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Weekend Project Gone Wrong: Navigating Liability for Your Injuries

Home improvement projects can transform a house or yard for the better. Unfortunately, renovations and DIY weekend projects can also change your life for the worst if you get seriously hurt. How do you navigate liability for your injuries after a reno project has gone wrong?

Common injuries caused by DIY weekend projects

Common injuries caused by DIY projects

Home improvement projects can be very risky, causing serious personal injury. The Barrie personal injury lawyers at Littlejohn Barristers handle a variety of personal injury cases. Here are the most common types of injuries we see as a result of weekend home improvement projects gone wrong:

  • Brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and bone fractures caused by a falls from heights (e.g., falling from a roof, ladder, scaffolding, or fence).

  • Concussions, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries caused by slip and falls (e.g., tripping on debris or power cords; slipping on uneven or wet surfaces or due to poor lighting).

  • Back injuries and torn ligaments from lifting heavy items.

  • All types of bodily injury including head injuries and crush fractures caused by vehicle accidents (e.g., backing up without warning; driving over a person’s foot or other parts of the body).

  • In the most serious cases, DIY home improvement projects can be fatal. In that situation, the loved ones of the person killed can receive compensation by bringing a wrongful death claim.

Who is responsible for your personal injuries?

The answer to that question depends on where and how you were injured. For example:

  1. Were you hurt while helping a friend or relative do renos on their property? In Ontario, the Occupiers’ Liability Act imposes a duty on the “occupier” of a property (e.g., the homeowner) to take reasonable care to ensure the safety of anyone on their property. If you are injured while on someone else’s property, you can bring a claim for compensation against their homeowner’s insurance policy, assuming they have insurance.

  2. Did the accident that caused your injury involve a motor vehicle? If so, your claim is against the negligent driver and their auto insurance policy. You can also bring an accident benefits claim, even if you were at fault.

  3. Were you injured on your own property? If you were hurt doing a home improvement project on your own property, your homeowners’ insurance policy will not provide you with coverage. However, there may be other avenues to explore to secure personal injury compensation. For example, if you fell from a defective ladder, you may be able to sue the product manufacturer.

Contact our Barrie personal injury lawyers to discuss how you were injured. We can explain your options and avenues for securing financial compensation.

Steps to take if you get hurt when a weekend project goes wrong

Navigating a personal injury claim is not easy, but there are steps you can take to help yourself and strengthen your personal injury claim:

  • Get proper medical attention right away.

  • Get names and contact information of witnesses, if any.

  • Keep a detailed record of how your injuries occurred and how they are impacting your life. Take photos if possible, and document the location, cause, injuries, medical procedures, lost wages, and time/process to recover, etc.

  • Continue to see your doctor, surgeon, and/or specialist and follow their treatment recommendations.

  • Do not sign anything before speaking with a personal injury lawyer.

You are not obligated to accept the initial offer insurance companies provide—whether it’s your own or not. An initial offer likely won’t consider the full extent of your future medical expenses and diminished earning capacity.

Once you sign a release, you give up the right to any and all further claims. You will be prevented from bringing another claim or seeking additional compensation, even if your injuries worsen or you develop new symptoms or limitations.

Contact our Barrie personal injury lawyers

The team at Littlejohn Barristers can provide you representation on every personal injury case – no matter how small or large. With years of experience behind us, we are dependable personal injury lawyers in Barrie, Ontario. Our lawyers are also proud to serve clients in Midland, Collingwood, Orillia and surrounding Ontario areas. Let us review your claim, discuss your goals for the case and help you navigate liability for your injuries.


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