Proving Fault in a Slip and Fall Injury Claim: 5 Tips


Toronto property owners are required by law to ensure the front of their homes or businesses are cleared and unobstructed. This means when it snows, proprietors have to shovel it away. When ice rain pours onto the streets, the business owners have to throw some salt on the ground.

Even with the greatest boots in the world, you sometimes can't prevent a serious slip and fall injury. Indeed, accidents do happen, but when they are serious you can do incredible harm to your body, which wasn't even your fault in the first place. Legal recourse is necessary.

When you have injured your arm, leg or back and you have to seek medical treatment or even miss work, the solution is to make a legal claim against the property owner. This could result in either a slip and fall lawsuit or an insurance settlement. However, it may be easier said than done because there are numerous legal complications and factors involved.

One of the biggest obstacles for many claimants is proving fault on the other party. You need to ask two questions: who is liable? Were they negligent? You also have to remember that the defendants may attempt to prove that you were careless or perhaps contributed to the accident.

Here are five tips for proving fault in a slip and fall injury claim:

You Will Need to Determine Liability

In order to be successful in your claim, you will need to showcase how the property owner or employees are legally responsible for the injuries you have suffered from slipping and falling.

Here are a few things that you need to consider:

  • The business caused the issue by spilling a product or making it a dangerous surface.
  • The company was aware of the dangerous ground but didn't remedy the situation.
  • The entrepreneur or an employee should have known of the surface (ignorance is not a defense).

If you can prove at least one of these truths then you will win your case.

File an Incident Report Right Away

After you have been injured and you have somewhat recuperated, it is imperative to immediately file an incident report with the business. You should never wait too long to contact the property owner, particularly if there wasn't anybody around who may have witnessed the event.

Moreover, you must also get a copy of the incident report to keep for your records.

Keep the Footwear You Wore

Once you have returned home from the hospital or walk-in clinic, you must take off your footwear and keep them within your immediate vicinity.

The footwear will likely be examined by the defense to determine if there were anything the matter with the shoes or if they were appropriate for the day of the accident (if it was icy but you were wearing sneakers or if it was raining but you were wearing flip flops then these would be marks against you).

Maintain Strict Records of Your Medical Care

Before and after the incident, you must have strict records of your medical care. Everything from prescription medication to all of your x-rays, it is important to maintain a folder for all of your medical history. This way, when the defense or the courts probe into the history of your health, you will be able to prove that you are absolutely healthy and in good shape.

Prove That You Didn't Cause the Accident

The last factor you have to consider is proving that you did not cause the actual slip and fall injury. Remember, it may be argued that the property owner was only partially responsible.

For instance, you need to think back to the moment the incident happened; were you on your smartphone texting on walking? Did you avoid any warning signs in your line of vision? Was there an actual reason you need to be in the potentially dangerous area?

Unfortunately, if the defense can bring forward one iota of evidence to show that it wasn't the business owners fault for the plaintiff's injury then you will not be able to win the case.

Slip and fall injury lawsuits are sometimes difficult to prove or disprove. Oftentimes, there could be a wide array of factors to show that either the property owner (or the employee) or the claimant was at fault for what really happened.

If the injury isn't too severe many business owners will reach a settlement because the hassle may be too great to go through. But you can't fully expect this to happen right away.

Contact the owner, seek out medical care and maintain strict records and you'll have a greater chance of winning your case.