Because ice is a well known slipping hazard, every landowner or store/business has a duty to take reasonable steps to address it. What is reasonable depends on the circumstances, including the type of property and what kind of people visit it. If a landowner or store/business fails to take appropriate steps to address ice, and a visitor to the property slips and is injured, then that injured person would likely be entitled to financial compensation.
If you are injured while visiting the property of another person or company, then you may be entitled to compensation. Generally speaking, a person injured on another’s property is entitled to compensation if they are able to prove three things: (1) the property owner owed a duty of care to the injured person, (2) that the property owner (or its employees) were negligent in failing to have in place a system of inspection/maintenance to address hazards like ice, or that they did not follow any such system, and (3) that the injury was a result of the negligent failures.
Nova Scotia has a piece of legislation called the Occupiers Liability Act. This legislation imposes a duty of care on all property owners/occupiers to keep visitors to the property safe from risk of injury. The law requires all property owners/occupiers to take reasonable steps to address foreseeable risks. This means that landlords, grocery stores, and malls (for example) all have a positive duty to address a possibly unsafe situation. Regularly salting ice, monitoring stores for spills, and ensuring stairs are up to building code are common examples of meeting the duty of care. Where reasonable steps are not taken, and an injury results, the injured person can seek compensation for the damages.
A contingency fee means that you only have to pay your lawyer if you win your case, and only after you have received compensation. You do not have to fear receiving any monthly legal bills, or be concerned about being charged for every call and email to/from your lawyer. The big benefit of having a lawyer willing to work for you on a contingency fee basis is that it allows you to afford to hire a lawyer now without having to worry about the costs.
Limitation periods are set by legislation. The impose a deadline by which an injured person must file a lawsuit. For injury claims in Nova Scotia, the general limitation period is 2 years from the date of your injury. There are some important exceptions however; discoverability applies (meaning that the clock doesn’t start ticking until after you reasonably know that you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence). Also, in Nova Scotia there is no limitation period for sexual abuse claims.
Discovery examinations are an important part of the litigation process. They typically happen after you have filed a lawsuit, the defendant has filed a defence to your lawsuit and the parties have exchanged the relevant documents about the case. Discoveries allow the parties an opportunity to ask questions to the other side about the case and to assess the credibility of witnesses.