During the winter months in Ontario, merely walking down the sidewalk gets significantly more difficult than usual. With all of the ice, snow, salt and sand, slipping and falling is a real risk. While every slip and fall case is different, there are some general factors to consider when it comes to how the courts will determine the compensation you’re entitled to.
1. Extent of Injuries/Medical Bills
The extent and impact of the injuries sustained from the fall are scrutinized and evaluated in order to determine compensation. Generally, the more significant the injury, the more compensation you are entitled to. If the injuries you sustained from your fall resulted in the need for professional medical attention, compensation would be claimed to cover your medical bills. From there, it also depends on the impact that the injuries have had on you. If you had to take time off work to seek medical attention, or if the injuries prevented you from working, then you may be entitled to compensation based on lost income. Should the injuries affect your personal life in other ways (i.e., if you had to drive your kids to school every morning, but now your foot is broken, or if your passion in life was running but now you’re unable to jog around the block), you may be entitled to more compensation.
2. Property Loss
When you have a slip and fall accident, it’s not just about the damage done to your person, but your property as well. If something you own is damaged in your fall, you may be entitled to compensation to cover some or all of the costs associated with repairing or replacing the damaged property.
3. Case Precedent
Because there is no way to objectively place a value on things like physical pain and emotional suffering, courts often turn to previously decided cases to assist in deciding what damages should be assessed. As a result, your compensation will depend in part on how others in similar slip and fall situations have been compensated in the past. Previously decided cases also help the court understand what factors are most important in these cases. These factors must be taken into account by you and your lawyer in trying to decide whether a settlement offer is appropriate or not.
If you are at the point of determining how much compensation is fair, you have likely already proven liability on the property occupier and/or owner’s part. That said, when it comes to the amount of money you eventually recover, contributory negligence. Contributory negligence involves an assessment of whether the injured person should be partially responsible for the fall and the injuries suffered. For instance, if you could have taken steps to prevent the fall, if you were actively putting yourself in harm’s way, or if you were wearing improper footwear for the weather conditions, courts will assign you some responsibility for the accident. The damages you are awarded would then be reduced by that same percentage.
5. Your Lawyer
The lawyer you choose to represent you has some impact on the compensation you might receive. It’s essential to choose an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure that they can determine what damages are reasonable to seek given the nuances of your specific case. They can also decide whether any settlement being offered is acceptable or whether it is more appropriate to take the case to trial.
At Beckett, we have vast experience getting our clients fair compensation in their slip and fall claims. Contact us today if you have questions or want to get started with your claim.
Published on January 26, 2021