Hire a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer in Vancouver to Help
A slip and fall accident can happen to anyone and, if you are injured as result, it may be possible to get financial compensation for the damages you have suffered. Because of occupier’s liability, you may be able to get damages payment from the insurance of a business or homeowner. The liability section of a property insurance policy protects against lawsuits for property claims such as slip and fall accidents.
You would not receive accident benefits like the way an automobile accident works, but in a successful lawsuit you will obtain enough compensation to cover your medical expenses and lost wages during recovery and you should also get compensated for pain and suffering and any loss of future wages as a result.
Claimant’s Burden of Proof
In order to have a successful accident claim, you and your slip and fall accident lawyer in Vancouver will need to prove with documents or evidence that the surface or structure of the premise was dangerous or there were safety hazards that the property owner was aware of (or ought to have been aware of) and failed to take appropriate measures to prevent an accident. For example, the occupier of a parking lot outside a store is required to have a reasonable system in place for clearing and removing ice and snow. In addition to proving that the occupier failed to take appropriate precautions, you will also need to prove your injury with medical evidence. A thorough investigation of how the incident happened needs to be done as each case is determined on its own merit.
Slip and Fall Accident Causes
Common hazards and negligent conditions that cause slip and fall accidents include ice or snow in parking lots or stairwells, leaves or other hazards on stairs, wet floors or liquids spilled on floors that have not been mopped. Other conditions deemed dangerous include abrupt changes in flooring, insufficient lighting, or a hidden hazard such as a gap or hole in the ground.
Generally, conditions are said to be unsafe where a reasonable person would consider them to be unsafe. In other words, it is common sense that if the condition of a property is hazardous and a person slips and falls as a result, the law will hold the property owner responsible for any injuries resulting from the injury. While the standard does not require the owner or occupier to eliminate every possibility of danger, it remains his or her duty to ensure that there are no hazards on the property which could foreseeably cause injury.
How to React to a Slip and Fall
If you have had a slip and fall injury on a property that belongs to another person or business, you need to be careful about what you say or do immediately after the accident and thereafter. It is best to keep the conversation to a minimum and refrain from talking about how the fall happened, laying blame or making immediate demands. Anything that you say to a witness can be held against you to downplay your injury or even shift the blame to you. Taking photos of the area where you fell or having a friend or family member do this as soon as possible can be helpful evidence for your case. Hiring a slip and fall lawyer in Vancouver as soon as possible is recommended as there are time limitations on how long you have to report some claims.
Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents
The amount of compensation in a slip and fall will depend on the facts of the case and the long-term effects of the accident. Hiring a lawyer who knows the relevant laws and the insurance coverage available will put you in a position to obtain the maximum financial compensation possible for the injuries sustained.
If you are deemed to have contributed to your injuries as a result of negligence, you can still have a successful lawsuit, but your financial compensation can be reduced by a percentage for which you also acted negligently. To reduce your compensation, the defence lawyer would need to prove that you contributed to your accident or thwarted your recovery as a result of negligence, such as failing to wear appropriate footwear. For example, if you tripped and fell coming into an office building on a rainy day wearing dress shoes that don’t have good treads on a wet day, your compensation could be reduced as it would be if you were found to not pay attention while walking. Other reasons you could be found liable include failing to properly see a hazard because you were not wearing prescription eye glasses, eating or drinking while walking or running, or being intoxicated by alcohol, drugs or prescription medication at the time of the accident.
Your lawyer will try to obtain a slip and fall settlement with the insurance company. He or she may need to start a slip and fall lawsuit in order to pressure the insurance company to take you seriously. Most slip and fall cases are settled but if your case cannot be settled with fair compensation, your personal injury lawyer will prepare the lawsuit for court to ensure that you obtain a favourable judgement for your injuries.
If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, contact us at Kenneth Cristall Law Corporation. We have slip and fall lawyers at our main office in Vancouver. If you live in Burnaby, New Westminister, Richmond, Port Coquitlam, Langley or Surrey, we have satellite offices that make it convenient to meet with you for an appointment. Call us today.