by tables, chairs, etc.
- Shopping malls and retail stores where there are often cluttered walkways posing risks to those walking by, as well as carpeting that can cause a patron to trip and fall.
- Other commercial and residential buildings that are subject to leaks, plumbing issues, and other hazardous conditions.
- Municipal grounds, which are most often the sites of trips resulting from uneven sidewalks, potholes, etc.
While these are the most common locations of slip and fall incidents, as long as you fell on someone else’s property as a result of their negligence, you may be able to recover compensation. This includes falling at a friend’s home, your workplace, and public spaces.
Common Injuries Resulting from a Slip and Fall
Injuries from a slip and fall accident can range from those that are minor to those that are or can become very serious. Common injuries associated with this type of accident include:
- Fractures and breaks, especially in the wrists and hands
- Broken hips
- Cuts, scrapes, bruises, and lacerations
Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents can also be fatal, especially among older adults.
What Should You Do When You Slip and Fall in a Store?
If you are involved in a slip and fall accident on the premises of another, the following steps should be taken to maximize your compensation:
- Seek medical assistance. A medical professional can correctly diagnose any injuries that resulted from your fall. It is imperative to a successful slip and fall claim to follow a medical professional’s advice.
- Report the accident to the occupier of the premises or another person with authority. Make sure you document what you told them and record their name and contact information.
- Identify and record the exact location, date, and time of the accident.
- Take photos of the scene of the accident. Make sure to capture the hazardous condition that resulted in your slip and fall.
- Take the names and contact information of any witnesses who were present during or right after your accident. Their accounts may become important for the purposes of depositions or testimony at trial.
- Keep all records relating to the accident and your injuries. In addition to reports regarding the accident, make sure to keep copies of medical records, medical expenses, records regarding treatment and medication, and any other pertinent documents.
- Store and preserve any shoes or clothing you were wearing at the time your slip and fall accident occurred. Do not wash them.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer experienced in slip and fall accidents that can help you understand your rights and help you seek compensation.
- Do not speak with any insurance companies. Insurers of the occupier will perform their own investigation. Even where you do not intend so, it is possible to admit to something that could result in a recovery less than what you deserve.
Even if you were unable to take all of these steps after your accident, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer. We can discuss your legal options and point you in the right direction no matter your circumstances.