It only takes a split second for a slip or fall to cause a personal injury. Perhaps it is from an improperly cleared sidewalk, or spill at work. Perhaps it was from a ladder or a balcony. And, especially if you fell from a height, a slip or fall can cause serious injuries, which can require weeks or months for recovery.
The most common personal injuries after a slip or fall are:
- Head injuries ranging from cuts or bruises to deeper damage including concussions and brain injuries.
- Injuries to the hands, wrists, and arms, such as sprains, fractures, and breaks.
- Injuries to the feet, ankles, and legs such as sprains, twisted joints, fractured and broken bones.
- Cuts and bruises.
- In a worst-case scenario, such as a fall from a great height onto a hard surface, internal injuries such as fractured ribs, organ damage, and internal bleeding. These can be as dangerous as a major head trauma, and can be fatal if not treated in time.
When Do I Need a Lawyer After a Slip or Fall?
In Ontario, many of your initial medical expenses after suffering a personal injury, such as surgical procedures and hospital stays, are paid by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, or OHIP. But there are costs that OHIP does not cover, such as drugs, long-term expenses, caregiver costs, or loss of income during your recovery time.
The compensation available to help you through your recovery depends on the circumstances behind your slip and fall and your insurance situation. Do you have an insurance policy covering loss of income due to injury? Did your slip or fall take place on public or private property? Did it happen at your workplace? Did it happen during or after work, and was it job-related?
If you were injured at work doing something job-related, you may qualify for compensation under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (or WSIB). If you were injured on private or public property due to snow or ice being improperly cleared, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the property – however, some of the rules for filing the suit are different if it is public property.
The best way to know what compensation is due, and what you need to do to get it, is to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A qualified personal injury lawyer can determine the correct course of action, ensure that your documents are in order, that you are receiving the correct amount of compensation after your insurance claim is filed, that a settlement offer is reasonable after a lawsuit has begun, and, if it becomes necessary, represent you in court to get the justice you deserve.
What Should I Do After a Slip or Fall?
For best results after suffering a personal injury due to a slip and fall – either for an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit – there are a number of steps you should take as soon as possible:
- Gather as much information as you can and document the accident. This includes taking pictures of where you slipped or fell, getting the contact information of any witnesses, and documenting the cause of your accident. This is of vital importance, as the scene of the accident may change by the time you realize you need to contact a lawyer, and something such as an icy patch may have been cleared up and difficult to prove after the fact.
- If you were injured at work, report your injury to your supervisor, and file a claim with the WSIB as quickly as possible.
- Seek immediate medical attention for any injuries you have suffered, and make certain that the hospital or clinic documents them. Also, have your family doctor conduct a thorough examination to find and document any additional injuries or emerging symptoms.
- Document how your life has been impacted after the accident. This includes any pain and suffering due to your personal injuries, no matter how small, as well as any impairment to your daily routine, from work to recreation.
Why Lerners after a Slip or Fall?
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury after a slip or fall, Lerners Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Our qualified lawyers have the experience with personal injury claims, workplace compensation, and insurance law you need to help you or your loved ones navigate the legal landscape, figure out where you should be going for compensation, and help you get what you need and deserve. And if you cannot come to us – if you are recovering in the hospital or at home and are unable to travel – we will come to you, as well as provide a free initial consultation.