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Articles Posted in Slip and Fall

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Winter is coming?

Winter is here?

Winter never left?

Either way you cut it; it’s getting cold outside. And with colder weather comes snow and ice. Snow and ice mean dangerous driving conditions along with slip and fall walking hazards.

The focus of this edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog will be on winter time slip and falls in Ontario.

What’s changed for slip and fall cases in Ontario?

In December 2020, without any consultation, the Ontario Provincial Government introduced the Occupiers’ Liability Amendment Act

The Occupiers’ Liability Amendment Act provides for a new 60 day notice period for slip and fall cases involving snow and ice:

Notice period — injury from snow, ice

6.1 (1) No action shall be brought for the recovery of damages for personal injury caused by snow or ice against a person or persons listed in subsection (2) unless, within 60 days after the occurrence of the injury, written notice of the claim, including the date, time and location of the occurrence, has been personally served on or sent by registered mail to at least one person listed in subsection (2).

Not only does a Plaintiff have to give notice of his/her claim within 60 days; but the notice must either be served personally or sent by registered mail to:

1. The occupier of the premises and;

2. The independent contractor(s) employed by the occupier to remove snow or ice on the premises during the relevant period in which the injury occurred.

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Slip and fall accidents resulting in serious injuries can be very difficult on the innocent accident victim; particularly when it comes to making ends meet.

How and when will lost wages be paid?

How and when will treatment costs not covered by OHIP be paid (physio, massage, chiro etc.)?

Will attendant care services be available and if so; who will pay for those services?

How do my out of pocket expenses get paid?

What about my damaged glasses or clothing? Will I be compensated for that; and if so; when?

These are all valid questions and concerns which a number of our slip and fall or trip and fall clients have expressed to our personal injury lawyers.

In a car accident case, all of these items are covered through Ontario’s no fault accident benefit coverage. That’s means that so long as you meet the disability test(s) for these benefits; and they are deemed to be reasonable and necessary, these benefits will be paid out to the accident victim.

In a trip and fall case, or slip and fall case, accident benefits are NOT available to the innocent accident victim. There is no interim insurance (unless privately purchased) which will cover these heads of damages. The Plaintiff will have to wait until the end of the case in order to get compensated for these damages.

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Identifying the correct party to sue in a slip or trip and fall case can be tricky.

In a car accident case; it’s a bit more straightforward: You sue the at fault driver. You also sue the owner of the vehicle as well.

In an dog bite or dog attack case identifying the correct party to sue is straightforward was well: You sue the owner of the dog.

How about an assault case? That’s sounds pretty straight forward as well: You sue the assailant.

How about a long term disability case? That’s easy: You sue the long term disability insurer.

Things get a bit more complicated in a slip and fall; or trip and fall case.

First you need to identify where the fall happened. Knowing the exact location of the fall is very important. A few inches to the left or to the right can change the identity of the owner. And getting the correct identity of the owner is of paramount importance for a slip and fall or trip and fall case. Suing the wrong owner won’t get a Plaintiff anywhere.

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Slip and fall accidents can cause serious physical and emotional injury. Adding insult to injury is the fact that you will always second guess yourself:

What if I didn’t step where I did? Could I have avoided the fall? Could I have paid better attention? Would different shoes or boots have prevented my fall?”

Feelings of anger, embarrassment, doubt and even shame can creep up after a slip and fall; because act of walking is so mundane and something we take for granted. How could the act of simply walking cause a devastating injury like an ankle fracture; or a torn ACL/MCL requiring surgery; or a bad concussion? Bad things happen. And when people look for justice and compensation, they reach out the Goldfinger Injury Lawyers.

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For the People“……

That’s what the Ford Government promised. That’s what the Ford Government was supposed to deliver.

They certainly aren’t delivering on any front.

Another promise made. Another promise broken I suppose.

Let’s examine this “For The People” government from the personal injury corner of there room.

Bill 118, Occupiers’ Liability Amendment Act, 2020 came into force on January 26, 2021. Right in the middle of the Pandemic because nothing says Global Pandemic quite like amending the Occupiers’ Liability Act for slip and fall cases in the middle of the winter!

The Explanatory Note of that Act clearly states:

The Bill amends the Occupiers’ Liability Act to provide that no action shall be brought for the recovery of damages for personal injury caused by snow or ice against an occupier or an independent contractor employed by the occupier to remove snow or ice, unless, within 60 days after the occurrence of the injury, written notice of the claim is served.”

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Every once in a while, what appears to be an ordinary slip and fall case, isn’t as straight forward as you would think. It takes a keen legal eye, with significant experience to get to the bottom of some of these tricky cases. And believe me; some slip and fall cases can be very tricky.

Set aside the liability issues, property ownership issues, along with any coverage or damage issues for a moment. It should be noted that all of these issues are common place.

When a car accident happens, an accident victim is entitled to make an accident benefit claim through his/her own insurance company. Those accident benefits are separate and apart from any claim for pain and suffering against the at fault driver. Accident benefits are very helpful as they pay for reasonable and necessary medical costs, therapy costs, rehabilitation costs and attendant care costs. Accident benefits will also pay an income replacement benefit of up to $400/week under a standard auto policy, or a non earner benefit of up to $185/week for up to two years.

These accident benefits are NOT available in any other form of personal injury case like a normal slip and fall case, an assault case, or a dog bite case. In all of these sort of cases, the injured Plaintiff will need to pay for his/her rehabilitation costs which aren’t covered by OHIP out of their own pocket.

Enter the unique slip and fall case. The sort of slip and fall case which becomes a car accident claim.

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It’s that time of year. Slip and Fall season is upon us in Ontario.

Before we get in too deep on this edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog, all of us here at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers would like to thank our readership for their support over this past year. We appreciate your positive and constructive feedback. In 2020, we hope to bring you more interesting to read legal content so that you can better understand the world of personal injury and disability law in Ontario. If there are any topics which you would like covered that we have yet to touch upon, send us an email to info@goldfingerlaw.com with subject title “Blog” and we will do our best to accommodate your request. You can always dig in to our archives on the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog page.

This week’s topic will cover slip and trip and falls. We always notice a spike in these sort of calls around this time of year. This year is no exception with the steady freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw weather we’ve had across the province, it’s kept everyone on their toes so to speak.

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The Holidays are a wonderful time. Celebrations with family, friends, co-wokers can be a lot of fun, and a time to reflect on the past year and the year to come.

A few things I would like to comment on with respect to the holidays. Back in 2008, the Goldfinger Personal Injury Law, now Goldfinger Injury Lawyers use to send out a large mailer of holiday greeting cards. They were a big hit. More interesting was the reaction of the people who didn’t receive the cards or who were not on our mailing list. Many found out about our holiday cards, and their reaction to not receiving a card was even loud than those who received one. It sucks feeling left out, but that certainly wasn’t our intention. We simply couldn’t mail out to everyone in the world.

Fast forward to 2015. Fewer law firms are sending out traditional holiday cards in the mail. Instead law firms are sending out e-cards. They’re faster, more efficient, easier to send, less of an environmental footprint, more practical and more economical. We were quick to jump on the trend. It allowed us to reach our client base, along with people we were close with our acquaintances.

Some people replied to our first round of Holiday E-Greetings indicating that they considered our e-cards spam and a violation of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) which as introduced in around 2014. The simplest definition of spam is unsolicited email, though it can also include unsolicited text messages and software.

Can the Goldfinger Injury Lawyers’ Holiday E-Greeting be considered spam?  I don’t know, but I certainly don’t want to test that boundary. Who knows. Someone has a bad day, your Holiday Greeting is the straw that broke their inbox and the next thing you know you are fighting CASL charges for sending out an innocent holiday greeting. Reporting spam is really easy. It’s as easy as a quick click online on this government website. 

I cannot begin to tell you the amount of unsolicited holiday e-greetings I’ve received in my mailbox; and likely yours too! Do I want to be the Grinch who reports unsolicited spam in the form of Holiday E-Greetings? Nope. Are there a bunch of Grinches out there who will do so because they’re having a bad day or who want to see you go down in flames? Yup.

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One of the most common orthopedic injuries our personal injury lawyers see in slip and fall cases are broken ankle.

Not sprained. Not bruised. Broken ankles. Like the ankles when you fall you may hear a snap, crackle or pop; but in a bad way and not in the breakfast cereal type of way.

A broken ankle injury is very serious. Think about it for a moment.

When you stand, pressure is applied to your ankle.

When you walk, your ankle needs to flex. When you rotate, jump, bend, kneel; all of these movements puts pressure and strain on your ankle.

If your ankle goes in to a hard plaster cast, you’re out of commission. You can’t walk, run, or jump. Your doctor will recommend that you are non weight bearing. That means you’re not to put weight or pressure on your ankle. Translation: no walking or putting pressure on the ankle. Or if you are getting around, you will need to do so with crutches, a wheelchair, or one of those scooters you may see that allows you to raise an ankle while rolling around.

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This deep freeze, thaw, cold, warm, snow, rain, back to snow, then to ice weather cycle we have seen across Ontario this winter hasn’t been good for anyone. We’re not sure if it’s snowing, raining, or ice is falling from the sky.

All of the fluctuations in temperature have lead to slippery walking conditions on sidewalks, parking lots, entrance ways, walk ways and other paths.

Over the past week,  personal injury lawyer Brian Goldfinger has been asked for comment by the CBC, CityTV and quoted by Canadian Underwrite Magazine for commentary from a knowledgable lawyer regarding slip and fall cases in Ontario. You can find links to these articles here:

Canadians nurse winter wounds as cities grapple with icy sidewalks

 Latest Canadian statistics on slips and falls on ice

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/sidewalk-clearing-law-london-ontario-1.5046917

Over the months of February and well in to the beginning of March 2019, our law firm has seen a spike from the usual norm with respect to winter slip and fall cases resulting in serious injury. Injuries like broken ankles, broken wrists, broken arms, broken hips; even fractured skulls. We have been seeing some pretty significant injury cases of late.

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