December 29, 2016
In Part 1 of this article, we discussed the basic concepts of duty of care and negligence as they pertain to slip-and-fall accidents in Calgary. Property owners—whether they are businesses, private citizens, or government entities like the City of Calgary—owe those lawfully on their property a duty of care to keep those properties in a reasonably safe condition. If they are negligent in this duty and increase the chances of a slip-and-fall accident, they can be held accountable for any injuries that result.
Not all slip-and-fall accidents are the result of negligence, of course; there's no reasonable way to prevent a patch of ice from forming on a well-maintained sidewalk, so pedestrians have to take some responsibility for themselves to avoid slipping on that ice. But if a broken sidewalk is hidden under a layer of snow and that creates a tripping hazard, or if a business knows its floors are especially slippery when wet and doesn't take measures to protect the public walking in from the snowy outdoors, then there might be a viable personal injury case under the laws in place in Calgary.
Limits on Slip and Fall Liability for Calgary Property Owners
No one can make a property 100% safe, or guarantee that no one will ever slip and fall. The law says that property owners in Calgary have to do what is reasonable to ensure there aren't accidents, but that doesn't mean they're liable for any accident that occurs. Property owners also can't be expected to immediately fix all hazardous conditions as soon as they arise, so there are other ways they can limit their liability by trying to help members of the public avoid injuries.
"Wet floor" signs are a common sight in many businesses for precisely this reason. A recent spill or cleanup can create a slipping hazard, and it will take some time for a floor to dry; placing these signs as a way to warn customers away from the hazard is good for everyone's safety and also limits your rights under personal injury law if you ignore the sign and end up having an accident. Similarly, many businesses have areas that are not open to the public—areas where potentially dangerous equipment is in use or where hazardous materials are stored. When these areas are properly marked and controlled with signs, doors, and so on, customers who venture into these areas anyway will have limited rights if they suffer injuries.
The City of Calgary may also frequently need to close off certain public areas, including sidewalks and roadways, if it cannot immediately make them safe to travel on. Ignoring signs that mark a road or sidewalk as closed dramatically limits your rights to compensation by the city if you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident in this situation.
Questions About Your Slip and Fall Accident? Ask a Calgary Personal Injury Lawyer
Every personal injury case in Calgary is unique, and you likely have many questions about your own slip-and-fall accident. For a free initial consultation with a dedicated Calgary personal injury lawyer, please contact our office today.
Return to Blog