It can be wonderful to spend some time away, focusing on rest, relaxation, and fun. Vacations are great escapes for Canadians. However, trip and fall accidents can still happen, even when you are focused on having a good time. These occurrences can quickly turn a happy occasion into a scary one. While some trip and falls are simple accidents, others are the result of negligence on the part of a property owner or occupier. In this instance, it is especially frustrating to know that your injury could have been prevented if proper responsibility had been taken. When hotels, restaurants, and other tourist attractions fail to maintain safe properties, innocent Canadians may suffer the consequences. Injuries that result from a trip and fall can range in severity from mild sprains to traumatic brain injuries and from bruises to broken bones. Making the situation worse is that you are away from home, not near your doctor, local hospital, friends, or family. In this week’s blog, we will focus on tips for how to handle trip and fall related injuries that happen when you are on vacation. If you experience a trip and fall injury while on vacation in British Columbia that is the result of negligence by a property owner or occupier, Klein Lawyers can help.
Steps To Take Before Your Trip
There are some things you can do to prepare for a safe and relaxing vacation. Here are some things to consider:
- Make sure you pack appropriate gear for your trip. This includes proper footwear. Wearing the right shoes will help you maintain traction, which will allow you to avoid unnecessary injuries. Do research before your trip, so you know what type of weather and terrain you will encounter.
- Make sure you bring needed eyewear, including glasses, contact lenses, and sunglasses. Proper vision is one of the most important tools to help individuals avoid trip and fall accidents. An inability to see well can inhibit you significantly and prevent you from seeing obstacles, slippery surfaces, and other dangers. While on vacation, make sure you bring all necessary eyewear to ensure your vision is as clear as possible.
- Consider optional travel insurance and coverage if you are travelling outside of the country. As always, do your research and see if your trip necessitates the purchase of additional coverage to ensure you and your family have all the protection you need. Some policies include insurance coverage for medical and out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of injuries sustained while on vacation.
- Only participate in activities and excursions with companies that have a good safety record. Again, research is critical. Make sure, before you book a fun outing, that you have selected a business that values the health and safety of its customers.
- Ensure you have the tools to communicate. If you are travelling to a country and do not speak the primary language, ensure that you become familiar with common phrases and make use of applications that provide an on-the-spot translation.
Steps To Take Following a Trip and Fall Incident
Even the best-laid plans cannot make every trip accident-proof. If you are in the unfortunate situation of experiencing a trip and fall incident while on vacation, here are the steps you need to take:
- If you have fallen to the ground, do not immediately get back up. Many people instinctively want to jump right back up after a fall because they may feel embarrassed and want to minimize any injury. That act can, in fact, compound injuries, making them worse. First, take a breath. Examine your body for injuries. Can you move? Do you feel any sharp pains in your body? Do you feel dizzy? Are you bleeding? If you cannot get up, call out for help. If you are not in a place where you think you can be heard, use your phone, if you have one, to call for help. Wait for help in a position that is most comfortable for you. If you think you can get up, do so very slowly and carefully. If possible, make use of a sturdy object nearby to help you get up from a kneeling position. Once you get up, sit down in a comfortable position and continue evaluating yourself for injuries or symptoms of a head injury, including blurred vision, dizziness, and headaches.
- Request emergency medical assistance if needed. If you are injured and need medical attention, call or ask someone else to call 911, or the appropriate local emergency number, right away. Paramedics will be able to assess and evaluate your injuries, provide basic medical care, and transport you to the local hospital, if necessary, for continued treatment and evaluation. If you are unsure of whether or not you are okay, err on the side of caution and allow paramedics to evaluate your condition. If your injury was not serious enough to require immediate medical attention, that does not mean you should not still seek out a medical evaluation. Trip and fall injuries can be deceptive, and the full extent of your injuries may not be obvious right away. Getting a thorough medical evaluation is the best way to avoid a medical emergency situation. Furthermore, if you believe your fall and injury was the result of negligence, you may have a premise liability claim. Your claim will be seriously impacted if you fail to seek any kind of medical treatment. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms after your fall:
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision or other visual problems
- Weakness or unsteadiness
- Lingering pain
- Immobility or muscle stiffness
- Bruising or swelling
- Open wounds
- Bleeding that is difficult to stop
- Examine the scene of the accident, and photograph the premises where you fell. If you did not require immediate medical attention or if you were with a friend or family member, try to document the scene of the accident as much as possible. Closely inspect the area where you fell. What caused your fall? Was the floor slippery? Was the ground uneven? Was there an obstacle in your path? Was there a loose rug or floor tile? Be sure to take copious photographs and videos of the scene. Include any dangerous conditions, poorly maintained areas, including stairs, and warning signs or lack thereof regarding unsafe conditions. If you suspect that your fall was the result of a property that was not in a safe condition, the photographs you take will help to establish proof of negligence on the part of the property owner or occupier.
- See if the premises had video surveillance. If you notice a camera that seems to be aimed in the general vicinity of where you fell, take a picture of the location and position of the cameras. If your trip and fall was a result of negligence, your lawyer may be able to subpoena the footage captured by the surveillance camera and review it while investigating your claim.
- Document all details about the fall. Include information like the approximate time of your fall, the weather conditions, the circumstances of your fall, the lighting conditions, and the individuals who witnessed your fall. Try to include any and all details about the event.
- Talk to anyone who witnessed your fall. Obtaining statements and information from witnesses will help to strengthen your claim. If someone saw you fall, get their name and contact information. Then ask them what they saw. Ideally, audio record them providing you with the details of what they saw happen. In trip and fall cases, witness testimony can be crucial.
- Report the incident to the owner of the property or occupier of the premises. This may be the owner of a home, landlord of a property, business owner, manager, or employee or tenant. No matter who it is, make sure they are made aware of the trip and fall you experienced. If your fall occurred at a business or retail location, they may ask you to complete an incident report. Complete the report, providing as much detail as possible, including the time of day and the conditions you believe caused the trip and fall. Do not minimize your injuries or trauma in the report. Once complete, be sure to request a copy of that report for your records.
- Do not talk about the incident. If you are contacted by an agent of the insurance company representing the property owner or occupier, do not speak with them. Instead, contact your lawyer and allow them to handle all communications and negotiations with them. You should also avoid posting on social media about the incident. Anything you post can be used as evidence in your case and could potentially harm your legal claim.
- Keep track of all documentation related to the incident. This includes photographs, witness information, medical records, medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, income loss information, and personal diaries or journals. If you suspect your trip and fall was not simply an accident but rather the result of negligence on the part of the property owner or occupier, these documents will be vital to your legal claim.
- Do not delay in contacting a lawyer. Again, if you suspect your fall was the result of unsafe conditions, contact an experienced trip and fall lawyer immediately. A lawyer can investigate your claim to determine if your injuries were the result of negligence. They can help you navigate every step of the legal claim and stand up against big insurance companies and their defence teams. Keep in mind that trip and fall claims have limited time periods wherein a claim can be filed. For example, trip and fall claims against some Canadian municipalitiesonly allow 10 days to file a letter of claim, and the statute of limitations against defendant municipalities can be much shorter than it is against non-municipality defendants. You must act quickly if you suspect negligence caused your trip and fall. An experienced lawyer will be able to identify all deadlines and ensure everything gets filed in a timely manner.
Were You Injured on Vacation as a Result of a Property Owner’s Negligence?
Klein Lawyers has an outstanding track record of handling trip and fall cases. We understand how to identify and investigate trip and fall incidents and determine whether or not there was negligence on behalf of the property owner and/or occupier. We have the resources, knowledge, and experience British Columbians need to get the justice and compensation they deserve.
We will start by conducting an in-depth investigation of the evidence in your case. We will take the time to really listen to your story, obtain any registry searches, incident reports, medical records, and witness statements and thoroughly evaluate your potential claim. During the case, we will retain key experts to establish the critical details of the injury that occurred. We strive to make this process as easy for you as possible. You will focus on your life while we focus on your case.
We keep you informed throughout the entire case so you never feel like you are in the dark. We want you to understand the process and feel comfortable asking any questions along the way. Too often, we hear concerns expressed from potential clients about what the process will be like, what they will need to do, and how often they will hear from their lawyer. We will make it clear right from the start so that you know what to expect, and we will stay true to our commitment to you. Communication and transparency are important to our team, and you will recognize that as our client.
Klein Lawyers Can Help
Klein Lawyers has over 30 years of success and experience in the legal field. During that time, we have worked hard to earn the trust and respect of British Columbians who need legal representation. Working with an experienced lawyer is critical, and our team understands the trust clients place in us when we are representing them. We value that trust and feel honoured that so many clients choose our law firm to fight for them. We are passionate about obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients.
Contact Us Today
Contact the Klein Lawyers team today at (604) 874-7171 for a FREE consultation with a Vancouver trip and fall lawyer. We serve clients injured in British Columbia and Class Action and Mass Tort clients throughout Canada. There is no obligation, and your consultation is completely confidential. We are here to help victims of a property owner and/or occupier’s negligence receive the justice they deserve.