Injured in a slip and fall? – Liability and Compensation for Personal Injury

Injured in a slip and fall? Liability and Compensation for Personal Injury As we move about the world, every person has a duty and obligation to look where they are going, be aware of their surroundings, use caution when circumstances require it, and take reasonable care for their own safety.

Despite reasonable care and attention, you may suffer a slip and fall resulting in injury, ongoing pain and suffering, loss of wages for time off work, and other loss or expenses.

Common examples of injury include:

  • slipping on food or water left on the floor in a supermarket or mall food court;
  • slipping on an icy walkway or driveway;
  • tripping on gaps or slipping on plywood on a site under construction;
  • slipping on stairs with construction defects or no handrail.

If you are injured and someone else may be responsible for your fall and injury or contributed to it coming about, it is important that you:

  • note the cause and location of your fall (slippery substance, poor lighting, tripping hazard);
  • report the incident to a manager or staff present if applicable;
  • seek medical treatment for your injuries and report the details of your fall to your doctor or medical providers;
  • ask for a copy if any incident report made out by others;
  • collect witness contact information at the scene or after;
  • take photographs of the scene and the hazard in question if possible;
  • if the municipality is involved, report the incident details to them in writing within 2 months of the accident; and,
  • if the injury happened at work or during work duties, you must report the claim to your employer and WCB.

In British Columbia, a person in general has 2 years from the date of the incident to file an action in court against the party(s) responsible for the fall or contributed to it. If you bring an action, you may claim for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, future income loss if ongoing or permanent injury, housekeeping expenses, and out of pocket treatment expenses.

Keep a diary of medical appointments and kilometers attending physicians or clinics. Keep an envelope of all receipts for treatment, medication, housecleaner, yard work, or equipment. Keep notes of sick days or days off work due to the injury.

If you are likely to seek compensation, consider consulting with a personal injury lawyer as early as possible.