If you have suffered serious injuries as a result of a fall or other accident, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. You should also:
- Seek medical attention immediately;
- Report the accident as soon as possible to the person responsible for the premises;
- Write down the names and addresses of any witnesses and keep them in a safe place;
- Take pictures of where the accident occurred, and date them. Improvements to unsafe conditions are often made by the owner after an accident occurs to prevent it from happening again, but no record is kept of the situation at the time of the accident. Contemporaneous photographs can be vitally important;
- If your accident involved slipping or falling, keep the shoes that you were wearing, and if possible stop wearing them, so that the condition of the treads at the time of the accident is preserved.
If you seriously injured yourself through a fall, or in an accident that neither involves a motor vehicle nor took place at work, you may recover compensation for your injuries under the common law or the Occupier’s Liability Act. This Act requires that occupiers of property take reasonable care to see that people on the premises are reasonably safe. However, it does not require the premises to be in absolutely perfect condition.
- It is important to act quickly. You should consult a lawyer immediately, as there may be strict deadlines that you must meet in order to advance a claim. See Time limits for more details.
In assessing your claim, a lawyer must consider all relevant factors to determine responsibility for the accident. You are expected to take due care for your own safety, as much as others are expected to take care of yours. For example, if you did not wear proper shoes or ignored warning signs, you may be found to be partly responsible for your own injuries.
In order to be successful with a court action, you will need medical evidence clearly describing the injuries arising from the accident. If you are injured, you must keep your family doctor and any specialists who are treating you for your injuries informed of your situation on a regular basis. Your pre-accident medical history may also play a significant role in determining the amount awarded to compensate you for your injuries.
In advancing a claim, you may be able to recover money to compensate for:
- Your pain and suffering;
- Loss of income (including future income);
- Expenses (such as prescription medication);
- Medical treatment;
- Travel to and from your doctors.
How we can help
Families are often surprised and overwhelmed by how much an injury can impact their lives and their financial situation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your current situation better and explain your legal entitlements.
Our involvement begins the moment we meet you. We start to work immediately to maximize your personal recovery by ensuring you get the treatment and assistance you require to return to as many social, family, and leisure activities as soon as possible. At the same time, we gather evidence to quantify every aspect of your losses to maximize your financial recovery.
After an accident, we will:
- Meet with you to understand your life situation, the accident, and your injuries;
- Assist you while you are in the hospital, arranging for parking passes and food vouchers for your family and ensuring a TV and phone are available for the duration of your stay;
- Assist in bringing immediate family to visit you – even from outside Canada;
- Determine which insurance company is responsible for paying your accident benefits;
- Complete your accident benefits claims forms, explain the process, and follow up with the insurance company to ensure your benefits are paid as quickly as possible;
- Open claims for any of your immediate family members who need treatment even though they were not in the accident—this protects your medical rehab limits;
- Obtain police records about the accident and, if necessary, seek out and interview witnesses;
- Put the at-fault party on notice that a lawsuit is likely.
This website is meant as a general reference for injured persons and their families. The medical and legal information contained in this manual is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content of this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements made on this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create a solicitor-client relationship.
It is recommended that you review any medical information carefully with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any decisions regarding your health or recommended medical treatment. While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website, our firm cannot make express or implied representations or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information. Each person's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Please contact an Ontario Personal Injury lawyer for a consultation on your particular personal injury matter.