Slip and Fall Liability Claims in Alberta, CA
A slip-and-fall claim is also known as a premises liability claim. It’s a slang term for any number of injuries that can occur when a property is kept in unsafe condition.
Nevertheless, as in any accident wherein one party has committed an act of negligence to another, you can pursue compensation for your injuries. Here’s everything you need to know about how premises liability cases work in Alberta.
What is premises liability?
Premises liability is a class of personal injury law that addresses injuries sustained on a property when the property owner has allowed an unsafe condition to persist. Property owners are responsible for conducting reasonable maintenance to promote the health and safety of anyone who steps onto their property.
This can include maintaining sidewalks so they don’t become trip hazards, maintaining stair railings so they don’t become fall hazards, and maintaining parking lot lighting so that visitors don’t become crime victims. It can address spills, holes, electrical hazards, health hazards such as mold, ice, snow, and a wealth of other conditions.
How do you prove fault in a premises liability case?
You must prove that the property owner knew about the condition and had ample time to respond to the condition either by posting a warning that was not posted or by having the problem repaired. You also have to prove that the condition was under the property owner’s control.
For example, if a stair rail comes loose while you’re holding onto it and it’s the first time that the railing has ever come loose then you might not have much of a case. The property owner had no reasonable way to discover there was a problem with the stair rail.
If the rail had been loose for over a month and the property owner had received numerous calls alerting him to the problem then there’s a different issue at play. The landlord negligently allowed a dangerous condition to persist, and as a direct result of this negligence someone got hurt.
What is comparative negligence, and how does it work?
Sometimes a plaintiff takes an action that contributes to their own accident.
For example, if it’s reasonable that a hazard should have been obvious to the average person then you could bear some percentage of fault for engaging with it, even if you simply weren’t paying attention.
In many cases each party is assigned a percentage of fault. Your personal injury award gets reduced in proportion to your percentage of responsibility.
A personal injury suit isn’t about getting money just because you were hurt. It’s about getting compensation when someone’s negligence leads directly to your injury. These are subtle differences but important ones. Therefore if you did something to contribute to your own accident then you won’t necessarily be entitled to the same amount of compensation.
What types of injuries happen in a premises liability case?
Slips and falls are the most common hazards, though criminal attacks, dog attacks, and injuries from falling objects or debris are also common.
All of these injuries can be far more serious than most people realize. A slip and fall can result in a permanent loss of independence for elderly victims. Even young, healthy people who slip and fall can take injuries that set them up for a lifetime of chronic pain or complications. Traumatic brain injuries are also common.
Neck injuries, back injuries, fractures, and head injuries are all common. Any of these problems can result in hospitalization and lifelong complications. Don’t make the mistake of failing to take a slip and fall case seriously.
Who pays a slip and fall claim?
If you were injured at someone’s home then the homeowner’s policy should pay for the claim.
If you were injured at a business then they will have a business owner’s policy or premises policy that covers injuries like yours.
If you were injured on city property then the city pays.
What should you do if you slip and fall on government property?
You should reach out to a lawyer almost right away. Most personal injury cases come with a two year statute of limitations. City cases come with a number of very rapid deadlines for notification and making claims. If you miss them you’ll miss your opportunity to recover funds from the city.
For example if you slip and fall in the City of Calgary then you must notify the municipality of the accident and start your claim within 21 days of the occurrence. That’s not a great deal of time.
What should you do if you get hurt on someone else’s property?
There are several steps you should take.
First, you need to notify the property owner or a representative of the property owner that the accident has happened. If you slip and fall at a grocery store you can call the manager over and make an incident report then and there, and it counts.
Second, you need to document everything. Get the names, numbers, and other contact information of all witnesses. Get the owner’s name and number. Document the facts of the injury.
Take pictures of your injury, your footwear, the conditions in the area where you tripped and fell, and the prevailing weather conditions. All of this information serves as vital evidence for your case.
Finally, it’s vital that you get medical attention on the same day. Don’t wait until you feel pain. Some injuries can take hours to show up. Even a broken bone doesn’t always hurt as much as you’d expect until hours have passed and the swelling has reached its peak.
If you wait you weaken your case. You allow the insurance companies to question whether the injury was a direct result of the accident, which is a vital link in the chain that forms your argument. They can start trying to blame it on other things you did that day, or on pre-existing conditions. In addition you have a legal duty to mitigate your losses as much as possible.
You’ll want to follow all of your doctor’s instructions for the same reasons.
Finally, we urge you to call a personal injury lawyer as soon as you are medically capable of doing so. There’s no real benefit to waiting. Your lawyer can deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, and keep you from saying or doing anything which might weaken your case.
How much is a slip and fall case worth?
Every slip and fall case is different. The worth of your case will depend on the following factors.
- The extent of your injuries and the actual cost of your medical bills.
- Projected future medical needs.
- The exact amount of time you had to take off of work to care for your injuries, and the exact wages lost during that period.
- If you’ve lost the ability to work as a result of your slip and fall case, the projected amount of your future earnings.
- The exact amount you paid for services related to your accidents, such as housekeeping services purchased because you couldn’t walk around your own house.
- A negotiable pain and suffering amount.
The pain and suffering amount is the most difficult to predict. The other figures are based on hard numbers or projections based on hard numbers. Pain and suffering is based in part on what seems fair based on the extent of your injuries and the effect to which they are impacting your life. They’re also capped in Alberta: at $5295 for minor soft-tissue injuries and at $370,000 for major injuries. The final amount will depend, on large part, on your lawyer’s negotiation skills.
Why choose us for your slip and fall case?
Each of our lawyers has over two decades of experience handling premises liability cases in Calgary, Alberta. Our team is known for our courtroom litigation skills as well as our sharp negotiation skills. We know car accident cases inside and out, and we know how to handle insurance companies while protecting your rights.
We’re known for being kind, responsive, and easy to deal with. We keep you in the loop, answer all of your questions and concerns, and do everything we can to make the process run as smoothly as possible. Don’t try to handle your slip and fall case alone. Your call is risk-free. Call (403) 225-7777 to set up a consultation today.