An impressive number of serious injuries can often occur as a result of what initially appears to be a simple slip and fall, whether outdoors in icy conditions or on unkempt sidewalks, or during other unexpected situations, or inside a shopping mall, grocery store or other interior location.
Typical injuries involve fractures to the lower extremities, including to the ankle joint or patella (or knee cap), or to the upper extremities, including arms or wrists, or worse closed head injuries resulting in brain impairments. These cases frequently are decided within the context of the Occupiers Liability Act. The relevant section of the Act provides for the following:
An occupier of a premises is obliged to take such care as is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case, so that persons entering the premises, and property brought onto the premises by said persons, are reasonably safe while on the premises.
The law is very clear in obliging owners and occupiers of premises to keep sidewalks, steps and other areas of entry clear of snow, ice or other hazard. As Canadians, we know that our winters can be harsh, and that we must take care for our own safety. At the same time, we are entitled to expect reasonably prompt and thorough snow removal, and application of salt, sand or other abrasive within a reasonable time following a significant snowfall or freeze.
The Courts have also imposed a high standard of care on owners and occupiers of commercial and public buildings in the case of incidents occurring in an interior setting.
Call Gillis Injury Law for further instructions from an experienced slip and fall lawyer in Richmond Hill.
In consultation with our slip and fall lawyer in Brampton or Richmond Hill, you can learn how the liability issues of slip and fall injuries can be decided according to where your accident occurred. Whether the property is private, commercial or municipal, owners are responsible for keeping areas safe for their visitors and customers. The most common slip and fall injuries – with winter weather slip and falls on roads and sidewalks at the top – require basic safety measures that include:
Private homeowners are obligated to keep their property safe for not only visiting friends and family members but also others such as letter carriers, maintenance and repair personnel, and delivery service people. In addition to clearing walkways and driveways of snow and ice, homeowners should correct any indoor hazards. Landlords for rental properties are equally obligated to maintain safe conditions for their tenants.
Municipalities and government entities have an obligation to protect their patrons from slips and falls by ameliorating such hazards as: poor lighting; wet floors; icy and snow-covered parking lots, roads and walkways; broken or uneven flooring; and improperly protected construction work.
Municipalities and government entities can be held liable for slip and fall injuries caused by improperly maintained municipal roads and walkways under Ontario law. Such properties also include: government buildings; parks; public transport and airports.
Please note: There is a deadline for claims for injury compensation against an Ontario municipality. You have 10 days from the date of your accident to notify the municipality’s clerk of your injury. Gillis Injury Law encourages you to consult with our slip and fall lawyer in Brampton or Richmond Hill after any accident on municipality property as soon as possible.
After a slip and fall accident, you need to take steps to not only protect your physical well-being but also prepare information that can help you recover your medical expenses and lost wages if needed. We recommend these steps:
Stay focused, receive help but do not engage in arguments or negotiations.
Get immediate medical attention for your injuries and ensure they are documented.
Report your accident to the property owner or manager and keep a copy of the report.
Inspect and photograph the area where you fell to note features and possible hazards.
If possible, identify witnesses and collect names, addresses and phone numbers.
Keep any clothing or personal items damaged during your fall, untouched, for evidence.
Seeking medical attention right away after an accident is your first priority, but consult our slip and fall attorney in Brampton or Richmond Hill as soon as you are able.