Since the Christmas Holiday, our law firm has received dozens of phone calls from prospective clients with respect to their slip or trip and fall cases. The way these accidents occurred all vary. We see a number of snow, ice, slush or general slippery conditions caused by damp condition claims. We also see a variety of pot hole or crack claims. We also see uneven surface or poorly maintained stair claims.
The mechanism of the falls vary, as to the injuries sustained. From ankle fractures, femur fractures, broken arms, broken wrists, separated shoulders, shattered elbows, even broken noses. Ouch!
The reality is that this is now slip and fall season and we handle a lot of these cases around this time of year.
As discussed in a previous Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog post, there are many pit falls for slip and fall cases. The most important which we tried to address was the issue of liability. This is concept of proving negligence (or wrong doing) agains the party you are seeking to sue (normally the property owner, or the company responsible for the maintenance/care of that property).
The thing our lawyers try to hammer home is just because a slip or trip and fall happened, and injuries were sustained, doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a winning personal injury case there. The Plaintiff needs to establish that the Defendant was negligent (or at fault, or responsible) for said slip and fall accident.
Without establishing liability, there is no case to be had; regardless of how significant the injuries may be.
This is why sometimes in slip and fall cases, the injuries are almost secondary to how the actual slip and fall took place. In certain instances, the parties will AGREE on damages at trial, and argue only on liability. This is exactly what happened in a case which went all the way to the Ontario Court of Appeal in Kamin v. Kawartha Dairy Ltd. 2006 CanLII 3259 (ON CA).