Did you slip and fall in a shopping mall? Know your rights!

Slip-and-fall cases in shopping malls have become quite common in recent years. Most of these falls occur due to slippery surfaces, cracked or chipped floors and poorly installed carpeting. The falls can lead to serious injuries that change a victim’s life forever.

Personal injury lawyers fight for victims of slip-and-fall accidents and ensure they get reasonable compensation for their losses. The Occupier’s Liability Act was put in place to protect victims and ensure property owners or occupiers were held responsible for their negligent actions. If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall incident at a shopping mall, it’s important to know your rights and get compensated for your injuries.

We’ll go over a few things you must know as a victim of a slip-and-fall accident at the shopping mall.

1) It’s your right to get compensated for your injuries

As a victim of a slip-and-fall accident, you have a right to seek compensation for the damages incurred. This includes monetary damages such as medical costs, rehabilitation expenses and loss of wages as well as the non-monetary damages like pain and suffering. Under Section 3 (1) of the Occupier’s Liability Act, the occupier is required to offer duty of care to anyone visiting the property. Therefore, the occupier may be held liable for any danger caused by lack of maintenance or an activity that is being conducted in the premises.

2) You may not be compensated if you willingly assume risk that resulted in the slip-and-fall accident

According to section 4(1) of the Occupier’s Liability Act, anyone who willingly assumes a risk leading to the slip-and-fall accident may not be compensated. However, the occupier is still required, by law, to not create any danger or act recklessly with deliberate attempt causing injuries to a person or damage to his/her property.

3) Contractors may not be covered under the Occupier’s Liability Act

If you are a contractor working on the shopping mall either as a construction worker or performing repairs and maintenance in the mall, you’re not covered under the Occupier’s Liability Act. This means that any injuries or property damage caused by construction work or repair/maintenance services may not be covered under the Occupier’s Liability Act. However, you will be covered if this is expressly provided for in the contract. It’s important to talk to a lawyer immediately if you’ve been a victim of slip-and-fall accident when the property was being repaired or maintained.

4) Independent contractors may not be held liable

Under section 6 (1), if a slip-and-fall accident occurs due to the negligent actions of an independent contractor such as an independent cleaning company, the occupier may not be held responsible. The injured person will need to follow up with the independent contractor to claim for compensation.

5) Note of exception

If the occupier is the Crown and any municipal corporation then there would be certain exceptions under the Occupier’s Liability Act.

6) The landlord may be held liable for absconding his duty of care

In some property contracts, the landlord is given the same duty of care as the occupier. If the landlord of the shopping mall has the same duty of care and is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the property, then he would be held responsible for your injuries or property damage.

7) Who is in charge of the common area?

According to the property contract, the landlord or store owner may be in charge of the common area. Whoever is responsible for maintaining the common area will be liable for any slip-and-fall injuries that occur in that area. If it is the storeowner’s responsibility to ensure there are no dangerous conditions in the common area, then he/she will be sued for any slip-and-fall incidents that occur within that area.

How to get help

The Occupier’s Liability Act is very complex, and you must get personal injury lawyers with experience working with slip-and-fall accident victims to increase your chances of a successful outcome. The claims process can be complicated, and you need sound legal guidance in order to secure a fair and reasonable compensation for your injuries.

Slip-and-fall accident victims must be compensated not only for the injuries sustained but also the expenses incurred and future losses. Only a qualified and experienced slip-and-fall personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and lodge a strong defence. If you need help with your slip-and-fall claim, talk to Grillo Barristers today.

For more than 30 years, Salvatore Grillo has been recognized for helping shape personal injury litigation in the Greater Toronto Area. Mr. Grillo obtained his degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. He can be reached at sal@grillo.ca or 416-614-6000 x2015.