Your Trusted Accident Lawyers in Peterborough and Whitby
If you are seriously injured on the property due to the negligence of an occupier of that property, you may be entitled to compensation. An occupier is an owner, tenant, or someone who is in physical possession of the premises or has responsibility for and control over it.
What Kind of Accident Can I Sue For?
A slip or trip and fall accident can occur anywhere, on public property, at a private business, or at someone’s home. Common reasons for such lawsuits include poor maintenance and poor lighting (eg., a slippery surface on a parking lot or a torn carpet).
Do I Have a Basis for a Lawsuit?
Whether an owner or occupier is liable for the accident will depend on whether s/he had a duty of care, if he/she breached that duty, if the breach caused the injury, and if damages actually occurred. Each of these components for a tort case in negligence is outlined below.
• Was there a Duty of Care? The Occupiers Liability Act sets out the basic standards that all occupiers of property must meet. Occupiers must ensure that people entering the premises and their property are reasonably safe. This standard applies to the condition of the premises, activities on the premises, and even the conduct of third parties on the premises.
• Was the Standard of Care Breached? Did the occupier fail to make a reasonable effort to keep the premises safe? Or, did a dangerous situation exist that the occupier should have recognized and remedied, but failed to? An occupier is required to act ‘as a reasonably prudent person would have acted under circumstances similar to those leading up to the accident.
• Did the Breach Cause the Injury? Was the unsafe or hazardous condition the actual cause of your injury? Or was it your own fault? Or was the injury the result of a pre-existing condition? Keep in mind that, even if you or your pre-accident health are found to have contributed to your injuries, the occupier can still be liable for your injuries on a proportionate basis.
• What are the Damages? Did the accident result in injuries and to what extent? Do you have to live with pain? Do you have limitations? Are you unable to work?
The burden of proof for the lawsuit falls on you, the plaintiff, in the case. However, your lawyer can help you establish who is the ‘occupier’, whether the occupier is liable, and, if so, that you suffered injuries as a result of their action or inaction.
Who Do I Sue If I’m Injured?
If you suffer a slip or trip and fall type of accident at a business, home, or recreational property, it is important to find out who is legally responsible. Determining the legally responsible party, as well as their proper legal name, is usually the first task your lawyer will undertake.
If you were injured on public property, including public transit, the responsible legal entity will be a city, town, or municipality. If this is the case, you must provide notice of your claim shortly after the accident, usually within 10 days, or else you may be prevented from starting legal action. Due to these time constraints, it’s crucial that you contact a Miskin Law lawyer right away if you are injured on public property.
Some exceptions to the occupier’s liability exist. If you were injured on the property as a result of criminal activity or trespassing you may not be entitled to damages. A defendant might also try to argue that you voluntarily assumed the risk of injury. However, this defense rarely succeeds, as a defendant must show that the injured person clearly understood that the defendant assumed no responsibility for his or her safety at all.
What Is the Legal Process to Pursue Injury Compensation?
The first step in any legal process is to obtain a legal consultation about your specific situation and hire a lawyer to represent you. Your personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the rest of the process.
Once retained, your lawyer will provide prompt notice to the defendant(s) and file a Statement of Claim with the court. The insurance company for each occupier will then respond with a Statement of Defence and, may, at any time, offer to settle your claim.
If the matter does not settle, your lawyer will determine when to schedule an Examination for Discovery. ‘Discovery’ refers to the full disclosure of evidence between the parties before trial. An Examination for Discovery allows the opposing lawyer to ask you questions under oath about the matters involved in the lawsuit. Your lawyer will have the same opportunity to ask questions of the defendant(s).
At any time the occupier’s insurer may request that you attend an independent medical examination. This assessment assists the insurer with respect to negotiations by providing another viewpoint.
Usually, a personal injury case is settled long before a trial date is set. However, it is always a possibility that a matter proceeds to trial, so your lawyer will need to prepare your case for litigation along the way. Your Miskin Law lawyer will advise you when you receive a reasonable offer that s/he recommends you accept in your situation.
Of greatest importance is that you speak to a personal injury lawyer early. If you do not meet the required deadline to begin the legal process, your ability to sue is lost and the claim can become ‘statute-barred. The lawyer you meet with at your consultation will discuss the statute of limitations with you.
Call Miskin Law When You Need Accident Lawyers in Whitby
If you have had a slip or trip and fall accident and believe that someone else was negligent, obtain your free consultation with a personal injury and accident lawyer at our Peterborough and Whitby law firm. We can explain what laws apply and the strengths of your case. We can represent you on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t pay a legal fee unless and until you receive funds from the claim. Call us today at 1-877-565-8621.