Slipped and fell on Ice? Here’s what you need to know (and do!)
By: Miriam Morcos
With the winter season comes the increased risk of slip and fall injuries on ice or snow. Here are some important things to keep in mind in order to maximize your chances of recovery and of receiving a compensation, if you sustained serious injuries as a result of a slip and fall.
If you slip and fall on an icy surface and you feel you may have been severely injured or have a broken bone, call 911 immediately!
Sometimes you may feel ok after a slip and fall, but then you start to experience severe pain within a few hours or even days. As soon as possible, get the medical attention that you need by either visiting your family doctor, a walk-in clinic or the ER. Follow their recommendations in terms of taking pain relief medication or performing further assessments.
At the scene of the incident, inspect your surroundings and make a mental note of where you fell and what it was exactly that you slipped on. For example, was it ice or snow? Did you fall on a city sidewalk, or on a private property? How did your foot slip? Did you fall on your right or left side? Which part or parts of your body were impacted by the fall? Also, identify by passers who could be potential witnesses to verify your version of the events.
Take a photo with your cell phone of the exact place where you fell. If you are able to, record a short video showing the path you were walking on before you slipped. Alternatively, write down your recollection of the slip and fall as soon as you get a chance. It may be hard to remember these details after a year or two have passed. It is also important to preserve the shoes/boots that you were wearing, because these will be important pieces of evidence if you end up going to trial.
It is important to know that the law imposes certain notice requirements that you need to keep in mind, in order to preserve your right to sue the negligent party.
The notice requirement is different if the slip and fall happened on a municipal property, e.g. on a city sidewalk, public road or bridge, versus a slip on fall on private property.
If the fall happened on a municipal property, the Municipal Act dictates that the City must be notified in writing within 10 days of the incident. If the fall happened on a private property, written notice must be provided to the owner and/or contractor who was responsible to remove the snow or ice within 60 days, according to recent amendments to the Occupier’s Liability Act. This change to the notice requirement for slip and fall incidents on private property may arguably make it more difficult for injured people to bring a claim for damages.
Serving a notice within the prescribed period is a crucial step in order to preserve your right to sue the responsible party for damages. It might be challenging to determine who the potential defendants may be or what are the exact steps that you need to take. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help guide you through this process and preserve your rights.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall incident, contact Sherif Rizk, at Rizk Law Office today to schedule a consultation. Sherif will assess your claim and help you understand your options and the legal process.
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