Ontario Court awards Plaintiff over $200,000 for trip and fall injury

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently released a decision where it awarded $107,765 to an injured woman, in Grayling v.  The Corporation of Haldimand County

Mrs. Grayling was injured on November 25, 2009 as a result of a trip and fall injury that occurred on a city sidewalk. She stubbed her toe on the sidewalk, tripped and fell and as a result, broke her right upper arm at the rotator cuff. 

Mrs. Grayling stated she stubbed her toe due to the difference in height between two slabs of sidewalk. As a result of stubbing her toe, she took four or five steps forward and fell on her right arm onto the grass beside the sidewalk. 

According to Justice J. Lofchik, it Is for the plaintiff to demonstrate that a condition of non-repair existed which in turn caused the plaintiff’s injury. Once the plaintiff is able to establish the condition of non-repair, the onus shifts to the Municipality to establish that the condition of non-repair existed despite its attempt to exercise proper care and diligence in the inspection and maintenance of the highway (paragraph 39). 

It was also explained that an elevation different between sidewalk slabs is not necessarily a “non-repair” as sidewalk installation is not an exact science and pedestrians should not expect a perfectly flat surface (paragraph 42). 

However, previous case law had indicated that the judicial “rule of thumb” as to what height differential establishes a non-repair is between ¾ of an inch to 1 inch. 

Justice Lofchik determined that a trip hazard existed. The trip ledge that caused her fall was concluded to be ¾ of an inch to 1 ¼ inches and there was indeed a state of disrepair of the sidewalk. 

He found that both sides bore responsibility for the accident. He felt that Mrs. Grayling did not pay enough attention to where she was walking. In his opinion, each party was 50% liable for the accident, meaning each party shared equal responsibility. 

 

The total amount awarded was $215, 530. Mrs. Grayling received $107, 765, after the 50% reduction for what is known as “contributory negligence” (her portion of responsibility). 

Mrs. Grayling was awarded compensation for the following: 

  • Housekeeping up to age 70
  • Gardening, window cleaning, curtain washing up to age 70
  • Physiotherapy
  • Loss of past income
  • Loss of future income to age 65
  • OHIP subrogation costs 

 

At the law firm of Paciocco & Mellow, we handle various types of personal injury claims including slip and fall or trip and fall claims.  We have successfully assisted our clients with slip and fall and trip and fall claims and helped them settle their claims for the best possible settlement. 

If you have been injured as the result of a trip and fall accident, it is important that you contact the experienced Windsor personal injury lawyers at Paciocco & Mellow at (519) 915-SORE (7673). We can provide you with a free, no obligation initial consultation.  

We will provide you with an overview of your legal rights and help you to understand the legal process. 

The law firm of Paciocco & Mellow aims to help provide you with Peace of Mind at a Difficult Time. 

How does the Ministry of Transportation handle Winter?

This winter has not been kind to drivers or roadways. With subzero temperatures, it has particularly difficult to keep the roads safe and clear from snow and ice. 

The deep chill is giving drivers and those responsible for maintaining road safety a difficult time.   

The subarctic temperatures are making it difficult to apply salt to the roads and for salt to effectively melt ice and make roads safe.  In the wrong temperature, applying salt to pavement is hazardous.  By the time the salt combines with the snow and causes the snow or ice to melt, the mixture refreezes or creates a build up of slush, creating dangerous road conditions. 

According to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), when the temperature outside reaches -10 degrees Celsius, it becomes it is a risk to apply salt to the roads. As the ice melts as a result of salt and creates more water, it will quickly refreeze due to cold temperatures. 

Road salt generally works poorly when temperatures drop below -12 degrees Celsius. When temperatures are this slow, the MTO authorizes the use of sand to assist with vehicle traction. 

In inclement weather, the onus is on both drivers and road authorities to keep our roads safe. 

The MTO’s winter maintenance services are provided by contractors, responsible for providing services within a reasonable timeframe. During a typical storm, crews are responsible for clearing snow once there has been an accumulation of 2 cm of snow or slush. As the storm continues, crews will continue to plow and salt the roads. 

Unpredictable weather conditions place extra demands on both the vehicle and driver. 

It is important to remember that the OPP may decide to close highways during extreme weather conditions for safety reasons. To check for road closures, go to www.ontario.ca/511

Drivers have to exercise caution when driving and practice safe driving habits including keeping a safe distance from vehicles ahead of them. 

Road authorities have to keep roads clear and find a safe alternative to salt in order to keep roads safe. 

The Ministry of Transportation provides regional road conditions report so that motorists can be aware of road conditions in advance of heading out on the road. The reports provide specific reports with respect to major highways and visibility. The MTO site also provides information about road closures and winter driving. 

The MTO provides the following recommendations for safe driving during stormy weather: 

  • Turn on your vehicle’s full lighting system during times of poor visibility;
  • Leave enough space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to minimize snow and slush spray;
  • Leave room for snow plows and do not pass a snow plow;
  • Take flashing lights seriously- allow emergency vehicles room to pass and get to their destination. 

 

Motor vehicle accidents can cause serious injuries including traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries, fractures, broken bones, spinal cord injuries and psychological injuries. 

If you have been injured as the result of a motor vehicle accident, it is important that you contact the experienced Windsor personal injury lawyers at Paciocco & Mellow at (519) 915-SORE (7673). We can provide you with a free, no obligation initial consultation.  

We understand that you may feel overwhelmed as a result of your accident and during the legal process and we strive to provide the best service possible and to help our clients in any way that we can, be it a referral to a specialist, rehabilitation provider, help securing a litigation loan or providing reassurance. 

The law firm of Paciocco & Mellow aims to help provide you with Peace of Mind at a Difficult Time. 

Winter Storm Driving Tips

In Windsor and our surrounding areas, we experience our fair share of winter storms. Freezing rain, blowing snow, fog and heavy snow fall present as obstacles to safe driving. 

When severe winter weather strikes, many drivers panic and many car accidents happen as a result of drivers who do not properly adjust their driving habits to reflect the conditions of the road. 

It is well-known that winter tires increase a car’s stopping distance and police and insurance companies encourage drivers to purchase and install a complete set of winter tires. Unfortunately, not all drivers believe in the value of winter tires. 

There are other measures you can take as a driver to drive safely and hopefully avoid an accident: 

  1. Clear Your Car Off: Take the time to defrost your car and clear all the ice and snow off of it- do not drive with an obstructed view. Do not assume that the defroster will melt all the ice and snow off your windshield and back window and provide you with an unobstructed view. When clearing your car off, also be sure to brush all snow and ice off of your lights;
  2. Check your Wipers: Are your windshield wipers in good order? Make sure they are, and keep your windshield wiper fluid topped up, and an extra bottle handy.
  3. Keep Your Lights On: Make sure your headlights and brake lights are in proper working order and turn on your headlights so other drivers can see you approaching. Some cars have their lights set to automatic and only turn on via sensor, but it is important to make yourself visible to other motorists;
  4. Slow Down: Keep a safe distance between yourself and the car ahead of you, allow adequate room for braking. It is recommended to leave twice as much space as you usually do;
  5. Beware of Black Ice: Black ice can appear as wet pavement and can be a serious danger to drivers if they do not realize they are driving on black ice until it’s too late- look out for pavement that appears wet and shiny;
  6. Avoid or Limit the Use of Cruise Control: The OPP advises against using cruise control on wet, snowy or icy pavement;
  7. Yield to Snow Plows: Plows typically travel under the speed limit. Give snow plows extra room on the road, yield to allow them plenty of room to do their job and be patient. Be cautious when passing a snow plow.
  8. Stay on the Main Roads: These roads will be plowed and salted faster, and will be more travelled, making them safer to drive on;
  9. Be Careful When Changing Lanes: There may be a buildup of snow and slush in between the lanes, making it very difficult to change lanes;
  10. Practice Safe Braking: If your vehicle does not have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), a system that allows you to steer while braking hard, you have to avoid braking suddenly and hard or you will cause your vehicle to skid. ABS prevents your wheels from locking when you brake hard.

 

Driving in and of itself is a big responsibility; regardless of the conditions, when you set out on the road, you should be alert, well rested and ready to pay attention. 

If you have been injured as the result of a motor vehicle accident, it is important that you contact the experienced Windsor personal injury lawyers at Paciocco & Mellow at (519) 915-SORE (7673). We can provide you with a free, no obligation initial consultation.  

The law firm of Paciocco & Mellow aims to help provide you with Peace of Mind at a Difficult Time. 

We understand that you may feel overwhelmed during your lawsuit and we strive to provide the best service possible and to help our clients in any way that we can.