Slip and fall lawsuits occur when a person slips on a substance or item that is on the floor or ground thus causing the person to fall and get injured.
If you slip and fall on someone’s property, the owner may be liable to you for damages. This means that they may have to compensate you for your injuries.
An example: So, you were at a grocery store and while looking at a display, you did not see that there was a spill of an oily substance on the floor. You managed to step in it and slip, thus dislocating your knee. There you have the beginning of your slip and fall lawsuit.
It is important to remember, however, that just because you fell at the store or facility, does not necessarily mean that the owner or operator of the place where you fell is liable to have to pay you damages.
This area of the law is governed by the British Columbia Occupier's Liability Act.
They are not liable if they are able to prove that they have an adequate system in place that protects the public. So, going back to the grocery store example, if they are able to say they have a policy that the staff of the store checks the floor for hazards on an ongoing basis throughout the day, that they keep track of the rounds via a checklist ensuring there are no hazards, and management is able to demonstrate this fact, then they may not be liable.
The policy itself must adequately protect the public (let us say it requires there to be a check every 15 minutes), and the policy must not only be followed, but the store owner or operator must prove that the policy was followed. If the grocery store proves this, then they may not be liable.
On the other hand (as in one of the clients we represented at Hemminger Law Group), when a person is in a mall and slips on an oily substance that is in the middle of the floor, where the oily substance is not properly marked, where the oily substance was not attended by anyone, and the procedure for checking for spills or hazards was not followed, then the person who is injured may have a successful claim (our client did).
If you wish to seek the advice of a lawyer regarding a matter where you have fallen and wonder if you will have a successful claim for your slip and fall lawsuit, contact us at Hemminger Law Group.
By Val Hemminger
Lawyer and Mediator
If you would like to talk to a lawyer please contact us at Hemminger Law Group.
Return from slip and fall lawsuits