The Occupiers Liability Act is the legislation in British Columbia that establishes the duties of property owners and occupiers as they apply to ensuring the safety of people on their premises. Another applicable British Columbia statute, the Negligence Act, specifies how damages are awarded to people who suffer injury due to dangerous conditions, activities, and/or third party conduct.
Trip and fall incidents are among the most common causes of injury on residential, commercial, and government premises. If you were injured in a trip and fall incident on premises owned and/or occupied by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation.
A Vancouver trip and fall lawyer can build a strong claim on your behalf and pursue recovery of the damages you have suffered. Hiring a knowledgeable lawyer is essential for understanding your right to justice and the compensation to which you may be entitled.
What Damages Can I Claim After a Trip and Fall Accident?
Recoverable compensation in a trip and fall claim is divided into two distinct categories: pecuniary damages and non-pecuniary damages. A trip and fall accident lawyer can collect evidence and make a determination as to the value of these losses.
Pecuniary damages are the quantifiable financial costs you sustain as a result of someone else’s negligence. They may include:
- Medical care costs, including:
- Transport via ambulance
- Emergency department treatment
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Psychological counselling
- Medical equipment and supplies
- Any income you lose if you are unable to work as a result of your injuries
- Loss of earning capacity (i.e., the loss of future income you could have earned were it not for your injuries)
- Out-of-pocket expenses such as:
- Assistive devices (e.g, a cane, crutches, a wheelchair, etc.)
- The cost of professional household services (e.g., housekeeping, gardening, childcare, etc.)
- Home and vehicle modifications to accommodate your injuries
- Transportation to and from medical and other appointments relating to your injuries and recovery from your injuries
It is important to account for the pecuniary damages you have suffered to date as well as any future economic loss. These latter damages are difficult to quantify based strictly on the bills you receive and the wages you have lost, so it is in your best interest to talk to a knowledgeable trip and fall lawyer about your claim as soon as possible.
Damages for non-pecuniary loss refer to the non-financial losses associated with an injury. Non-pecuniary damages are designed to compensate victims for:
- Pain and suffering, including:
- Physical pain
- Mental and emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life, including:
- Adverse impact on the ability to perform day-to-day activities
- Inability to engage in favourite hobbies and pastimes
- Permanent impairment
The severity of your trip and fall injuries and their impact on your life will have a significant impact on the non-pecuniary damages you can claim. An experienced trip and fall lawyer will gather all relevant evidence, talk to your doctors, and consult expert witnesses to account for all of the losses for which you are entitled to compensation.
How Is Compensation Awarded for a Trip and Fall Accident?
Section 1 of British Columbia’s Occupiers Liability Act states that a property or premises may have more than one occupier. An occupier is defined as the party or parties in “physical possession” of the premises or responsible for and in control of conditions and activities on the premises.
Because the duty of care may extend to more than one occupier (e.g., the owner of the property as well as a tenant on the premises), liability for a trip and fall accident may be shared by more than one party. When fault for a personal injury is shared by two or more parties, Section 1 of British Columbia’s Negligence Act states that “the liability to make good the damage or loss is in proportion to the degree to which each person was at fault.”
It is crucial to identify all of the occupiers of the premises who contributed to the trip and fall incident. A Vancouver trip and fall lawyer will investigate in order to ascertain all of the parties at fault and seek compensation from them on your behalf.
Will My Trip and Fall Case Settle or Go to Court?
Most trip and fall claims (and occupiers’ liability claims in general) are resolved through settlements with the property owner and/or occupier’s insurance company. However, if the insurer refuses to settle or offer you fair compensation, taking your case to court may be the only option for recovering the compensation you deserve.
Bringing a case to court involves navigating specific legal procedures and adherence to strict time limits. In addition, preparing for trial is an arduous process. For all of these reasons, it is in your best interest to start working with a Vancouver trip and fall lawyer as soon as possible.
An experienced lawyer can likely settle your case without going to court. However, it is important to know upfront that your lawyer is willing to take your case to court if settlement negotiations don’t succeed.
For more than 20 years, Klein Lawyers has been a leader in complex legal matters. Our team has extensive knowledge of personal injury law in British Columbia, and we are committed to pursuing maximum compensation on behalf of those who have been injured on unsafe premises.
A trip and fall accident may result in substantial damages. Klein Lawyers can build a strong claim and seek a favourable settlement or take your case to court if necessary.
Please call Klein Lawyers at (604) 874-7171 today for a FREE case review. Our trip and fall lawyers serve clients in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia.