What you do after being injured in a fall is crucial if you intend to file a claim against the negligent person, company or municipality responsible for your fall.
It is instinctive for many fall victims to seek medical assistance in the event of a fall injury. The five steps below are, however, not normally done by fall victims. In addition to seeking medical assistance, the following five steps are as important after being injured in a fall:
- Find out the Location
Determining the location of your fall is important to find out who is likely responsible for your fall.
The Occupiers' Liability Act mandates the person, company or municipality that has physical possession or control over a property to exercise the duty of care to ensure that persons entering the property are reasonably safe.
To the casual eye, it may be impossible to determine who has possession or control of the property where you fall. It is important then to find out not just the exact address of the fall, but also the address of the closest property.
- Take a Photo or Video
Most of us now have a smartphone that enables us to easily take a photo or video. After being injured in a fall, take a photo or video of the injury and the surroundings to document what had just happened.
- Preserve Your Shoes
It is important to preserve the condition of your shoes after a fall to prevent the wrongdoer from shifting the blame from his or her negligence to the type of shoes you were wearing at the time of the fall. Right after the fall, take pictures or video of the different angles of your shoes. Also, avoid using these shoes to preserve the condition.
- Get the Contact Details of Witnesses
An equally important thing to do after a fall is to get the contact details of the witnesses. If possible, get their full names, phone numbers, and addresses for you to be able to contact them in the future. The corroboration of witnesses to the version of your fall story is valuable especially if your fall claim goes to trial.
- Report the Incident
In the event your fall takes place in a property owned or controlled by a municipality, it is important to report the fall to the concerned municipality as soon as possible or within 10 days of the incident.
The Ontario Law called Municipal Act mandates fall victims to report to the concerned municipality within 10 days of the incident. This 10-day notice rule is, however, not applicable in these two instances:
- a) In the case of the death of the injured person as a result of the fall; and
- b) There is a reasonable excuse for failure to notify the municipality within 10 days of the incident.