In Alberta, property owners have a duty of care to take measures to ensure visitors are reasonably safe when using the premises. This duty extends to maintaining the conditions of the premises and applies to both public and private property owners. If the owner of the property does not take reasonable steps to identify and correct hazardous conditions, they have breached their duty of care. A breach of this duty of care constitutes negligence. If that negligence results in a slip-and-fall accident that leads to injuries, the property owner may be liable for those injuries.
With our long winters and unpredictable weather, Albertans are some of the most likely Canadians to end up in hospital after slipping on ice. However, icy conditions are not the only hazard that may lead to a serious slip-and-fall injury.
Some other common causes of slip-and-fall injuries include wet floors, debris in a public walkway or parking lot, poorly constructed or maintained sidewalks and stairways, unmarked curbs, concealed barriers, and tripping hazards.
Not every slip-and-fall accident is the result of a property owner’s negligence. Slipping on ice is an everyday occurrence during the Alberta winter and cannot always be prevented. To be successful in a slip-and-fall claim, the plaintiff must prove that the risk of harm was reasonably foreseeable and that the property owner failed to take reasonable measures to prevent the harm from occurring. The plaintiff must also prove that his or her injuries were caused by the negligence.
The court may decide that, although the property owner was negligent and that the negligence was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, the plaintiff is also partly to blame for his or her own injuries. For example, a plaintiff may have failed to wear proper footwear or failed to keep a reasonable lookout. In such instances, the court may find the plaintiff contributorily negligent and their damages will be reduced to reflect the comparative blameworthiness.
If you or a family member has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, we recommend that you take photographs to document the condition of the premises at the time of the accident as well as of the footwear you were wearing at the time. This may become valuable evidence should you subsequently pursue a claim.
If you want to know your rights after a slip-and-fall, we invite you to contact one of our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation. We are not doctors and cannot provide medical advice, so if you think you have been injured as a result of a slip-and-fall accident, seek medical attention.
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