January 5th 2021
The Incapacitating Nature of Slip and Falls: What You Need to Know and How to Respond to an Event
The winter season brings harsh weather conditions and with it comes an increased risk of slip and fall accidents. As a personal or commercial property owner, it’s important to know your responsibilities for keeping others safe on your premises, as you are considered liable if someone has a slip and fall accident while on your property.
Here are our tips to prevent slip and fall accidents to help you avoid a personal injury lawsuit.
Slip and Fall Accidents
As a Niagara Falls Personal Injury Lawyer, we see a higher number of slip and fall cases during the winter months. The ever-changing weather conditions, from freezing rain to heavy snowfalls, cause indoor and outdoor areas to be particularly dangerous this time of year.
Accidental falls due to ice account for nearly 9,000 hospitalizations a year in Canada.
Regardless of the weather conditions, you could be held responsible if someone slips and falls on your personal or commercial property. If someone falls on your premises, they have 2 years from the date of the accident to begin a lawsuit against you.
Depending on the severity of the person’s injuries, they could seek compensation for loss of current or future income, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and pain and suffering.
Prevent Slip and Fall Injuries
The best way to protect yourself from a slip and fall injury claim is to be diligent in maintaining your property. Here are helpful ways you can reduce the risk of these types of accidents:
- Pay close attention to changes in weather conditions that can make areas on your property more hazardous. Areas such as stairs and walkways can become slippery when temperatures fluctuate and cause freezing rain or melting snow.
- Remove snow and ice from your property in a reasonable amount of time.
- Inspect your property regularly and repair any damage, such as a broken eavestrough that could cause ice to accumulate.
- Keep high traction outdoor areas clear of obstacles like garbage bins and recycling boxes.
- Ensure outdoor areas are well lit so potential hazards are more visible.
- Keep your indoor walkways clear of items like boots and winter gear.
- Ensure carpets and mats stay flat and secure them with tape, if necessary.
- Keep indoor areas dry by mopping up excess water frequently. For a commercial property, areas where people wait in line or sit can cause a greater risk for slip and fall accidents. If possible, you can request that people remove their outdoor footwear while in your building.
- For areas that are more difficult to keep dry, mark these hazardous areas with signage so others can exercise caution.
Have Proper Insurance
Whether you are a homeowner, a business owner or whether you rent your home or business premises, make sure that you have proper insurance on your property, which includes third party liability coverage.
You should carry at least $250,000 of liability protection. Even more would be advisable. Call your insurance broker to ensure that this is covered. The premiums are well worth the peace of mind.
If you’re concerned about a potential slip and fall lawsuit, or if you suffered a slip and fall and need a lawyer in Niagara or St. Catharines, contact us to schedule your free initial consultation with our knowledgeable team.