As we shovel out from the latest that Mother Nature has thrown at us, we all have to be extra diligent while we are driving and walking. With our climate, snow and ice are a common occurrence on our roads, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots. Unfortunately, most of us have had an experience of slipping on ice while walking. Hopefully, we can brush ourselves off, and continue on our way. But what if you can’t? Is someone responsible if you are hurt?
The answer is maybe. If you are a regular visitor to this blog, the answer may not surprise you.
Courts in Newfoundland and Labrador have stated that snow and ice is a reality in our climate. Ice underfoot in February is not something any of us would not expect to encounter-it is inevitable. However, that does not mean that a property owner or occupier is under no obligation to maintain a parking lot, sidewalk or walkway to their home. Our Courts have found that there is a positive obligation on occupiers to ensure that people who come onto their properties are reasonably safe. This is not a guarantee that you will be safe on the property.
While the onus remains on a plaintiff to show on the balance of probabilities that a defendant failed to meet the standard of reasonable care, a defendant can show he or she met the standard by establishing a regular inspection, maintenance and monitoring regime practical for the circumstances and property in question. Maintenance logs are the usual method.
Sometimes not enough was done in the circumstances, or perhaps the inspection regime was not utilized or adhered to as required. At O’Dea Earle, we have experience in evaluating and pursuing slip and fall cases, whether indoors or outside. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, contact us and make it our fight.
In the meantime, be careful out there!