Slip-And-Fall Injury Lawyers in Halifax Serving the Maritime Provinces
People can suffer terrible injuries simply because someone forgot, or neglected, to take reasonable steps to guard against a danger. Most property owners carry insurance to cover claims arising from injuries occurring on their premises. In fact, most finance companies require property owners to have this type of insurance. If you’ve been injured due to a slip and fall or other accident, our team will provide the support, guidance, and advocacy you need. And we’ll work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
- Slips & Falls and Other Accidents
- Defective Products
- Nursing Home Negligence
- Playground and School Injuries
- Wrongful Death and Fatal Accidents
- Construction Site Accidents
- Occupiers’ Liability
- Dog Bites
How Slip and Fall Injury Happens (Common Causes)
Slip and fall accidents can happen at any time and place. From parking lots to sidewalks to the grocery store or shopping mall, unsafe surface conditions, environmental factors, and occupational hazards can cause serious slips and falls. We’ll go over some of the most common hazards that contribute to slip and fall injuries.
A major cause of slip and fall accidents especially in public places like restaurants and shopping malls is a surface that’s unconducive for running or walking. Surface conditions that may cause a slip and fall include:
- A recently waxed or mopped floor
- Rugs or mats that are hanging loose especially on stairs
- Potholes in a parking lot
- Spilled/splashed liquid such as grease, oil, or water that’s not cleaned up
- Cluttered floors
- Defective sidewalks
- Torn carpeting
- Ice that’s not salted
Environmental factors may also contribute to slip and fall injuries. For instance, a poorly lit surface makes it harder for passers-by to see obstacles along the way. Cords running across a room or open desks/drawers can cause a trip. Other situations such as trash or debris left on the floor, bright light that causes glare on the floor and makes it harder to see, may also contribute to slips and falls.
There are premises with stairs that aren’t properly secured. For instance, the stairs may not have handrails, which increases the risk of a slip and fall. Using another piece of furniture like a chair as a ladder may also cause a slip and fall.
Nature of work
There are people at greater risk of slips and falls because of their occupation. This situation is made worse if adequate training isn’t done on workplace safety. They include chefs, construction workers, factory workers, housekeepers, custodial staff, and manual labourers. You may also get into a slip and fall accident by making personal choices such as not wearing the right shoes. It is important to wear the appropriate footwear to help avoid slip and falls.
The line graph clearly shows injury emergency department visits by unintentional fall in Nova Scotia in recent years 2016 to 2019. The data is taken from www.cihi.ca and highlights the increase in the number of people falling from stairs, ladders, through, buildings, and other unspecified slips and falls. The chart shows the largest number of people were injured from, tripping, slipping, and stumbling. The second-largest number were injured from unspecified falls. As a result of COVID-19 data from injury emergency department visits remains unclear, yet will be updated as soon as it will be released. It’s important to point out people might be less cautious nowadays and in the future. Give Wagners a call for a free consultation so we can help you to go through the painful process of unintentional slip or fall injury in a professional manner and understanding way.
Common Injuries After Slip and Fall Accident
Most slips and falls don’t cause serious harm. Many people are able to walk away from the accident without any visible injuries. However, there are cases where a slip and fall can result in serious injuries that last days, weeks, or even months.
We’ll go over some common examples of injuries that result after a slip and fall accident:
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Hip fractures
- Joint damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Sprained wrists or ankles
- Soft tissue injuries
- Knee damage
- Internal organ damage
Though a rare occurrence, there are victims of slip and fall injuries who never recover. In the unfortunate event that an individual dies as a result of their injuries, the family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim to get damages for the lost financial support, care, guidance, and companionship among other losses. You’ll need sound legal advice to represent your family and ensure justice is served.
Common Places in Halifax Where Slip and Fall Accidents Occur
There’s always a risk of tripping or losing balance and falling when walking which makes slip and fall occurrences quite common amongst us. Though a slip and fall is a typical accident that can occur anytime when someone is walking, there are certain places which are more likely to attract these incidents.
Examples of these common locations include:
- At retail stores such as the grocery store
- Restaurants and bars
- Entertainment spots like movie theatres
- Hotels and resorts
- Parking lots
- Office buildings and workplaces
- Staircases in residential buildings
- Escalators and elevators
- Other public places
When a slip and fall incident occurs, the owner or occupier of the premises may be held liable for the accident. Determining who this is may not always be easy but with the help of a qualified lawyer, you can get those responsible to be held accountable for your injuries.
It’s important to know the next steps to take following a slip and fall incident. If you don’t take steps to document everything, you’ll lack the important information needed to prove your claim.
We recommend documenting the following after a slip and fall accident:
- Take photos and videos of the accident scene
- Take pictures of any conditions that contributed to the accident such as icy patches or crooked stairs
- Take a photo of the premises
- Obtain witness statements
- Obtain video footage of the incident
- Preserve the footwear you were wearing during the accident in a safe storage place
- Jot down any other details such as the slipperiness of the area
Proving Liability in Sleep & Fall Accidents
When a slip and fall isn’t your fault, you could be entitled to compensation if you prove that the occupier acted negligently. Negligence is the failure to provide reasonable standards of care which resulted in damage or injury to another person. Negligence is uniquely determined depending on the circumstances of each case. The claimant must meet the burden of proof. In this case, the plaintiff must prove that the owner of the premise where the slip and fall occurred, should be held at fault because they knew that there was a risk of injury and failed to take steps to prevent it.
A common argument raised by occupiers in slip and fall incidents is that they did not know about the risk of hazard. To establish fault, it must be shown that:
- The occupier somehow created the condition through their action (or lack of action)
- The occupier knew that the condition existed and did not take steps to take care of it
- The condition existed for a long enough time that any reasonable person would have done something about it
Some occupiers argue that they had a system of inspection or they weren’t around at the time of the accident. Every argument presented is critically examined to determine if they have any merits to the claim.
With the help of a slip and fall lawyer, all investigations will be conducted from the beginning and the necessary documents gathered to help establish fault.
Occupiers’ Liability in Slip-And-Fall Accidents
If a slip and fall accident results in a serious and permanent impairment, you may be entitled to non-pecuniary damages. To determine whether the injuries you sustained have significantly affected your lifestyle and enjoyment of life, a statutory ‘Threshold Test’ will be conducted. They include damages for:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent impairment or disfigurement
- Emotional trauma
- Diminished quality of life
Slip and fall claims that involve non-pecuniary losses are usually complex to resolve because the damages are subjective and involve a lot of negotiation with the at-fault party before a settlement is reached.
As a victim of a slip and fall injury that has resulted in a permanent impairment, you may also be entitled to damages for loss of future income and loss of competitive advantage. There must be adequate evidence to support that the victim’s injuries restrict their scope of employment or future earnings. For instance, some injuries can result in a reduction of marketability to potential employers. This means that the victim will no longer be able to take advantage of employment prospects that could have been available to them if it weren’t for the injuries. The court can award non-pecuniary damages to cater for these losses.
This bar chart shows the growth of injury hospitalization in Canada from 2016 to 2019. It is taken from the website Canadian Institute for Health Information. There are 4 bars. The yellow bar shows the growth of hospitalization in Canada in 2019, both male and female. We can say the number of hospitalized people because of unintentional injury, fall, or slip has been increased. We may predict the increase in the coming years, due to people getting used to the less outdoor way of living nowadays.
Compensation Available After a Slip and Fall Accident in Halifax
Wondering what your slip and fall accident claim may be worth? To establish what compensation is available to you, the courts will try and determine how much will place the injured person in the same financial circumstances that they would have been, were it not for the accident. While no amount of money can replace the pain and losses incurred after the injury, compensation is meant to help individuals recover their losses and future income. There are different categories of losses for which the courts will compensate victims of slip and fall incidents. They include:
Non-pecuniary damages: These damages are often difficult to calculate since they’re not quantifiable. For instance, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, pain, and suffering are examples of non-pecuniary losses. The maximum amount is close to $370,000 and increases every year depending on the rate of inflation.
Pecuniary losses: These are direct money or income losses such as money spent on medical costs, housekeeping, rehabilitation, attendant care, etc. It also includes loss of present and future income.
Special damages: These costs may include legal fees when preparing for trial and dealing with your medical injuries.
Punitive damages: These are meant to punish the at-fault party for their reckless or negligent actions. Punitive damages are considered to make a financial impact on the defendant and ensure that they don’t engage in the same negligent behaviour in the future.