GUIDE: Navigating an Injury Claim After a Slip and Fall at Loblaws

In Ontario, many of us shop for groceries and other household items at Loblaws, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, or Your Independent Grocer.  For some shoppers, a trip to the grocery store results in a life-changing fall. If you or a loved one suffered injuries at Loblaws, can you get compensation?

Table of Contents

  1. Can I Get Compensation After a Slip and Fall at Loblaws?
  2. What is the Most Common Cause of a Slip and Fall at a Grocery Store?
  3. 3 Steps After a Loblaws Slip and Fall
  4. Can I Handle my Personal Injury Claim Against Loblaws on my Own?
  5. How Will a Lawyer Help with my Loblaws Slip and Fall Case?
  6. What Can I Expect from a Loblaws Slip and Fall Settlement?
  7. Are There Time Limits to Seek Compensation?

Can I Get Compensation After a Slip and Fall at Loblaws?

The short answer is usually yes.  Our personal injury firm has had significant success in advancing slip and fall injury cases against Loblaws and other grocery stores.  We have successfully claimed for:

  • pain and suffering, 
  • loss of past and future income, 
  • rehabilitation costs and 
  • other expenses for clients who have been injured at the grocery store.

What is the Most Common Cause of a Slip and Fall at a Grocery Store?

The most common cause of slips and falls in grocery stores, like Loblaws, is shoppers slipping on something that has been left on the floor.  We have seen examples of this with produce (bananas, lettuce, cherries, etc.) as well as both oil and soap spills.  We have also had clients fall down stairs at Loblaws, or slip on rain or slush tracked in by other patrons.  In a few cases, we have even had clients injured due to a leaky freezer or protruding pallet or store display.

3 Steps After a Loblaws Slip and Fall

STEP 1: Report the Accident

If you or a loved one slipped and fell at Loblaws, make sure you report it.  If you left the store without reporting it because you did not realize how injured you were, call the store today and report the date and time of the accident.  Ask the store to preserve any camera footage.

If you reported the slip and fall at the time, you may have signed an incident report.  It is difficult to get the store to share a copy of the incident report, but it is worth asking.  If you hired lawyers to help you with your case, they will ultimately be able to get the information in the report.

STEP 2: Preserve the Evidence

This is an extremely important part of your case. You’ll need this evidence to prove that you are not to blame for your fall. The more you document at the beginning, the better prepared you will be months later when you are asked to recall the details.

  • In a perfect world, you or someone with you would have taken photos of where you fell, including whatever caused you to fall.  Photos of the substance are especially helpful!
  • If your clothes were soiled by the substance, saving them without washing them is very helpful if there are no photos.
  • Save your shoes.  Loblaws may try to blame the fall on your shoes.  Ideally, you will save them and not wear them until your lawyer has a chance to look at them and photograph them.
  • If you had already checked out and have a cash register receipt, save it. This will help to document the date and time of your incident.
  • If people came to your assistance at the store, try to remember their names and write them down as soon as possible.
  • If you slipped on a slippery substance like soap or oil, try to remember how big the spill was.  Write it down so you don’t forget.  Was it a strip of oil or a square?  Was it a series of spills, like a leak?

STEP 3: Seek Medical Attention

The earlier you get medical attention for your injury, the stronger your case.  Broken bones like fractured ankles or wrists are easy to prove were a result of your slip and fall at Loblaws. Other injuries, such as sprains, strains, torn tendons or ligaments, and concussions can be more difficult to prove if you wait too long to seek medical attention.  

Make sure you tell your physician how you were injured so they can document it as well.

Can I Handle my Personal Injury Claim Against Loblaws on my Own?

In our experience, Loblaws has an internal risk management team that will investigate an injury at any Loblaws Brand store.  Most of the time, the risk management team tells an unrepresented person that Loblaws is not responsible for the injury.  They will tell the person who does not have a lawyer that Loblaws had a reasonable maintenance system in place and that it cannot be responsible for everything that falls on the ground.  

Sometimes, Loblaws has done everything it should have and is not responsible for a person’s injuries.  However, you should not rely on Loblaws’ own opinion of its conduct. 

If an unrepresented person deals directly with Loblaws risk management, they may be able to secure a small settlement.  However, we have never seen an unrepresented person get an offer that is higher than $25,000.  While that might be a reasonable offer for some injuries, it will not be enough for many injured Ontarians who are missing work and incurring significant physiotherapy or other expenses as a result of their injuries.

How Will a Lawyer Help with my Loblaws Slip and Fall Case?

As experienced personal injury lawyers, there are a number of steps we will take to ensure you get the most compensation possible for your injury at Loblaws.  Some of the things we will handle for you include:

  • Identify all possible defendants who may be responsible to pay your compensation.  Most Loblaws have cleaning companies that are hired to manage the floors.  Sometimes those cleaning companies hire subcontractors.  Sorting out who should pay is not always easy.
  • Provide notice of your claim to Loblaws and the cleaning companies.
  • Obtain copies of all relevant evidence from Loblaws including:
    • The sweep logs that describe how and when the floor was maintained on the day of the injury;
    • The manual that sets out what Loblaws and the cleaning companies are supposed to do to keep the store safe;
    • The names of any witnesses to the fall;
    • The camera footage.
  • Start a lawsuit by filing a statement of claim with the court.
  • Obtain all your records that are needed to prove your injury and any financial losses you have suffered.
  • Prepare you for an examination for discovery where you tell your side of the story.
  • Examine the representative of Loblaws and the cleaning companies.
  • Hire an expert witness to give an opinion about the quality of Loblaws’ maintenance protocol and/or the extent of your injuries.
  • Attend mediation with you to see if your case can be settled without a trial.
  • Attend a pretrial with you to see if your case can be resolved with the help of a judge.
  • Attend a trial on your behalf to secure the compensation you deserve.

What Can I Expect from a Loblaws Slip and Fall Settlement?

The value of your injury from the grocery store depends on a few factors:

  1. The seriousness of your injuries and how those injuries impact your ability to live your life;
  2. Whether your grocery store injury has caused a loss of income;
  3. Whether you have incurred costs because of your Loblaws injuries, such as for rehabilitation or medicine;
  4. Whether we have a strong case that Loblaws or its cleaning companies were negligent or whether the case is risky.  This is sometimes called “litigation risk” which can be impacted by:
    • What the records show about the cleaning protocols;
    • Whether there are any witnesses;
    • Whether you fell on something ongoing, such as a leak or a pallet versus something transient like a spill;
    • What the camera footage shows if available.

To determine the value of your case, we will look at similar injuries to yours to see what courts have awarded in the past.  For example, if you have a broken ankle that required one surgery and your doctor says you will make a full recovery with no arthritis, we will look for court decisions where the plaintiff’s injury is similar to yours.

Are There Time Limits to Seek Compensation?

Yes.  If you are an adult who fell inside a Loblaws Brand grocery store in Ontario, you will typically have a 2-year limitation period.  However, you should always check with a lawyer to determine what time period applies to your specific case.

If you slip and fall outside Loblaws due to snow or ice, there is a 60-day notice period in Ontario.  A personal injury lawyer can give you advice on how to give notice.

Speak with an Expert

At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide how you want to proceed after you slipped and fell inside a Loblaws store. Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada’s largest food and drug retailer and they have a large team of experts there to help protect their best interests. It’s usually in your best interest to also hire a team of experts to help fight for you. You don’t have to do this alone. Our slip and fall lawyers have years of experience fighting for our clients. Call us today for a free consultation and we’ll let you know if you have a valid case against Loblaws.