We are quickly approaching the “most wonderful time of the year” when the temperatures drop and the snow falls. Given the pandemic, this winter will likely feel a little different. With walking being one of the few safe and socially acceptable activities, Albertans will be heading out on more winter strolls to both pass the time and get some much needed exercise. However, it is important to remember that city sidewalks in Alberta can be treacherous during the upcoming long and cold winter months.
Unintentional falls are the leading cause of preventable injury in Canada and can be quite serious, especially for young children and older adults.
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (“CIHI”), nearly 41 Albertans per 100,000 were hospitalized after slips and falls during 2011 to 2016. Hip fractures were found to be the most common injury sustained as a result of falls. Lower leg fractures and head injuries were the second and third most common injuries reported to result from falls in Canada.
SLIP AND FALL LAWSUITS
According to CIHI data, almost 8,800 cases of injuries resulting from falls occurred as a result of Canadians slipping on ice. Slip and fall claims of this nature are a common type of personal injury lawsuit. You may have a right to compensation if you have suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall on someone else’s property due icy conditions, inadequate maintenance, poorly designed stairs, or other dangerous conditions.
An injured person can receive compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, income loss, future care costs, loss of enjoyment of life, and other out of pocket expenses. In some cases, the injured person’s spouse can also seek compensation for lost wages as a result of caretaking or companionship.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A SLIP, TRIP OR FALL ACCIDENT
If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip, trip or fall accident the steps that are taken immediately after the unfortunate event can be crucial to building a successful legal case.
The lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie LLP recommend the following steps be taken after a slip, trip or fall accident:
- Ask for Help and Seek Medical Treatment: The number one priority following an accident is yours or your loved one’s health. If you are in a public place, ask for assistance or call 911. It is important to see a doctor immediately following an accident so that your injuries can be documented properly. Medical records become an important piece of evidence should you or your loved one decide to seek compensation for injuries sustained.
- Report the Accident: Whether you have slipped, tripped or fallen in a store, on a sidewalk or at a friend’s house, be sure to report your accident to the manager, owner or landlord of the property. If you are in a commercial space, it is important to have the details of the accident in writing and ask for a copy of the written incident report before you leave.
- Always Document Everything: Be sure to obtain the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of any potential witnesses to the accident. Witness statements are helpful to prove your claim if you decide to pursue a litigation. Take notes of what you were doing before the accident, the way in which you fell and any other details, including the exact time and date. The shoes and clothes you were wearing at the time of the accident may also be relevant pieces of evidence so be sure to keep those in a safe place.
- Take Photographs: It is important to take pictures of the exact location of where you fell and to photograph any stairs, icy patches or other circumstances that may have contributed to your accident. It is also helpful to take photographs of any evident injuries, such as bruising or bleeding.
- Call a Lawyer: Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer, even if you are unsure about whether to proceed with a lawsuit following a slip and fall accident, as soon as possible can help determine the next steps and the best course of action. Slip and fall accidents may have time limits for filing a notice or a claim. Speaking to a professional can provide the guidance and legal advice you or your loved one requires to proceed with a legal claim.
The steps that you take after your unfortunate slip, trip or fall accident are very important in helping to recover compensation for your injuries. Keeping track and preserving evidence such as your shoes, photographs of the accident scene and witness information are essential to help verify your claim.
If you have been injured in a slip, trip or fall due to the negligence of a third party, please contact the experienced lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie Lawyers online or at 403-571-0555. It is important that you call us promptly so we can help you understand your rights and the potential to recover compensation for your injuries. Call our office for a free consultation to determine how we can help you following a slip and fall injury.