Snowfall and slip and fall claims in Calgary – I SLIPPED AND FELL; WHO DO I SUE?
While many parts of Alberta are still sweltering, autumn leaves will be here in the blink of an eye, then we will soon be in the grips of winter, increasing the chance of slip and fall accidents.
Walking can be hazardous when it is icy or snowy. And let’s not forget the thaw and freeze following a chinook. The dangers that come with winter weather mean you should take precautions to prevent slips and falls. It is important to know that accidents do happen, and we are here to help if you are being injured as the result of someone else’s carelessness.
I SLIPPED AND FELL; WHO DO I SUE?
A successful lawsuit isn’t guaranteed just because you’ve been hurt after falling on ice or snow. It is challenging to prove negligence, and you also have a role to play. You may lose your claim if you didn’t take precautions to avoid a fall, such as wearing the correct footwear or ignoring potential hazards. In determining the number of damages awarded, courts can take failure to act cautiously into account even if you win your case.
Snow and ice clearing on sidewalks is the responsibility of the adjacent homeowner, even though they are municipal property. The time period to clear sidewalks after a snowfall in Alberta varies from 24 to 48 hours. Property owners and occupants who fail to comply with the city’s bylaws and subsequent notices could be subject to penalties such as a minimum flat rate of $150 plus GST and an administration fee. If you are injured after falling on an icy sidewalk, you may be able to sue the homeowner. An injured party may be able to sue a homeowner if they fall on an icy sidewalk. Municipalities may be liable for your injuries if the fall occurred on their property, such as a laneway or hockey arena.
Facts determine success in any case, so collecting evidence is vital. Medical treatment should be sought as soon as possible after a fall if you are injured. If it is possible, you should start collecting evidence immediately. See if anyone saw your fall and if they would be willing to give a statement. In case of an immediate medical emergency, get the number of someone you can reach later, so you can capture what happened immediately. Photograph the area where you fell. This should be done as soon as you can since weather changes can affect the condition of the scene.
WHEN CAN I SUE?
People who fall on ice are often embarrassed and get up quickly to leave. As long as you haven’t broken a bone or sustained a severe cut, you can continue your journey. An injury may appear painful at first, but adrenaline may mask it. You may suffer soft tissue injuries, such as contusions or concussions, that do not appear until later. Injuries caused by falls should not be ignored because they may worsen if left untreated.
A statute of limitations is a concept in law. In other words, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit.
There is also a big difference between filing a claim against a homeowner and the City of Calgary. It may take up to two years for you to file a claim after falling on a sidewalk in front of a private residence. However, if you intend to sue the city, you must do so within 21 days. The City can waive the notice requirement if the City has a reasonable excuse for failing to notify you, or if it has waived the notice requirement in writing. The rule does not apply to accidents resulting in death, reasonable excuses for failing to notify and no monetary damages.
Legal action should be taken as soon as possible. Our team of personal injury lawyers at Osuji & Smith are eager to jump on board to help if you have questions about time limits or how to move forward with a personal injury claim. Injuries can be life-changing, and you’ll need an injury lawyer to help you navigate your options and obtain the compensation you need.
We can also make sure that your insurance company does not attempt to limit the compensation that you are owed. Schedule your Consultation and we will most likely represent you on a contingency fee basis, so we do not get paid for our time and attention until we settle.
Author: Lydia Iboko