Injury Lawyers Since 1984

Slip, Trip, And Fall Accident Lawyers Toronto

We exclusively practiced personal injury law across the GTA and in Ontario for 40 years and has helped thousands of innocent injured accident victims and their families recover millions of dollars in compensation.

we have successfully recovered compensation following slips, trips and falls on:

  • Snow and ice on sidewalks and parking lots
  • Slippery surfaces caused by spills, leaks, cleaning products, or warn finishes
  • Cracked or broken sidewalks or floor tiles
  • Stairs negligently designed, poorly constructed, or that fail to comply with building standards
  • Hazardous paths, walkways, or trails that are unmarked or have hidden or ineffective signs
  • Collapsed balconies or structures
  • Potholes in roadways or parking lots
  • Hazards created by hidden catch basins

Boland Romaine LLP has devoted 40 years to practicing slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall law (also known as occupiers’ liability). We have come to know the most effective rehabilitation teams in York Region and GTA, and will introduce you to the case managers, rehabilitation support workers, cognitive and behavioural therapists, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists, that will become instrumental to you achieving your recovery goals.

‘slip’ vs. ‘trip’

The terms “slip and fall” and “trip and fall” are sometimes used synonymously, however, there is an important distinction relating to the mechanics of the fall.

A “slip” refers to a situation where the foot of an individual loses traction with the ground directly below it, often resulting in the foot sliding forward, and the individual falling backwards. Slips may be caused by the accumulation of snow, ice, water, or other liquid or surface, and may be exacerbated by the choice of footwear. Such claims often require investigation into how the slippery substance accumulated on the ground, whether it was anticipated, and whether the owner or occupier of the property had and adhered to policies and procedures for removing the substance or identifying it as a hazard for users of the premises.

A “trip” refers to a circumstance where a foot is either caught on the ground surface, a raised portion of the ground, or another object, often causing the individual to lose balance and fall forward. Trips may be caused by cables, wires, curbs, raised platforms, stairs, poorly maintained walkways or trails, potholes, equipment, or other objects. Claims involving trips often involve investigation into how the premises was designed, how the object was measured or placed, whether the hazard was an intentional fixture on the premises, whether inspections were completed to identify the hazard, and whether there were signs warning users of the premises of the hazard.

what to do after a slip, trip and fall accident

Many people who slip, trip, and fall may suffer fractures to their wrists, elbows, shoulders, back, hips, knees, and ankles, or hit their head and suffer traumatic brain injuries such as concussions.

It is important you gather as much information about the circumstances of your fall as soon as possible after it happens. You should take photographs and video of the area where you fell from a series of angles, including:

  • Approaching the hazard in the direction you approached it
  • From the opposite direction you approached the hazard
  • From the side of the hazard
  • Close up to the hazard, and
  • With a ruler to identify the height of the hazard (if applicable).

You should also take photographs of the surrounding area. If you fell due to ice, for example, it would be helpful to have photographs of the nearby buildings, eavestroughs, and driveways to show where the water came from. Perhaps the water froze because of a broken downspout, clogged drain, or improperly graded driveway. Be on the lookout for local surveillance cameras that may have captured your fall, and be sure to keep witness information.

There are different timelines to notify the owners or occupiers of the property of your fall depending on the location and cause of your fall. For example, an individual that falls due to a cracked municipal sidewalk will need to notify the municipality within 10 days of the fall, whereas an individual that falls on ice in a privately-owned parking lot needs to notify the owner of the property within 60 days. See our section on timelines below to determine if any timelines apply to your case.

how personal injury lawyers help

Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident victims must show that someone was at fault or liable for their injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help investigate the cause of their fall, identify the responsible parties, prosecute lawsuits in civil court, recover compensation, and refer individuals to rehabilitation teams specializing in treating their type of injury.

You should contact a personal injury lawyer quickly following your slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident. A personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you about any applicable notice deadlines and your chances of success if proceeding with a claim for compensation. See our section on timelines below to determine if any timelines apply to your case.

In Ontario, you are required to bring any lawsuit arising from a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident within two years of the date of your accident. This is known as the limitations period. This is a hard deadline with very limited exceptions, and a failure to start a lawsuit within two years of your slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident will likely bar you from seeking your maximum compensation. To allow enough time to investigate the circumstances of your accident, draft a statement of claim, and have your claim issued by the Court, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon after your accident as possible.

establishing fault and liability

Ontario law states that property owners and occupiers are responsible for the safety of people who come onto the property. Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990, c O.2, every person or entity that owns or occupies property – whether it be a house with a driveway, a grocery store, or a plot of land – owes two basic duties:

  • 1) to take reasonable steps to keep people reasonably safe; and
  • 2) to not act with intent to harm or reckless disregard.

These duties are owed by municipalities, store owners, retailers, commercial tenants, condominium corporations, superintendents, maintenance workers, homeowners, landlords, and residential tenants, among others. The type of the property and the nature and circumstances of a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident will decide which of the duties apply.

To succeed in a lawsuit, you are required to prove that the fall and the injuries were caused by a failure of the owner, occupier, maintenance contractor, and/or municipality to take reasonable care. However, owners and occupiers are not strict liability “insurers” of the premises, meaning that an injured person will only be entitled to compensation if the owner or occupiers acted unreasonably in their regard for the property.

In most situations, a person is walking along and either slips on a substance or trips over a hazard on a property where it is anticipated that a pedestrian would be walking. In those situations, the injured person must prove that the hazard caused the fall and that the hazard existed because the responsible party failed to take reasonable steps to keep the property reasonably safe. This often requires an in-depth understanding of the applicable industry standards for the location in which the fall occurred. It may also require investigation into issues of layout, signage, lighting, construction, building code compliance, and maintenance operations.

weather: snow and ice related slip and fall accidents

Winter weather across the GTA and Ontario may produce slippery conditions for sidewalks or roadways that create hazards for those walking when left untreated. Ontario law expects that commercial owners or occupiers of property implement reasonable winter maintenance policies or procedures to clear snow and ice from sidewalks, walkways, paths, parking lots, and driveways. Although circumstances may differ, homeowners, landlords, residential or commercial tenants may be found liable if insufficient measures are taken to clear snow and ice from driveways or walkways. In many cases, snow and ice removal contractors are found negligent for failing to take reasonable care to remove snow and ice from a property and failing to comply with its contractual obligations.

Ontario law requires that those who have a slip and fall accident on snow or ice give written notice to the owner or occupier of the property within 60 days of the date of the accident. Written notice should include the date, time, and location of your fall. There are few exclusions to this notice requirement and therefore is important you contact a slip and fall accident lawyer as soon after your slip and fall accident as possible.

slipping or tripping on other hazards

Property owners or occupiers or municipalities are required to keep reasonably safe those individuals entering a premises or using a sidewalk, regardless of whether snow or ice is involved. Owners and occupiers may still be responsible for slips, trips, or falls caused by slippery conditions, leaks, spills, water run off, cracked or broken flooring or tiles, ground obstructions, potholes, or the negligent design or planning of the premises.

Property owners or occupiers or municipalities are required to keep reasonably safe those individuals entering a premises or using a sidewalk, regardless of whether snow or ice is involved. Owners and occupiers may still be responsible for slips, trips, or falls caused by slippery conditions, leaks, spills, water run off, cracked or broken flooring or tiles, ground obstructions, potholes, or the negligent design or planning of the premises.

slippery ice on ontario municipal sidewalks

Slips and falls on sidewalks maintained by a municipality in the GTA or Ontario require a thorough understanding of the municipality’s winter maintenance operation policies and a forensic retracing of the municipality’s winter maintenance decisions and operations in the 24 hours leading up to your fall. Further, Ontario law holds municipalities to different standards than private property owners and requires you provide the appropriate municipality with written notice of your fall within 10 days.

To claim against a municipality, one must show the municipality’s failure to clear the snow and ice from the sidewalk amounts to “gross negligence” under the Municipal Act, 2001 S.O. 2001, c.25. “Gross negligence” is not precisely defined, but the Ontario Courts know it when they see it. For example, the Ontario Court of Appeal in Dorschell v. The City of Cambridge, found gross negligence when the City of Cambridge had a policy of ignoring particular sidewalks where an accident occurred. In Huycke v. The Town of Cobourg, the Ontario Court of Appeal found gross negligence where the Town of Cobourg permitted a slippery sidewalk in a thickly populated part of town to remain untreated.

As Towns and Cities have hundreds to thousands of kilometres of sidewalks to maintain, establishing liability against a municipality for snow and ice removal may be challenging. Boland Romaine has experience in settling and winning at trial against municipalities. In the 2018 case of Johnson v Lewin , we were successful at trial in recovering close to $900,000 for our client after establishing that the Town of Newmarket was responsible for a clearing snow and ice from a driveway apron, and that their failure to do so was the sole cause of our client’s injuries.

trips on ontario municipal sidewalks

You may still claim against municipalities for tripping on sidewalks even if snow or ice are not involved. Unlike snow or ice conditions, you do not need to meet the “gross negligence” standard to succeed in a claim against a municipality where a sidewalk is cracked, broken, or uneven.

Step-height deformities between adjacent sidewalk tiles are a common cause for trips. A step-height deformity exists where one sidewalk slab is raised or lowered from the next, causing a raised lip upon which the foot of an individual may get caught. Typically, people stumble during the swing-through phase of their step.

Research has shown that a height differential of as little as ¼” can cause someone to trip. The elderly are most vulnerable to injuries from falling due to a reduced ability to regain balance after a trip caused by diminished leg strength. Ontario Courts have heard many cases addressing the biomechanics of trip and falls and what amounts to an “unreasonable” trip height.

For sidewalk step-deformities, the Ontario Government introduced legislation that sets the threshold at two centimetres (¾ of an inch). To succeed in suing a Town or City for letting its sidewalks fall into disrepair, the height differential must be greater than two centimetres (¾ inches of an inch). Municipalities are also required by law to annually inspect their sidewalks for trip hazards, including step-deformities greater than two centimetres. Where a step-deformity is identified but not remedied within 14 days, the sidewalk will be deemed to be in a state of disrepair.

Given that it is the burden of the plaintiff to prove that the municipality’s negligence caused the trip and fall accident, success against a municipality for failing to fix a trip hazard on its sidewalk is largely dependent on proving the size and prominence of the trip hazard. Therefore, it is crucial to take photographs of the area as soon after the trip and fall accident as possible to preserve these details.

After falling on a sidewalk, you have just 10 days to notify the clerk of the City or Town that has responsibility for the sidewalk. While there are some exceptions, you don’t want to find yourself trying to rely on one. Therefore, it is always advisable to give written notice to the clerk of the City or Town immediately, if you have fallen on a sidewalk. Your notice should include the date, time, and location of the fall.

contributory negligence

Contributory negligence refers to a finding that a trial judge or jury may make regarding the degree to which an injured person bears some responsibility for their injuries. After establishing the negligence of the owner, occupier, or maintenance contractor of the property, the Court will apportion fault for the slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident and make a reduction of fault if it is found you contributed to the fall in some way. The specific facts and circumstances of the accident decide whether the injured person bears some fault.

In cases of slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents, Ontario Courts have reduced the fault of property owners or occupiers after finding injured parties assumed certain risks relating to the circumstances of their injuries, including wearing improper shoes or boots, taking unsafe shortcuts, failing to adhere to hazard signs, or failing to observe their surroundings. In some cases, Ontario Courts have held that simply no one is to blame for a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall and therefore the injured party has no one from whom to claim compensation.

Boland Romaine has experience overcoming allegations of contributory negligence made by defendants and succeeding at trial on those issues. Our recent sampling of trial verdicts show we have persuaded judges and juries that owners or occupiers have been entirely at fault for slip, trip, and fall accidents, or that responsibility attributable by our clients was significantly less than presented by the defendants.

In our 2016 jury trial Derry v C.F. Realty Holdings  as separate PDF window), we successfully removed the issue of our client’s footwear from the issues put to the jury, after hiring and preparing an expert “tribometrist” who tested the traction of client’s footware and testified that it was comparable to a Kodiak winter boot.

what compensation am i entitled to?

If you bring a civil lawsuit in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, you can seek compensation for your injuries from the owner of the property of the entity that created or permitted the hazardous condition that caused your accident.

How much you can recover in compensation depends on the severity of your injuries, your individual road to recovery, as well as the long-term impact of your injuries on your life. There is no fixed amount of compensation for a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall injury, however you may claim compensation through the following ways:

  • 1. Pain and suffering: the law allows you to recover a monetary amount to compensate for you having to endure your injuries and recovery. This amount is separate and a part from your loss of income or costs of treatment and is assessed by a judge or jury based on the unique impact of your injuries on your life.
  • 2. Financial and income loss up to the date of the trial: if your injuries prevented you from working, you can recover against the negligent property owner or maintenance contractor for the periods of lost income plus interest. The amount will depend on how much you were expected to earn for the periods you were off work and for how long you were unable to work.  If you have long-term disability coverage, you may be entitled to claim long-term disability directly from your insurance company. Click here to learn more about your rights to long-term disability insurance.
  • 3. Future lifetime financial and income losses: if your injuries will continue to prevent you from returning to your job or require you work in a lesser capacity, you may recover your total amount of lost income even passed the date of your settlement or trial.
  • 4. Past and future costs for treatment and services: you can recover the costs or fees for any treatment not covered under OHIP, such as chiropractic, massage, physiotherapy, attendant care, psychological counselling, or medication. If you need treatment or medication for the remainder of your life or into the future, you may be able to collect the total lifetime cost of your treatment needs at a settlement or trial.
  • 5. Out-of-pocket expenses: you can recover the cost of any assistive devices, prosthetics, casts, crutches, or any devices you need to help with your injuries.

A valuation of your compensation is based on the medical evidence and the degree of fault attributable to the negligent occupiers of the property. If your injuries are modest, the compensation will be modest. If your injuries are severe and impact your ability to work, then your claim for compensation may be equally significant. However, the percentage of compensation you may actually recover from the defendants in a lawsuit will be proportional to the degree of fault attributed to that defendant and discounted by any degree of contributory negligence.

how is my claim valued?

A personal injury lawsuit attempts to restore you to the financial position you would have been in had your slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident not happened. For those with significant losses of income or new lifelong expenses, a personal injury lawsuit is your only means to protect your future and replace what you have lost.

Evaluating a personal injury claim involves making informed predictions about how a judge or jury would decide the lawsuit at a trial. For this reason, seriously injured persons should consult with personal injury lawyers that specialize in occupiers’ liability litigation and that have a proven track record of success at trial. Click here to learn about Boland Romaine’s successful outcomes at trial involving slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents.

As we proceed with your case, we will periodically provide you with detailed explanations concerning how your claims will be assessed. The Ontario Courts have provided us with some direction in order to assist in the fair and proper assessment various injuries we will discuss with you at the appropriate time the various ranges for compensation.

how do i choose slip, trip and fall lawyer?

Putting your future into the hands of a personal injury lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make after you have suffered serious injuries. You should choose a personal injury lawyer with a proven and demonstrable record of success in handling cases like yours. It is important that you research your personal injury lawyer to verify any claims they may make about their abilities to handle your case.

Liability in slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall claims is often fiercely contested. Your personal injury lawyer should have the experience to know which entities are responsible for performing maintenance, which acts or regulations apply to the property, what types of expert engineers will be required to support a client’s case, and the ability to challenge the reasonableness of the defendant’s designs, plans, policies, or procedures.

does a personal injury lawyer’s trial experience matter?

Yes.  It may be the most important factor in your decision to choose a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident lawyer. You need a personal injury lawyer who can say “no” to lower settlement offers and the commitment and skill to take your case to trial to fight for fair compensation. Click here to read what Justice Quinn of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has said about lawyers that do not  regularly take cases to trial.

Trial experience may matter most in slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall cases where liability is denied by the owner or occupier. The insurance industry knows which personal injury lawyers do not take cases to trial, and may prey on that lawyer’s limitations to influence a lower settlement.

At Boland Romaine, we have won trials for those who have suffered:

Although the vast majority of claims we handle settle for maximum compensation without going to trial, Boland Romaine’s extensive and successful trial record discourages discounted offers and informs the insurance company that their risk of going to trial is real. Click here to see a sampling our successful trial verdicts and review Boland Romaine’s Trial Report Card.

How long will it take for my claim to be settled?

Boland Romaine will work hard for you to the very end however long or far you want to take the claim, whether through negotiation, mediation, or fighting on your behalf at trial. We focus on quality legal representation over quantity, and spend the necessary time and resources to build our client’s claims to get them the maximum compensation.

Predicting the length of a claim depends on a number of factors, including how many entities were involved in maintaining the property, the evidence of what caused the slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall, the number and severity of the injuries, your rate of recovery, as well as the ability of medical doctors to accurately predict the long-term prognosis of your injuries, and the status of the courts. As a result, some personal injury cases may take several years to be finalized.

can i afford a personal injury lawyer?

At Boland Romaine, we offer free initial consultations to discuss your rights and provide you with an opinion on whether your motor vehicle accident claim has merit.

If we decide that we can help you after your free consultation, we will enter into a contingency fee agreement (CFA) with you, which means there are no upfront legal fees and we only get paid fees if we are successful in settling your lawsuit or after we win your case at trial.

what are legal disbursements and how do i pay for those?

Disbursements consist of money that our firm spends during the processing of your claim for photographs, accident reconstruction reports, various searches, hospital records, medical reports, occupational therapy reports, rehabilitation/vocational reports, actuarial reports, economist reports etc. that may be required to prove liability and demonstrate the significance of your accident injuries and symptoms.

You do not have to pay for these disbursements. Boland Romaine will pay for all of these disbursements and only ask that we be reimbursed if there is a successful outcome with your case.

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WHY CHOOSE OUR TEAM OF INJURY LAWYERS

With Over 20 Years of Experience in Slip, Trip and Fall our Lawyers have Helped Thousands of People Receive Necessary Legal Help

We have successfully prosecuted more than 20,000 claims on behalf of accident victims across Ontario since 1985 and have settled hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. Apart from our track record of success, here are 6 other reasons to retain our legal services.
  • Injury lawyers
    since 1984

    The firm is specialized in personal injury law and is highly experienced in all types of injury matters including catastrophic injuries, wrongful deaths, serious motor vehicle accidents, slip and trip and fall accidents, occupier’s liability, defective products,

  • We have the resources to fight the
    insurance companies in your corner.

    We understand that accident victims can be placed in a vulnerable position when facing large insurance corporations. In Ontario, it can take in upwards of $50,000 to $100,000 in resources to prepare for a trial and even more to conduct a trial. Our clients have the

  • Large Ontario
    Injury Law Firm

    Our law firm is one of the largest injury firms in Ontario. We have a strong presence throughout the Province and are able to met with you anywhere, anytime to discuss your case.

  • Lawyers
    Who Care

    Our lawyers strive to provide the utmost care and attention to your case and are known to be highly responsive and accessible. Our lawyers also have a large and experienced support staff and team that is always available to speak to you every step of the way.

  • You do not pay any legal
    fees unless we win your case

    Our retainer is based on a contingency fee meaning that you do not pay any money upfront throughout our representation. We charge a flat fee upon successful settlement or judgment of your claim. We are upfront about all fees and expenses and ensure that

  • You Have
    No Risks

    You are protected with adverse costs insurance for your entire case, including all costs, fees and disbursements. You will have the peace of mind knowing that you be fully protected with no risks of pursuing your legal rights.

Your  Future  Is Worth Fighting For

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With Your  Slip, Trip and Fall Claims

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