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5 questions that help determine liability in slip-and-fall accidents

The winter and spring months in Toronto are generally punctuated with aggressive weather patterns that can be dangerous for pedestrians. From the ice and snow in the winter to the heavy rains and winds in the spring, individuals can find walking or jogging from place to place a potentially hazardous experience.

Slip-and-fall accidents can lead to serious injuries including broken bones, soft tissue damage and head trauma. Pedestrians are encouraged to follow safety tips and warning signs whenever possible. Property owners should always ask themselves five questions when they are working to ensure the safety of residents and visitors.

  1. Was the danger foreseeable?
  2. Was the property maintained in accordance with reasonably acceptable standards of practice?
  3. Is a system of inspection and maintenance followed?
  4. Were employees adequately trained to identify and eliminate hazards?
  5. Was an identified hazard corrected immediately or was it permitted to exist for an extended period?

Individuals can slip, trip and fall in nearly any environment including both outdoors and indoors. It is not uncommon for weather factors from outside to create hazards inside. Ice and snow, for example, can creep into the entry of a shop leading to wet, slippery floors that are dangerous to consumers. Strong winds can blow rain through the open sections of a parking structure creating puddles of water that might freeze in harsh temperatures overnight. Other hazards can include:

  • Cracked pavement
  • Uneven sidewalks
  • Oil stains in a parking lot
  • Torn carpeting
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Poorly designed or maintained stairs
  • Loose handrails
  • Lack of support structures

Slip-and-fall accidents can be complex legal cases as injured individuals seek to recover monetary compensation for medical bills, lost wages or property damage. These challenging cases are best handled by experienced personal injury lawyers who can provide the guidance necessary through all stages of the legal process.