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What You Should Do If You Slip And Fall On Public Property In Alberta December 12, 2018

Alberta gets more than its share of snow. In addition, the region’s cold temperatures allow Alberta’s streets and other surfaces to become covered in ice on a long winter night. Obviously, the melting snow and ice can create slush. Those facts helped to shape Alberta’s policy, regarding the actions that should be taken by someone that slips and falls on a public property.

What the law states, with respect to a municipality’s responsibilities

Within Alberta’s boundaries, a municipality is only liable for a victim’s injuries, if that same municipality has been grossly negligent. In other words, if a municipality was unaware of the hazard that caused a specific accident, someone that got injured in that same accident could not sue the municipality with the help of personal injury lawyer in Red Deer. The municipality’s liability would not be recognized by the court.

Does the law make it illegal to sue a municipality?

No, it does not. Still, the law does make it clear that someone that decides to launch such a case must be prepared to work extremely hard, and to have no guarantee of a win. The plaintiff must present proof of the fact that the municipality knew of the hazard. One source of such proof would be any other person that got injured earlier at the same dangerous location.

That is why municipalities react quickly, upon noting a situation that could result in harm to an innocent victim. There is a chance that anyone injured during that early situation might sue the municipality. Yet quick action will all but deny that opportunity to any others that might get injured at the same spot.

What actions should a resident of Alberta take, if he or she slips and falls on public property?

First, see a doctor as soon as possible. Get pictures of the spot where the fall took place. Get pictures of the footwear that was worn by the person that slipped and fell. Follow that approach, if the same footwear must be used again. Otherwise, store the footwear in a safe place, so that it can be used as evidence during a trial.

Seek out witnesses; get their contact information. Ask businesses in the area about cameras trained on the spot where the victim fell. Perhaps a parking lot had a video camera, one that had the designated spot in its field of vision. Inform the appropriate municipality of the accident within 21 days, from the date of the unfortunate incident. There are 3 times when that brief 21-day period might be extended or ignored:

1) The plaintiff has a reasonable excuse and the municipality has not been inconvenienced.
2) A death has resulted from the accident
3) The 21-day requirement has been waived in writing.