December 20, 2016
Winter has come to Calgary, as it does every year, and that means slip-and-fall season is upon us. We all know that walking on ice and snow can be treacherous, and that until the final thaw, we need to take extra care to avoid injuries as we go about our business. What you may not know, though, is that Calgary businesses and other property owners, even the City of Calgary itself, also have to take extra care to ensure that Calgary's citizens can move about safely. If hazardous conditions are not corrected or controlled with a reasonable amount of care, property owners can be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result.
Calgary Property Owners Have a Duty of Care to Prevent Accidents
As with virtually all cases that involve Calgary personal injury laws, slip-and-fall accidents hinge on the basic legal concepts of duty of care and negligence. We all owe each other a certain duty of care in our actions and behaviors, including in how we maintain our property—simply put, we have to make sure that our actions aren't likely to cause injury to someone else, and that our property is safe for those we allow on it.
A business that is open to the public has a duty of care to ensure that public areas are reasonably free of hazards. Private property owners have a duty of care to make sure there aren't hazards that can harm invited guests (as well as hazards in easily-accessible areas like a front yard). The City of Calgary has a duty of care to maintain public parks, roads, and sidewalks in a way that makes them safe to travel on—or to close them off if they can't be made safe.
If a business, private property owner, or government entity fails to live up to their duty of care, they have been negligent. If that negligence leads to injuries, they can be held responsible for the costs of those injuries. This can include slip-and-fall accidents that occur because of wet and slippery floors, broken sidewalks hidden under snow that create tripping hazards, and other dangers created by improper maintenance or a failure to cordon off hazardous areas.
Not every slip-and-fall accident can be attributed to someone else's negligence, of course. Slippery sidewalks are a fact of life in Calgary and other Canadian cities, and we have to take some responsibility for keeping ourselves safe. It is only when conditions have been made especially treacherous by failing to correct or warn about known problems that property owners and the City of Calgary can be said to have neglected their duty of care. In those instances, you deserve to be compensated for the serious injuries you've suffered.
Contact a Calgary Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Slip and Fall Accident
If you or a family member has recently been injured in a slip-and-fall accident that you believe could have been prevented with proper care, you need to protect your rights! Contact one of our premier Calgary personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.
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