Understanding Liability In Case of A Sidewalk Slip And Fall

Spanning from the years 2009 to 2015, roughly 30,000 ended up in the hospital due to a slip and fall on Toronto sidewalks. These falls were brought on by slippery snow and ice, and in roughly 2,800 cases, resulted in severe enough injuries to require an average of 6 days spent in the hospital. As a result of these accidents, claims are filed against the city by the victims. From reports, we can gather that roughly $6.7 million dollars are spent on such liability insurance claims each year, and for slip and fall cases on roads and sidewalks alone.

Who is responsible for keeping city sidewalks and roads safe?

When it comes to heavily trafficked sidewalks located in Toronto’s older section, then it is generally the City who will clear them mechanically. However, the majority of sidewalks are actually governed by a bylaw which dictates that property owners and occupants are required to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice within a span of 12 hours after ice or snowfall has accumulated.

It is not just Toronto which has such bylaws, however. Across Ontario, many municipalities ask the same of their residents, though some of them have set a deadline after a full day, instead of merely 12 hours. If residents neglect to comply with these bylaws, they may be fined by the city. That is why they need to hire the services of a personal injury lawyer in Trenton to ensure that all evidences and proofs are collected. The experts will represent you in and out of court as most of the settlements are done through negotiations.

What do I do if I got injured during a slip and fall on a sidewalk?

Should you live in a city in which sidewalks are maintained, not by the residents, but the municipality, then you may be able to file a claim against the city. However, in order for that claim to be successful, you will need to prove the municipality guilty of gross negligence, otherwise you will not be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.

Proving the city guilty of gross negligence means proving that they can have reasonably known of the dangerous state of their sidewalks caused by snow and ice, and that they, despite this knowledge, have taken no reasonable steps to remove the hazard within a reasonable span of time. Alternatively, you could also prove that the city does not even have a standard procedure meant to resolve such issues. It should be noted that municipalities are held to higher standards, when it comes to heavily trafficked sidewalks than to less trafficked ones, located in residential areas.