Everyone has slipped, tripped, or fallen down at some point in their lives. Usually, slips and falls may be caused by clumsiness, carelessness, or failure to pay attention. Occasionally, they are caused by other people’s negligence.
Slipping or falling on somebody’s property does not automatically make that property owner liable for the injuries sustained. However, s/he can be held liable under certain circumstances. If the owner of a commercial establishment was aware of the hazard but failed to take action or correct it, then s/he can be held responsible for your injuries.
If you sustained injuries resulting from slipping or falling, the information below can help determine if you have a valid personal injury claim for “slip and fall:”
1. Unsafe or Hazardous Condition – The owner or management personnel must have allowed the risk to exist for some time. Certain hazardous conditions that are often neglected include:
- Accumulation of snow and ice
- Wet or slippery floors
- Uncleared debris
- Badly damaged sidewalks
While they are not obliged to make their property perfectly safe, making it reasonably safe for everyone is expected. For instance, in snowy cities (like Toronto), commercial property owners are expected to clear snow and ice from sidewalks and parking lots after a storm. However, paths and walking areas aren’t required to be “perfectly” clear or the sidewalk dry. For this reason, a person who slips immediately after a snowstorm does not necessarliy have a valid claim.
2. Inadequate Time to Respond – The establishment owner or management cannot be held responsible if they are not aware of a dangerous condition on the property. However, the property owner should have a reasonable period of time to notice any dangerous conditions. For instance, if someone accidentally dropped a piece of fruit on the floor and another customer immediately slipped and fell as a result (and suffered an injury), a claim for compensation is not valid because the grocery owner did not have enough time to address the problem.
3. Failure to Post a Warning – If the owner of the property is aware of a hazard, but is unable to remedy the problem, a warning must be posted to notify the public of danger. For example, if there is an ongoing deep excavation alongside a walkway or road, the contractor must post a warning sign and/or put up a fence to keep others safe.
If you believe that you have a valid claim for slip and fall, seek legal help from a qualified injury lawyer to get compensation. Call Michelle Linka Law at (416) 477-7288 to discuss your case with one of our personal injury lawyers in Richmond Hill.