Every year, thousands of Manitobans suffer accidental slip and fall injuries while going about their daily routines. Slip and fall injuries can create a significant burden in terms of pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and rehabilitation costs. Pollock & Company is a Winnipeg law firm with extensive experience in personal injury claims. We are committed to providing honest advice and reliable information to help you determine the best course of action for your unique situation.
Important Legal Concepts – What you Need to Know
In Manitoba, slips and falls are under the purview of The Occupiers’ Liability Act. In essence, the owner or occupier of a property has a legal responsibility to ensure that people interacting with the property are kept reasonably safe from harm. In order to be successful in a slip and fall case at law, the injured party must prove the occupier breached the duty to properly maintain the property.
It is important to understand that the property or building owner, occupier, or staff on premises are usually not considered responsible for damages if they took reasonable measures to prevent injuries from occurring. For example, if a person slipped on ice in front of a store, it does not in itself prove that the occupier is liable. The injured party needs to demonstrate that the occupier was aware of the potential risk, neglected to take appropriate measures to address the risk, and the person was injured as a direct result.
Additionally, the injured person has a duty to keep a proper lookout for their own wellbeing and not willingly engage in any risky activity that leads to a fall. For example, if a person slipped on ice but was found to be intoxicated, this is considered contributory negligence and may substantially limit or waive the liability of the occupier.
There is a two-year time limit from the date of the incident to file a formal lawsuit for personal injuries in Manitoba. Defendants and their insurance companies may use delay tactics to use this time limit to their advantage. It is important to connect with a knowledgeable lawyer early in the process. Because of the costly nature of personal injury claims, many are able to be settled outside of court.
What Makes a Strong Slip and Fall Case?
In Manitoba, the burden is on the injured party to prove the occupier of a property breached its duty or was otherwise negligent in keeping the premises reasonably safe and that this negligence caused an injury to occur. It is therefore extremely important to gather and preserve appropriate evidence and seek a legal opinion as soon as possible.
The strongest evidence is often in the form of medical records showing that the injuries were directly caused by the fall. Seeking a medical diagnosis and treatment right away is essential to making a strong case. Also be sure to document the incident in detail, take photographs of the scene and collect the contact information of any witnesses. For a complete overview of what to do after a slip and fall incident, check out our slip and fall checklist.
Free Telephone Consultation
At Pollock & Company, we have the experience, commitment, and capability to find the best avenues to pursue your personal injury claim. As civil litigation can be costly, often the best advice involves informing you of your options, including when there is little if any likelihood of winning your claim. A single phone call with our team can save you time, money, and undue stress by laying out your options.
Reach out to a personal injury lawyer today to identify the strength of your slip and fall case and determine the course of action that’s right for you.