Personal injury claims commonly hinge on the concept of negligence. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to prove who did (or did not) take actions to ensure the safety of anyone to whom they owed a duty of care. That is why your Ottawa personal injury lawyer wants you to know about negligence and the unique ways that winter weather conditions can impact personal injury claims.
What is Negligence?
Generally speaking, people have a responsibility to keep others safe from unreasonable harm or injury. This is called “duty of care.” When someone fails to provide this care, whether intentional, unintentional, or through lack of action, they are considered negligent. Lack of action in particular can play a large role in types of negligence common to winter, such as not shovelling sidewalks or failing to lay out salt on a walkway.
Slip or Trip Due to Ice and Snow
Ottawa residents often find themselves in a winter wonderland-one that can be a lot less fun and a lot more dangerous as snow accumulates and water freezes. We all know how easy it is to slip or trip over a snowbank, especially if it is left to become an obstacle on pathways, walkways, steps, and building entryways. Business and building owners have a responsibility to clear away and properly salt or grit walkways for safety.
Driving on Ice and Snow
Similarly to walking areas, roadways require proper maintenance to clear away ice and snow as well as laying down proper salt and sand for traction. Your Ottawa personal injury lawyer understands the danger that winter road conditions create. Neglected roadways can lead to collisions and vehicle-related injuries.
Failure to Warn or Properly Dry Floors
Little yellow “Caution” signs are a quick way to communicate to people that floors are wet, slippery, and dangerous. Ideally, wet floors should be properly dried to avoid slips and falls. However, building entryways that experience foot traffic, which in turn brings winter, ice, and snow indoors, can’t always maintain dry conditions. It is important to always display clear, visible signage in areas that remain wet and slushy due to winter weather advising people to exercise caution.
Winter Work Injuries
Weather-related negligence can also affect workplace safety. While any workplace can become hazardous due to winter weather, few seem as dangerous as construction sites. When ice and snow are not properly removed or worker needs for cold weather protection are not being met, serious workplace injuries can occur.
Winter-related injuries can be avoided when a duty of care is upheld for the safety of the public and employees alike. If you find yourself the victim of an injury which could have been prevented this winter, contact your Ottawa personal injury lawyer.
Winter Is High Time for Careless, Avoidable Accidents, Personal Injury Lawyer in Ottawa Warns