You can bring a lawsuit against a property owner for injuries you suffered as a result of a slip and fall accident. Your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages should be the responsibility of the party whose negligence caused your injuries.
If you have been seriously hurt, you are likely feeling very overwhelmed and very stressed out. Where do you begin? What steps do you have to take to get compensation for your injuries? How much is your claim worth?
These are big questions. A personal injury lawyer with experience handling slip and fall accidents can answer these questions and guide you through every step of the process. There are many benefits to having a personal injury lawyer help with your slip and fall lawsuit. Here is why you should consider contacting a lawyer after a slip and fall accident.
Why you should have a personal injury lawyer on your side
1. So you don’t miss limitation periods.
The default rule in Ontario is that an injured person has two years from the date of the accident to start a lawsuit. But, when it comes to slip and falls, much shorter deadlines may apply. For example:
Slip and falls due to ice and snow. Recent changes to Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act now require a slip and fall claimant to provide written notice to a private property owner, property manager, independent snow removal contractor, or tenant within 60 days of the accident if the injury was caused by ice or snow. The notice must include the date, time, and location of the occurrence, and be personally served or sent by registered mail.
Slip and falls on public property. Ontario’s Municipal Act, 2001 requires a slip and fall claimant to serve written notice on the municipality within 10 days of the accident occurring. The written notice must include the date, time, and location of the occurrence, and be served upon or sent by registered mail to the clerk of the municipality.
You may not yet know if your injuries are serious or long-lasting, and you may be unsure about whether the slip and fall occurred on private or public property. When in doubt, the best course of action is to serve notice on all potentially involved parties to ensure your rights are preserved. Failure to provide notice of your slip and fall accident within the applicable notice period may block you from bringing a personal injury claim.
A personal injury lawyer can ensure you don’t miss limitation periods and that proper notice is given to protect your claim. If you think you may have already missed the limitation period, contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer right away—it may be possible for your lawyer to argue on your behalf that your claim should be allowed to proceed because you had a reasonable excuse for failing to serve notice in time, and the property owner is not prejudiced by the late notice.
2. Because proving liability for a slip and fall accident is challenging.
Slip and fall cases require proof of negligence. As the personal injury claimant, you must prove that the person who owns or occupies the property breached the duty to take care in all the circumstances to ensure that you were reasonably safe while on the premises. If you don’t meet the burden of proving liability, your claim will not succeed. You are also required to prove the nature and extent of the injuries you sustained as a result of the slip and fall accident.
Personal injury lawyers are skilled at gathering evidence to support all aspects of these types of cases. Necessary evidence may include surveillance footage, eyewitness statements, police or ambulance reports, maintenance records, and medical reports. With the right evidence in hand, your lawyer can then use their knowledge of the law and similar cases to put forward a strong claim on your behalf. Your lawyer will also use their knowledge and the evidence to anticipate defences that the property owner may raise against your claim.
3. You want to know what your claim is worth.
You can’t make critical decisions without the right information. For example, how can you know if a settlement offer from the insurance company is fair? A skilled personal injury lawyer can review your case and draw on their knowledge and experience to provide you with an estimate of your claim’s value. A Barrie slip and fall lawyer from our firm can explain the types of compensation you are entitled to claim, evaluate the fairness of any settlement offers, and negotiate on your behalf to achieve full and final settlement.
4. Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with.
Insurance companies are notorious for denying and minimizing personal injury claims. They may put forward an early, low-ball settlement offer to try to “get rid” of your claim. They know you are in pain and try to take advantage of your financial need. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you don’t have to deal directly with the insurance company. Your lawyer will deal with the insurance company on your behalf and ensure that your interests are protected. That takes the pressure off of you, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
5. Insurance claims and lawsuits are complex.
The insurance claims process can be confusing. The court process can be intimidating. Both involve strict deadlines, lots of legal jargon, and extensive paperwork.
When you have a lawyer on your side, they will guide you through the process and prepare the necessary forms and documents for you. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. If out-of-court settlement is not possible, your lawyer will represent you in court, taking your case to trial if necessary to secure full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Trusted Advice From A Slip And Fall Lawyer in Collingwood
Barrie law firm Littlejohn Barristers is a team of dedicated, talented, and passionate professionals who focus solely on personal injury litigation.
Our personal injury lawyers have years of experience representing clients who have been injured in slip and falls. A personal injury lawyer from our firm can help you navigate the notice requirements and claims process, and we will deal with the insurance companies so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
If you have suffered a personal injury or accident in Collingwood and surrounding areas, please contact our Barrie office at 705-725-7355 for a free consultation to see if we can help.
Now accepting appointments at our Collingwood office:
Little John Barristers Professional Corporation
10 Schoolhouse Lane