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Pain and suffering may be recoverable after slip-and-fall

Falls are not only common causes of workplace injuries, but slip-and-fall accidents are the subject of numerous civil lawsuits every year. Individuals in Ontario who have to cope with pain and suffering after falling in a public area may find comfort knowing that they may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. Monetary damages may be claimed if the accident was caused by the negligence of a property owner, tenant or another occupier of the property.

Hazardous conditions can include snow and ice, wet surfaces from spills, narrow or uneven stairs that lack secure rails, and inadequate lighting. Also, damaged walkways or parking lots and any other unaddressed hazard that may cause someone to slip or trip and fall can lead to liability for the victim's injuries. Furthermore, others can be liable too -- maintenance workers and garden services may even be accused of negligence if they fail to provide a reasonable standard of care.

When determining negligence, the court will consider the alleged negligence and the steps that the property owner took to prevent injuries. It will also look at whether the fall accident was foreseeable and whether acceptable standards of practice were exercised along with frequent inspections to identify and correct hazards. In certain circumstances, if the victims could have avoided the accident, the court may find them partially responsible and reduce the award for damages by the percentage of contributory negligence.

Ontario victims of slip-and-fall accidents may be overwhelmed by the intricacies and legalities of premises liability lawsuits. However, the support and guidance of a lawyer with experience in this field of the law are available to assist in procedures every step of the way. Along with helping to establish negligence and presenting the case to the court, the lawyer can assist with the documentation of financial losses such as medical expenses and lost income along with emotional damages like pain and suffering.

Source: FindLaw Canada, "Slip-and-fall liability", Accessed on Jan. 8, 2018

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