Slip and Falls: Winter’s around the corner, so watch your step!

Slip and Falls: Winter’s around the corner, so watch your step!

Slip and Falls: Winter’s around the corner, so watch your step!


Slip:   A sliding motion where the foot (shoe) loses traction with the floor/ground surface resulting in a loss of balance.

Trip:   Involves a loss of balance when the natural movement of the foot is interfered with momentarily.

Fall:   A drop in height of the human body.

Slips and falls are a very common cause of injury, especially during our wonderful Canadian winters. While it is our recommendation that you should always maintain a sense of caution while walking around, you should also be aware of your rights, should you find yourself off your feet!

A 2005 slip and fall case, Cooney v. Kingston (City), demonstrates that cities can be found to share the burden in recompensing slip and fall injury victims.  The plaintiff in this case was a newspaper delivery man, who was familiar with the location in which the accident occurred.  Though the plaintiff was wearing winter-appropriate footwear, he slipped on a piece of ice that had formed on a city sidewalk.  The resulting injury to the plaintiff’s ankle, tibia and fibula had him in a cast for over six weeks, and forced to use a cane for two months.

The plaintiff took the City of Kingston to court, claiming the City was negligent in its sidewalk icing operations.  The Court determined that the City was grossly negligent in failing to maintain a safe sidewalk, but also found that the plaintiff was partly responsible, for failing to keep a proper lookout.  At the end of the day, both the City and the plaintiff were found to be equally negligent, and so the plaintiff’s damages were cut in half.   The damage award was $40,000, so the plaintiff received $20,000 in total.

If you are injured as a result of a slip and fall, and you believe that part, if not all, of the blame lies with the person or organization responsible for the area you fell in, contact one of the Personal Injury lawyers at Devry Smith Frank LLP for a free assessment of your case.