Property owners across Ontario, including Ottawa, are subject to the Province of Ontario's Occupiers' Liability Act. This means they are responsible for ensuring the safety of employees and visitors on their property. Should they fail to do so and someone slips, trips or falls on their property, they can be held liable and be required to provide financial compensation to the injured person.
Because slips, trips and falls are the most common accidents that occur on property, there are personal injury lawyers in Ottawa who specialize in applying the law to these incidents. You can't possibly know everything you need to know to handle your case on your own. That's what personal injury lawyers are for. However, if you've been involved in such an accident, it might help to have a better basic understanding of slips, trips and falls before you consult an Ottawa personal injury lawyer.
Although slips, trips and falls are referenced together for the purposes of defining an area of personal injury law, they are quite distinct, each of them characterized by specific types of causes and injuries. These distinctions, combined with the complexities of the slips, trips and falls property accident law are why you need the expertise of an Ottawa personal injury lawyer to help you receive fair compensation for your accident.
To slip is to slide unintentionally for a short distance, often resulting in loss of balance and footing. Physically, this causes someone's foot (or feet) to slide forward and upward, which propels the body to fall backwards. The most common injuries are therefore associated with the back of the head, the neck, the back and the hips. Slips are usually caused by the presence of wet or slippery substances. Other factors include the type of substance, flooring and the footwear worn by the victim.
To trip is to catch your foot on something and stumble or fall. Physically, this causes someone to be propelled outward and forward. The most common injuries are associated with the front of the head or the face, hands, arms, elbows and knees. Trips are usually caused by the presence of fixed objects and uneven or damaged surfaces, as well as objects being placed somewhere they shouldn't.
Falls result from both slips and trips but can also be a 'stand-alone' incident when someone falls from a higher to a lower level without control (for example from a stool, ladder or ledge). This type of injury is most common when employees are working in unsafe conditions or when individuals undertake home projects without putting in place appropriate safety measures. The location and severity of injuries depends on the height from which someone falls, and how and where they land.