Proving fault in a slip and fall claim

What are the challenges involved in proving fault in a slip and fall claim?

Is the injured party responsible?

Before we can prove fault in a slip and fall claim, we must establish whether or not you, the injured party, are responsible for the accident. For example, if it was wintertime and you were walking in sandals or shoes that offered little to no traction then subsequently slipped on ice, your choice of footwear may have played a role in causing the accident. This is referred to as contributory negligence. Our legal system doesn’t impose upon us to stay home and stop living when there are icy conditions. But, it requires that we demonstrate reasonable behaviour. If we can rule out contributory negligence in your case, our next step would be to identify the party that does actually hold responsibility for the accident.

The property owner’s liability:

Property owners, occupants and employees are held to the same standard as injured parties. The Ontario legal system requires that they demonstrate reasonable behaviour in terms of taking the steps necessary to keep the property safe. To determine liability, one of the following scenarios would need to be proven to be true.

The property owner, occupant or employee…

  • Caused the unsafe conditions. For example, the floors in a grocery store were slippery due to a puddle of water left behind by the cleaning crew.
  • Knew about the unsafe conditions and did nothing about it. For example, a customer drops a milkshake in the aisles of a restaurant. The waitress notices but leaves it there while she tends to her tables.
  • Should have known about the unsafe conditions and removed or repaired them. For example, a retail store front poses a hazard to employees, passersby and visitors to the establishment with improperly secured windows.

In preparation of filing your slip and fall claim, we would be working with you to gather evidence and information that clearly identifies who is at fault. This process includes photos of the location as well as your injuries, interviews with any possible witnesses, medical records, building property or employee records, police reports and possibly medical testimonies. But most importantly, we would be asking the right questions, of witnesses, doctors, and anyone else involved in the matter, to reveal the true reason for the slip and fall.

Experienced in this specific area of personal injury, at Wise Law we are able to evaluate the merits of your case and inform you about your rights. Read on for further background and contact us anytime to speak with a lawyer about your slip and fall accident.