Slip and Fall Injuries on Public Property Suck!
When people think of slip and falls, they often think of icy driveways and walkways being to blame for these. And in many cases, that is the reason for a slip and fall.
However, there are other instances in which a person may suffer an injury from a slip and fall. For example, a recently mopped floor in a retail store can have devastating effects on a person.
What do you do if you suffer an injury due to a slip and fall and this happened on public property?
Who is liable for the medical expenses that arise from this injury? Let’s take a look at how you can deal with this type of problem.
Who is Liable?
What happens when a person slips and falls on public property? Who is liable? In most cases, the property owner is the liable party. In this event, a person who slips and falls can sue the property owner for medical expenses and everything that comes with having an injury due to this fall.
However, the fall must have happened due to a safety issue that was present on the property that the property owner should have alleviated.
For example, posting signs that the floor is wet is a cautionary measure to those walking through and this can be considered the proper measures to take.
In this type of case, a person has been warned to be careful, thus, the injured person may find it harder to make a case against the property owner.
Another important factor to remember is that you must make a claim against a property owner within the statute of limitations.
What most people don’t realize is that if they were to suffer an injury due to a slip and fall on a property that is owned by a municipality, the statute of limitations is only ten days!
For other major personal injury claims on properties, the statutes of limitations are up to two years.
Icy Conditions: Slip and Falls
With the winter weather that Ontario has, it is common to hear of slips and falls during these icy conditions. Many people believe that if they fall due to the icy conditions that no one is to blame. However, that is not necessarily the case.
One particular case arises when talking about slips and falls in icy conditions that have set the precedent for what people can do. And this is the case of Dorschell versus the City of Cambridge. In this case, the courts ruled four cases in which the city would be held liable for Dorschell’s injuries. These were:
- If the ice has been allowed to remain on the sidewalk for two to three days and the sidewalk is level.
- If the sidewalk is heavily traveled and the ice/snow has been allowed to set for a long period of time.
- If the city did not move in a reasonable amount of time to clear the icy conditions that were known to happen, such as if a storm blows through and deposits freezing rain.
- If the municipality has no policy or a policy to not perform its duty to ensure the safety of those who are on the sidewalk.
In these cases, if the city did not respond with the proper measures of salting the sidewalks and attempting to remove the icy conditions, they can be held liable for an injury that a person suffers.
This negligence on behalf of the city is what is often used to determine negligence in any type of public slip and fall accident.
For example, if a retail store were to have a leak in the ceiling that results in the puddling of water, yet attempts to do nothing.
If someone falls and is injured, they can be held liable for this since it is negligence.
Business and Property Owners Responsibility to You
In the case of businesses or even those who own property that is rented to others, they are held to a different set of rules than those listed above.
The person is required to take reasonable care of the property in order to eliminate the risk of slips and falls. A few of these aspects include:
- Whether the danger was something that could have been fixed such as fixing broken lights, installing handrails or cleaning up a mess.
- If there is an inspection that the business or property owner utilizes to catch these potential dangers.
- Whether a hazard was permitted to exist knowingly, without the property owner doing anything to solve this.
These are just a few of the questions that are looked at to determine if a business/property owner has taken the necessary steps in “reasonable care”.
What Type of Compensation Can be Given?
For those who are injured in a slip and fall accident, they can demand that the property owner pay for this injury. Just what type of compensation can the victim sue for? This could include:
- The medical expenses associated with the injury
- Missed wages due to the person being unable to work
- Pain and suffering
What are Potential Dangers for Slipping and Falling?
For those who will be out and about at any time, they will find that there are potential situations that could cause a slip and fall. For example:
- Ice and/or snow that has not been cleared that is on floors or walkways.
- Slippery floors due to spills or wet exterior conditions.
- Inadequate lighting conditions that made it hard to see where you were walking.
- Missing handrails that could have helped you to stay upright instead of slipping and falling.
- Holes, cracks or other gaps in flooring.
- Sudden changes in elevation such as curbs or the like that are not noticeable.
Take note of these dangers and be extra vigilant when in any situation that meets the above criteria.
How to Deal with a Slip and Fall
What should you do if you are involved in a slip and fall accident? Here is a list of what you need to do so that you are protected!
- Be sure to seek medical attention. There is no case against the property owner if you have not had medical attention that shows the injury and what care has been given for this injury.
- If possible, note down the time and date of the accident, what you were doing, along with the details of the accident. This can include what the property owner did when this happened, anything that was said and the like.
- Be sure that you keep getting the medical attention that you need to treat the injury. Do not simply get medical care once if this is a prolonged injury.
As soon as possible, contact a lawyer. Remember that there is a statute of limitations for accidents that are considered slip and falls.
Conte Jaswal are here for those who have been injured due to the negligence of a property/business owner that resulted in an injury from a slip and fall.
You should never have to suffer the cost of an injury when it could have been prevented if the property owner had simply acted with reasonable care.
Contact us today for a FREE Consultation.