Toronto winters can last for months, and accumulated ice and snow can cause dangerous conditions on sidewalks, driveways and parking lots. Storms and bad weather conditions bring an increased risk of suffering a slip and fall accident, so make sure that you are taking precautions to protect yourself from potentially serious injury.
Why you need to take extra care during winter storms
Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act, business and property owners have an obligation to keep their sidewalks and other outdoor areas reasonably safe for members of the public. In the winter, this is usually required to include keeping areas free of ice and snow accumulation.
However, the standard of care that we expect from an occupier changes during a severe storm. If snow is accumulating very quickly, it is not reasonable to expect that it will be removed immediately. Similarly, if the temperature dropped suddenly below freezing after a period of warm weather, it may take some time to properly salt and de-ice the property. In the meantime, there is a much greater risk of a slip and fall accident.
Tips for preventing winter slip and fall accidents
- Wear good winter boots with slip-resistant soles.
- Walk slowly and deliberately, taking short, even steps. Remember that even the best winter boots may not provide adequate traction in bad conditions.
- Be especially cautious and watch for black ice when getting in and out of vehicles and walking around parking lots.
- Look very carefully at where you are walking. Very thin layers of ice may not be visible, or can be hidden by a layer of snowfall.
- Keep your hands free at all times, unless you are holding on to a handrail. If you slip, having your hands in your pockets can lead to much more serious injuries.
- Be very cautious at intersections and around busy roads. Cars and trucks are also dealing with slippery conditions and poor visibility.
When crossing streets, stick to lit, pedestrian crossings wherever possible.
- Especially in the city, remember to look up! Ice and snow can accumulate on roofs and ledges, creating a falling hazard for pedestrians. Avoid walking under eaves and buildings in heavy snowfall.
Legal advice if you have suffered a slip and fall accident
The Toronto personal injury lawyers at Jasmine Daya & Co. have handled complex personal injury claims for over 40 years, and have extensive experience representing victims injured in slip and fall accidents. If you have been hurt as the result of a slip and fall on private or public property, we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.
For all new clients, we offer Free Consultations to review your case and discuss your legal options. Contact us online or call our office to make an appointment at 416-967-9100.