How much is my slip-and-fall lawsuit worth?

How much is my slip-and-fall lawsuit worth?

If you have a slip and fall on someone else’s property in Alberta you may be entitled to compensation for any damages. That includes compensation for medical bills not covered by Alberta Health Act, lost wages and emotional trauma. So how much will your claim be worth? That is a difficult question to answer, but let’s look at some of the factors involved.

How severe are your injuries?

The extent of the injuries you have suffered is perhaps the biggest variable in determining the compensation you are entitled to. If you break your wrist after a fall, you will probably not be able to return to work until it heals. That puts you in a good position to argue you should be compensated for lost wages, as well as for the pain and suffering you have endured.

An injury such as a broken wrist will also affect your ability to engage in normal activities such as shopping or household chores such as shovelling snow, so that also has to be considered. There are other limitations on your well-being that an injury will bring about, so talk to a Kantor Law specialist about the circumstances of your case to see what your claim is worth.

How do I succeed on a slip-and-fall claim?

You need to show you were injured as a result of an accident on someone else’s property and that they were negligent. While sidewalks in Alberta are considered municipal property, the adjacent homeowner is responsible for clearing them of snow and ice.

Each municipality has different rules, but usually homeowners have up to 48 hours to clear sidewalks after a snowfall. If a homeowner does not clear their sidewalk and you fall on it, that may not be enough to win a case. However, if their actions increased the danger posed to those passing their property, the court will consider that a good reason to award you damages.

An example would be if the homeowner built a skating rink in their yard, with a high edge abutting a public sidewalk. That would cause the water and ice to pool more than normally on the walkway, endangering those passing by the residence.
How important are medical records with slips and falls?

If you visit a doctor or a therapist after a slip and fall, retain any records from that consultation. That documentation will be crucial in showing the extent of the injury you suffered and what recovery time is needed. The burden of proof is on you, so the court will demand evidence of your physical injuries showing the extent and severity, as well as the medical or surgical treatment administered.

If you fall, the results can be quite serious. Information from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention states that one in every five falls results in a serious injury, and that falls are the most common cause of a traumatic brain injury.

Are slip and falls limited to winter?

Though a significant number of slip and falls happen on icy sidewalks, others occur year-around in various locations. The cause may be a slippery or uneven floor, clutter in a walkway or inadequate lighting over a public walkway. These incidents can cause a wide range of injuries, from head trauma to broken bones to torn ligaments, and it doesn’t matter if they occurred in a store or as you walked down a street.

What are some examples of significant slip-and-fall settlements?

In 2019, a 48-year-old woman was awarded $755,549 in damages after she slipped on a slick of laundry detergent in a grocery store, injuring her brain. “[She] remembers extending her hands in the manner akin to what one does when surfing," wrote the judge in his summary of the case.

In giving reasons for the large award, the judgment notes that “the plaintiff must demonstrate both impairment to his or her earning capacity and that, in this case, there is a real and substantial possibility that the diminishment in earning capacity will result in a pecuniary loss. It is not to be an exercise in the abstract … quantification of the loss can be by either an earnings approach or a capital asset approach.”

In another case, a man was walking home from work when he slipped and fell on a sidewalk covered with ice. He severely fractured his ankle, requiring the permanent insertion of metal screws. He sued the municipality, claiming they failed to maintain the sidewalk.

The courts held that the failure of the city to commence sidewalk salting days earlier amounted to gross negligence. The plaintiff was awarded damages of $288,000, with the judgment noting, “In our view, the evidence clearly establishes that the reasonable steps required of the City in this case were to commence the sidewalk salting earlier … the failure to do so amounts to gross negligence.”

How common are slip and falls?

According to the Injury Prevention Centre at the University of Alberta, slips and falls on ice send almost 15,000 Albertans to the emergency department each year. Of that total, nearly 1,700 are injured seriously enough to require being admitted.

Nationally, the Canadian Institute for Health Information says that seniors account for more than half of all injury-related hospitalizations among Canadians. Four out of five hospitalizations involving seniors were due to falls.


AFTER AN ACCIDENT, CONTACT US

A personal injury lawyer can help guide you through your options and help you obtain the compensation you need to help you recover from any injuries. They can also make sure that your insurance company does not attempt to limit the compensation that you are owed. Schedule your Free Consultation by calling (403) 452-2011 or send a message to kantor@kantorllp.ca. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis, so we do not get paid for our time and attention until we settle.

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