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Winter is coming – it’s your responsibility to keep your property safe

With the fluctuation in seasons in full swing and another treacherous Canadian winter rapidly approaching – the terrain that sturdies us will quickly turn into a matrix that we have a difficult time adjusting to.

That being said – it is important to know that property owners and tenants (or “occupiers”) have a responsibility to ensure that pedestrians are safe when traversing their property. While a pedestrian has the obligation to take reasonable care when walking, they should also not be subjected to unexpected hazards.

slip

slip

Potentially dangerous conditions could include:

  • Ice/snow that has not been cleared
  • Slippery floors (spills, wet floors)
  • Inadequate lighting conditions
  • Missing handrails
  • Holes, gaps or cracks in flooring
  • Sudden changes in elevation (unexpected bumps, curbs, potholes)

A slip and fall refers to falls due to any condition that makes a surface where you are walking potentially dangerous. The cause could be anything from uneven or slippery indoor or outdoor flooring, sharp edges or falling merchandise, or poor lighting.

Know your rights:

If someone slips or trips, an occupier may be held liable if the individual or organization failed to take reasonable care in the circumstances to ensure that the premises are reasonably safe and free of any hazards. If you happened to be injured because of these obstacles, you have the legal right to sue for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and any subsequent income loss that stem from negligence of another party.

Take this into consideration – if a person is unable to go to work because of a broken bone from falling because a store owner failed to clear a patch of ice by their entrance, the individual can sue for their lost income, expenses incurred as a result of the accident, as well as compensation for their suffering. This also presents the notion that everyone should taking proper safety precautions to ensure that their property that they are legally liable for is under safe conditions, no matter what the weather. It is your responsibility!

You deserve to be safe whether you’re visiting a private residence, a retail shop, restaurant, government building or any other type of building. Laws exist outlining what the owners or occupiers are liable for, thus the name “occupiers’ liability.” Our lawyers at Graves and Richard are experienced and know the complexities these claims entail.