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Articles Posted in Slip and Fall

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Middle of January in Ontario = snow, ice, sleet, slush and mush! The cold, rain and snow all make for difficult driving and walking conditions. A serious accident can result in serious injury, bringing life long health consequences and long term care requirements.

You would be amazed by the volume of inquiries our law firm gets around this time in relation to accidents caused by hazardous winter conditions (snow, ice, slush, etc.)

1. Here are some quick tips on staying safe, and what to do after an accident caused by snow, mush, sleet, slush or ice. If you’ve been involved in a serious accident, it’s always a good idea to report it to the police or to contact an ambulance for your injuries. The police will be able to properly document how the accident happened, and get the contact and insurance information for the parties involved. If the root cause of the accident is very complicated, the police will even call in a forensic engineering team to investigate the cause of the accident.

2. Don’t be a superhero; seek medical attention! If it hurts right after your accident, chances are it might get worse as time goes on. Best get those injuries looked at sooner rather than later so that you have a proper understanding of what happened as a result of your accident. Continue reading →

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Winter is upon us! Break out the parkas, toques and winter boots and get ready for some blistering cold. This week we are expecting some sub 20 degree weather in Southwestern and Eastern Ontario. Don’t get me started about what it’s like up there in Northern Ontario. It’s been chilly since the beginning of October (so they say).

The drop in temperature presents safety hazards created by winter snow conditions. Ice accumulation makes for some slippery conditions which can be dangerous.

It’s around this time that our law firm sees a spike in calls for slip and fall accidents.

The focus of this installment of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Post will be the “Do’s and Don’ts after you or a loved one has sustained a slip and fall accident“.

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As the title of this edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog suggests, Winter Time is Slip and Fall time. When the weather starts to get cold, damp, slippery and icy, our law firm sees a spike in slip and fall related calls (sweet rhyme!). Some of these slip and falls result in some very serious injury. Being hospitalized and breaking bones as a result of a slip and fall is not only painful and debilitating; but it can also be very depressing, humiliating and embarrassing.

The reality is that in Ontario, these serious slip and fall claims happen, and we need to best understand how to deal with them so that you get the compensation you deserve.

So, without further a due, below is a quick sampler of the Goldfinger Guide to Better Understanding Slip and Fall Cases in Ontario. We have prepared the Goldfinger Guide in such a way that it’s easy to read, easy to understand, and hopefully; enjoyable as well (as enjoyable as you can get when it comes to reading about slip and falls).

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Eugenie Bouchard is the greatest female tennis player in Canadian history. She has made international headlines for her amazing tennis skills. But these days, her press isn’t about success on the tennis court. Rather, it’s about her battling her head injury and concussion symptoms off the court. Those symptoms have become so serious, that Genie has needed to retain a personal injury lawyer to make sure that she gets the compensation she deserves. I imagine she didn’t want to go this route, but that just goes to show the severity of her injuries.

This week, lawyers in the US Federal Court-Brooklyn, filed a  law suit against the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The USTA is the body which organizes and runs the US Open; one of the four grand slam tennis tournaments held in a season. The US Open is held in Queens, New York, and is arguably the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. Others would argue the most prestigious tennis tournament is Wimbeldon; but I’m a big US Open fan. I like it when players get to wear something other than white on the Court, and get to show off their personalities without being penalized for it. I also LOVE US Open night matches that stretch in long in to the evening. There’s also nothing better than all of the celebrities that come out to watch US OPEN games. There’s no better beacon or stage for tennis than the US Open.

At this year’s US Open, on around September 4, 2015, Genie had just finished a mixed doubles match. She returned to the women’s locker room, and entered the treatment/physiotherapy area. It might have been dark, and the lights may have been off. As Genie was walking in the training/physio area, she slipped and fell; thereby slamming her head and sustained a concussion/brain injury.

If it could happen to Genie; it can happen to you!

Genie tried playing in her singles match the following day, but she was not able to compete. If you will recall, she attended the US Open grounds wearing dark sunglasses, with a hoodie draped over her head. This wasn’t a good sign. As a result of failing to compete in the Open, she lost out on significant prize money, and international exposure. In a subsequent tournament, she was also forced to withdraw as a result of head injury symptoms.

The filing of this law suit has drawn international attention. Let’s face it; this is a big story. It’s possibly the highest profile slip and fall case I’ve ever seen because of the parties involved, the place the fell occurred (the US OPEN), along with the potential damages at stake as a consequence of the fall.

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In case you haven’t noticed, the white stuff we call snow is all around us. It’s causing some slippery conditions for motorists and pedestrians alike. Just getting around your respective city or town, whether it’s a booming metropolis like Toronto, or a small Town like Omemee (home of Neil Young, just outside of Peterborough), you have to be careful.

We get calls everyday from people seeking our assistance with their personal injury claim. In order to build a case from the start, we need evidence. Cases are built on evidence. Some evidence is not permanent; meaning that it can get lost or evaporate in to thin air.

Many people who are injured in an accident don’t understand this concept, and it’s very important to do so.

In a car accident case, the police are often called to the scene of the accident to investigate fault (liability). Fire and Ambulance may be called to the accident scene as well. All of these emergency personnel, in a perfect world, are supposed to take notes, interview witnesses to get their account of the story, take measurements of the accident scene, and take photos. All of that evidence gets preserved.
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We would all like to think that the law is the quest for the truth. It’s the pursuit of justice. It’s establishing before a Court of Law, what’s right, and what’s wrong.

In a perfect world, our courts should work that way. All cases should be heard quickly, before a Judge who knows and understands the issues; before a Jury who’s interested and doesn’t dose off; where witnesses don’t lie or fabricate the truth on the stand; where experts give their honest opinion instead of what somebody pays them to say.

Unfortunately, our Justice system doesn’t work that way. All too often we see cases which are built upon fabricated, flawed, inaccurate or faulty evidence. Often cases aren’t about the truth, it’s about what can, and can’t be prove in Court. Sometimes, proving the truth gets clouded because evidence has been tampered with, destroyed, or the credibility of witnesses has been destroyed.

I was recently directed to a case from a lawyer colleague of mine in Ottawa which was covered in the Toronto Star. This case was a perfect example of how flawed or faulty evidence gets in the way of the truth and has the potential to ruin a person’s life.
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Your case is NOTHING without evidence.

Just because you’ve been involved in a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or you’re in pain does NOT mean that you have a injury case which has merit.

In Ontario, we prove and establish cases through evidence. If you don’t have proper evidence, then you don’t have a case. You can be the nicest person. You can be the most credible and likeable person. You can be the most articulate person. You can have the most catastrophic injuries ever known. You can be experiencing the worst chronic pain EVER; but without the proper evidence, you don’t have a case.

This is exactly what happened to poor Ms. Nandal in her slip and fall case against the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). (Nandal v. TTC 2014 ONSC 4760 CanLii)

On or about the 18th day of November, Ms. Nandal was walking down the staircase at the TTC’s Kennedy Station in Scarborough, when she alleged to have “slipped and fell on slippery and debris strewn steps, falling down approximately 15 stairs, and suffering severe injuries“.

The gist of this is that Ms. Nandal alleges that she slipped and fell on some sort of debris or garbage, causing her to fall down a lot of stairs. The result was that Ms. Nandal fractured her clavicle.

Ms. Nandal sued the TTC under the Occupiers’ Liability Act, for failing to keep their property safe for public use. Ms. Nandal argued that the debris or the slippery stairs presented a hazard which the TTC knew, or ought to have known of, and failed to clean it up.
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When I was young, there wasn’t such a thing as a cool pair of winter boots. There certainly wasn’t such a thing as a must have winter jacket. Wait a minute. There was such thing. First it was the “SunIce” ski jacket which was very popular. Then, it became the black team apparel “Starter” jackets with hoods branding such teams as the Chicago Bulls or the LA Raiders; which had their logo on the breast and across the back of the coat. Am I dating myself? Perhaps.

But, for the purpose of this Toronto Injury Blog post, dating myself doesn’t matter.

Winter apparel has always been an industry in and of itself. I just think that it’s blown up in the past few years. Yesterday, Canada’s biggest name in winter gear, Canada Goose sold a majority stake in their family owned/operated company to US Venture Capitalists, Bain Capital. The same Bain Capital that Mitt Romney ran. Details of how much money the deal was for have yet to be disclosed, but from what I understand, the deal is worth somewhere in the 9 figures. If the people at Bain are willing to invest over $100 million in to a winter apparel company, then that should tell you something about Canada Goose’s product and brand.

But, Brian, how on earth does this relate to personal injury law?
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If you or a family member is the victim of a fall on snow, ice, or slippery winter conditions, the following Toronto Injury Law Blog Post is a “must read“.

If you’re just a legal keener interested in somewhat educational legal read, this Blog Post is “pretty cool”; as the kids would say.

It’s not just little old ladies who slip, fall and hurt themselves during the winter months. It happens to everyone, of all ages, shapes and sizes. Physically fit, or not so trim. It doesn’t matter. Snow and ice doesn’t discriminate.

First thing you should know, and which you or a loved one should do after a winter slip and fall is take a picture of the area where you slipped and fell. Chances are that if you don’t the area will have changed significantly. Guilty property owners are notorious for clearing up patches of ice after the fact.
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Calls resulting in injury from winter time trips, slips and falls are very common at our law firm. We see an increased amount of calls as a result of slipping on snow, ice, black ice, cracked pavement, slush and general wet conditions around the winter time. And for good reason. The weather in such places as Toronto, London and Peterborough is frankly quite bad, and puts everyone at greater risk of injury. If you were living in a warm climate, you wouldn’t have to worry about any of the winter hazards which Ontarians encouter every day having to endure our harsh winters. My parents would tell me that we have it good compared to the cold, ice and snow which they experienced in early Toronto. It’s a fact that our winters are less harsh then the winters which we presently experience; but I will have to leave that explanation to a climatologist from Environment Canada.

Quick injury lawyer factoid: Did you know that you can check the amount of snow fall/precipiation using the Environment Canada website? This is a handy tool for any winter time slip and fall claim in order to establish how much snow was on the ground the day of; or the days leading up to the accident. If one of our clients slipped and fell on a large patch of ice, we can tell from the Environment Canada website whether or not the property had been maintained based on the weather and precipitation/snow patterns.
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