What You Can Do To Present The Best Dangerous Premises Personal Injury Case

First, if you’ve been injured, you should make sure you have collected information about the situation, including witness names or an incident report which you filed with the appropriate person or office.

You should be sure to see a doctor as well. After having done all that, you should then consult with a lawyer.

The victim needs to take on some of the responsibility. Personal injury cases are very fact dependent, and because people really don’t know what may constitute negligence on the part of the occupier or owner, they do need to consult with a lawyer. Often people will say, well I don’t know if I have a claim or not. That’s a fair comment, but that means you’re making a good phone call to find out. How would you know unless you’ve been in that situation before?

A slip and fall type of accident isn’t quite the same as an automobile accident, for instance. An automobile accident will automatically start to generate certain paperwork. Both sides are going to go in to their insurance companies and report the accident in most cases. There may be repairs that are done so we get some idea of the amount of damage there is to the vehicles. Police may attend the scene, as well as ambulance and first aid people. All of those participants generate documents. This isn’t necessarily the same in a slip and fall situation. So, it’s important to get witness names and all the details of everybody who was involved in the accident. In a supermarket situation, for example, you need to report the incident or they may not be aware of it. Supermarkets are usually pretty good at doing incident reports, but not always.

In a personal injury case, the claimant is going to be more responsible for making sure that paperwork is created. Wherever you happen to be, you need to report to the manager, or whoever is on duty, that something did happen, how it happened and what your injuries might be. Also, it’s very important to get prompt medical attention because that will then fit in with what’s happened in terms of pinning down the time when it happened as well as the fact that it did happen. When you go to the Emergency Room, or whatever medical attention you seek, they are going to ask you about the situation. You will report to them what happened in detail, such as where and when it happened. We get that paperwork and see that you went to hospital Emergency at a certain time, but two hours before that you reported that you’d fallen in the grocery store at Granville and 70th. Even if the incident hadn’t been reported to anyone in the store, the paperwork from Emergency lends credence to your story.

Also, it’s important to move quickly on your claim. This is particularly important in the case of municipalities. Municipalities usually have short reporting periods. For instance, if a sidewalk is repaired improperly and you fall there, you need to give the municipality written notice within a prescribed number of days of the incident. Since the same limitation period applies to actually starting legal action as well, it’s obviously very important for the claimant to report the incident and gather documents quickly.


If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with Personal injury law issues in the Vancouver, British Columbia Region, contact Stephens & Holman.

This article is taken from a December 2, 2008 interview with Simon Holman, LL.B., Personal Injury Lawyer with Stephens & Holman in Vancouver , a Personal Injury Law Firm.

Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.