Slip and falls happen all year

Many slips and falls happen in the winter when ice and snow make Alberta sidewalks and streets dangerous for pedestrians. But don’t be fooled into thinking the risk of injury disappears with the coming of spring, as slip and falls are a year-round danger.

Where do summer slip and falls occur?

Summer slip and falls occur anywhere where people are walking or gathering. That includes stores, parking lots, playgrounds and public walkways.

The cause of a fall may be a slippery or uneven floor, clutter in a walkway or inadequate lighting. These incidents can cause many injuries, from head trauma to broken bones to torn ligaments.

Is weather a factor in slip and falls?

Summer rains in Alberta can be refreshing, but they also lead to slippery conditions on sidewalks and public walkways. Municipalities and private property owners are responsible for maintaining these surfaces, so they are reasonably safe in all conditions, but sometimes they fail to do that. Alberta’s Occupiers’ Liability Act sets out the framework to establish the duty of care of those who occupy premises and the liability for injuries or damages on that property.

Can I be hurt walking indoors?

There have been many cases where people have fallen inside retail outlets due to loose mats, poor lighting, spilled liquids, missing handrails or inconsistency in the level or slope of a walking surface. In 2019, a 48-year-old woman suffered a brain injury after slipping on laundry detergent that had pooled on the floor of a grocery store. The court ruled that the store did not follow “a system of inspection and maintenance on the day of [the woman’s] accident.” She was awarded $755,549 in damages.

What if I slip and fall outdoors?

Many people have fallen on wet grass without injuring themselves. But those tumbles could have serious consequences if the person comes into contact with concrete or other hard objects. The decks of public swimming pools can also be very slippery, and municipalities are encouraged to mitigate the risk of users falling by installing railings and non-slip surfaces.

Alberta has a 25-page booklet outlining what standards must be met at public pools. There are different safety rules for private pools, such as fencing at least 1.8 metres (six feet) high.

Other common spots for summer outdoor slip and falls are marinas or boat launches. The water splashing makes surfaces slippery, but commercial boat owners or tour companies should take steps to ensure the passengers can embark and disembark safely. If they are negligent in that duty, that could be the basis of a personal injury claim.

Can I be held responsible if I slip and fall?

If you slip and fall inside a store or in a public place, don’t assume that you automatically are entitled to compensation. In 2017, the B.C. Supreme Court heard a case from a woman who had fallen inside a grocery store. She had previously attended church and was wearing two-inch high heels with leather soles, despite being slushy and wet outside.

When she entered the store, an employee warned her to be careful walking. Shortly later, she fell to the floor, injuring her right knee and lower back. At court, she claimed there must have been water on the floor, though the store’s records show the floor was swept and inspected just before her fall.

The judge noted that the store had taken all reasonable steps to create a safe shopping environment. Her fall was indeed an accident, relieving the store of all liability. Her action was dismissed, and she was ordered to pay the legal costs to the store.

Consult us about making a claim

If you had a slip and fall due to someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to claim damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income and rehabilitation costs. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help guide you through your options and help you obtain the compensation you need as you recover from your injuries.


AFTER AN ACCIDENT, CONTACT US

A personal injury lawyer can help guide you through your options and help you obtain the compensation you need to help you recover from any injuries. They can also make sure that your insurance company does not attempt to limit the compensation that you are owed. Schedule your Free Consultation by calling (403) 452-2011 or send a message to kantor@kantorllp.ca. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis, so we do not get paid for our time and attention until we settle.

Kantor LLP Personal Injury
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