Toronto Public Health has released a report about winter slips and falls in the city as well as recommendations for improving safety, according to CBC News. The article notes that injuries from winter falls on city streets cost the city of Toronto about $6.7 million annually in insurance costs.
Provincial occupier liability law
We recently published a post about the risk of injury from slipping and falling on icy or snowy sidewalks, stairs and parking lots across Toronto. As we said, Ontario occupier liability law requires anyone who owns or controls property to take reasonable steps to keep the premises safe for those likely to enter. When a person or business with this duty fails to take reasonable care and someone is injured, the victim may consider a legal claim for the resulting harm.
The duty extends both to public entities like cities and to private property owners, depending on the circumstances. For public property, anyone hurt in a fall in slippery conditions should immediately contact the city or other government involved to give notice of legal claim because there may be short deadlines for doing so to preserve the right to sue.
By the numbers
The piece shared some of the notable statistics from the report, namely:
- In the last decade, slips and falls on Toronto wintry surfaces resulted in 30,000 emergency room visits.
- These injuries caused 2,800 hospital admissions with average stays of six days or so.
- Toronto has 7,100 kilometres of sidewalks, of which 1,100 are not mechanically cleared by the city, shifting the responsibility to adjacent residents.
- When snowfall increases, so does the rate of slipping and falling as well as the number of claims against the city for improper sidewalk maintenance.
Anyone injured in Toronto because of improper sidewalk, step, street or parking lot maintenance this winter should talk to a lawyer immediately about legal remedies available in the province.