Get the Facts on How Accidents Happen, How to Prevent Them, and More
Christmas decorations are up in the shopping malls. Insulated boots are on display in department stores. Mitts and toques adorned with the maple leaf are everywhere. The snow may not have built up yet, but there’s no doubt about it-it’s beginning to look a lot like winter! And to a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa, this means increasing awareness of the risks associated with slip and fall accidents. These accidents are of course a risk all year round, but when conditions become icy, it’s important to be more vigilant than ever. That’s why we’ve assembled this slip and fall FAQ, so you can be prepared for any possibility.
What Causes Slips and Falls?
Of course, many contributing factors can lead to one of these accidents happen. Your first and best defense is to always be mindful of your surroundings, though sometimes appearances can be deceiving, or options may be limited. The most common conditions leading to an accident are:
- Ice, especially when obscured by light snow
Wet or slippery surfaces
Failure to place visible signage when conditions call for it
Loose floor mats, rugs, or runners
Surfaces with poor traction
Poor visibility due to obstructions, light, etc.
Clutter or undue obstacles
Who Can Prevent Slips and Falls?
As we already stated, your best defense is your own watchfulness. By always exercising the appropriate caution, you can significantly decrease the risk of having an accident. However, this responsibility does not rest solely on you. On public property, it is the responsibility of the city to maintain safe conditions. On private property, it is the responsibility of the occupier, who may be the owner, a renter, a business, or simply someone who resides there. By dealing with potential risks as they become apparent, and properly notifying people when risky conditions can’t be immediately alleviated, they can do their part to reduce the risk of accident or injury.
What If I Do Have an Accident? Who Do I Turn To?
The first person you turn to is a doctor. Even if you suspect only a minor injury, it is always better to be safer than it is to be sorry. After that, your course depends on the answers to two very important questions. Before turning to an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, ask yourself:
- Was I being careless at the time of my accident?
Did the occupier/city follow a reasonable course of action to prevent my accident, as mentioned above?
If you’ve answered no to both of these questions, then you may be able to make a case and be compensated for your injuries. In Ontario, if you are suing a municipal government, you need to notify them within 10 days, or you may be barred from filing a suit-the suit itself, however, can be filed within two years.
If you’ve been injured and you’re not sure how to proceed, or you’re not sure if the occupier or a property performed their duty of care properly, contact a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa for advice and guidance-it’s what we’re here for.