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Alberta’s Regulations About Slip And Fall Incidents When Sidewalks Are Icy January 31, 2019

Each of Alberta’s cities demands that the residents clear snow from the sidewalk in front of their home, following a snowstorm. Yet not every city asks that such a task get completed within the same span of time. Residents of Edmonton have 48 hours; those living in Calgary have just 24 hours, before failure to carry-out that particular task can result in the need to pay a fine.

Still, in all of those metropolitan areas, cold temperatures can lead to the formation of ice on a cleared sidewalk. Hence, authorities have been forced to decide on the liability of homeowners, when someone falls, due to the presence of such a patch of ice. As the law now stands, a homeowner remains free from liability, unless that same homeowner has displayed an unacceptable behavior.

How could a homeowner’s behavior get deemed unacceptable?

While a man can view his home as his castle, he should not pretend to be in total control of who gets to walk on the sidewalk in front of that same residence. In other words, an attempt to control the passage of members of the public that need to use that particular sidewalk falls beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior.

Indeed, any action that suggests an effort to claim that sidewalk as part of the homeowner’s entire property will invite objections from members of the legal community. Therefore, evidence that such an action has been made will diminish the same homeowner’s chances for being released from liability, if someone were to slip and fall on that falsely-claimed piece of “property.”

Finally, homeowners must do more than remove existing hazards. None of them should aid the creation of such a hazard. That would include a readiness to allow construction workers to carry out their necessary task close to the region of the sidewalk’s designated location, without posting a barrier or warning. In addition, any water coming from the home’s drainage system should not contribute to the debris on the sidewalk’s surface.

Is proof of such behavior sufficient support for a charge of liability, if someone does slip and fall on a sidewalk’s icy section?

No, the victim must also come forward with medical proof that he or she was truly injured. In addition, it helps to offer proof that the same injury resulted in a loss of income. When they hire a personal injury lawyer in St. Albert, the lawyer ensures that the compensation is provided for the injuries.

Can a municipality be held responsible for such a fall?

Yes, but only if the municipality has been alerted to plans for the filing of such a claim within 21 days of the fall-related incident. Furthermore, it must be proven that the same municipality had been informed about the existence of the patch of ice on which the claimant fell down.