There are a number of cases and statutes that could be important in analyzing who is responsible for your injuries. For instance, property owners or municipalities that do not have appropriate safety measures or snow and ice maintenance in place on their properties or roads.
Types of injuries:
If you have been injured then you may be entitled to compensation. Some injuries cause broken bones, some cause internal injuries, some cause soft-tissue strains and tears, and others cause psychological trauma.
The fact is that psychological trauma or soft-tissue injuries can often devastate someone’s ability to work, and their life in general.
Just because some injuries are more difficult to prove than others, that does not mean that you do not deserve compensation. A knowledgeable and experienced lawyer can often put together the necessary evidence to prove the merits of your case.
Who is sued:
You should discuss the specific facts of your case with a lawyer. Understand that it is very important that you sue the correct parties. Often, injury victims are not immediately aware of everyone that had a role in causing their injuries.
Also, injury victims are sometimes worried about suing others, until they find out that the other person will be covered by insurance. For instance, a husband may be driving his wife when he causes an accident – the wife may be entitled to sue her husband through his car insurance policy. Another example could be where you and your friend are at a baseball game and she accidentally trips you, causing you to sustain injuries – in that case you may be able to sue your friend and recover through her home insurance policy. You should discuss the specifics of your case with a lawyer.
Length of time that you have to commence a lawsuit:
If you do not enter a lawsuit fast enough then you may be prevented from suing altogether. In 2004 a new Limitations Act came into force in Ontario that changed how long many people have to start a lawsuit. Some cases are now governed by the old limitation periods, some by the new limitation periods, and some by “transition rules”. In some cases, limitation periods can be extended.
The winter of 2011/2012 in Ontario, Canada has seen some harsh temperatures, freezes and thaws and extremely cold weather. This sort of weather can lead to dangerous walking conditions. People often sustain injuries at this time of year because of icy and slippery conditions.
Every year, people sustain ankle fractures, broken arms and wrists, head injuries, whiplash, and pain after slipping or tripping and falling. Each and every winter, people hire lawyers and launch lawsuits seeking damage awards (money) from a settlement or judgment after slipping or tripping and falling.
It is important to understand that a private property owner is not responsible just because someone slips or falls on their property. A private property owner does not have to keep their property in perfect condition, or completely safe, but they do have to take “reasonable” steps to make sure that persons are reasonably safe while they are on the property. When someone slips and falls, it is usually important to determine whether the private property owner had a reasonable system of maintenance and inspection in place.
For instance, if you slipped and fell on ice while walking to your car in a parking lot, then it would be important, in many cases, to determine whether the property owner had a reasonable system in place to inspect the parking lot and a reasonable maintenance schedule, which might include plowing/shoveling, salting or sanding the parking lot.
What does “reasonable” mean. That is up for debate and it is something that personal injury lawyers argue about again and again. There are many factors to look at when considering that issue and each case is usually somewhat unique. For example, if someone slips and falls on a small patch of ice, in an otherwise clear, parking lot in a deserted area of Whitby, that is very different from the case where someone slips and falls in a completely snow and ice covered entrance, that has been left uncleaned for days, at the busiest restaurant at Yonge and Bloor in downtown Toronto.
Even if the owner of the deserted Whitby parking lot and the owner of the incredibly busy downtown Toronto restaurant had the exact same maintenance and inspection schedule, the busy downtown Toronto restaurant owner might be found not to have taken reasonable care, while the Whitby owner had. That is not because people are harder on Toronto restaurants, it’s just that safety might require a higher level of maintenance and inspection in the circumstances.
Other things that can sometimes be important in slip and fall cases, are how fast the injured person was walking, whether they were taking care for their own safety (ie: whether they were looking where they were going), whether they were wearing appropriate footwear and clothing, whether they should have known about the danger, whether they were carrying something that interfered with their safety, etc.
If you are injured, you should immediately consult with a lawyer about how long you have to notify the other party about your intention to sue and to start a lawsuit. In some cases, you may only have a matter of days to notify the other party.
Clearly Mr. Polak is ahead of the game and has been throughout this litigation in relation to the efforts made to service his client.
Thanks a lot for your excellent work on my case
G.G. Toronto, Ontario
You really did a great job on the case. The other Injury Lawyers that I spoke with in Toronto and Oshawa wouldn’t even talk to me. I am glad that I called.
RP, Oshawa, Ontario
I want to express my thanks for everything that you have done for me.”
AF, Whitby, Ontario