Your Rights if you Slip and Fall in a Parking Lot

Posted by Stevenson Whelton MacDonald & Swan
November 09, 2018

If you were injured after slipping and falling in a parking lot, you may be wondering whether anyone can be held responsible for your injury.  In fact, if there was an unsafe condition in the parking lot that caused you to fall, you may have grounds for finding liability against the owner or occupier of the property, or against the party who is responsible for maintaining the property. The dangerous conditions that are most often the cause of slip and fall accidents in parking lots are:

  • A failure to clear ice and snow within a reasonable time
  • Inadequate lighting in the parking lot
  • Sudden or unexpected changes in the parking lot surface, including broken concrete, potholes or damaged curbs

Under Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act, the owner or occupier of a property, such as a parking lot, owes a duty to anyone coming on to their property, to take reasonable care to keep their premises safe.  When deciding whether an occupier 'took reasonable care' in preventing injury to visitors, the Courts consider the following questions: whether the danger could have been foreseen; whether the occupier had an established system of maintaining and inspecting the property; whether the occupier adhered to acceptable standards of practice in maintaining their property; and whether the occupier could have reasonably known about the hazard but did nothing to repair it. 

The duty of care requirement for owners of parking lots applies both to private parking lots and municipal parking lots. In either case, if you were injured in a slip and fall accident and want to make a claim for damages, under the Limitation Act, you must file your personal injury claim within two years of realizing you have grounds to make a claim (which is usually 2 years from the date of your accident).  However, if you were injured in a City parking lot that had an unsafe condition, you are obligated to also file a written notice of your intent to make a claim to the municipal clerk within 10 days of your accident.  

To ensure that you fully understand your legal right to compensation and to avoid missing any deadlines for making a claim, it’s a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable slip and fall accident lawyer at Stevenson Whelton MacDonald & Swan.  Our staff has helped many clients who were injured after slipping and falling in an unsafe parking lot and in most cases, we are able to resolve a claim successfully for our clients without having to go to trial.  At Stevenson Whelton MacDonald & Swan, we fully investigate the circumstances involved in your slip and fall and will ensure that your claim is brought against all parties who may have been responsible for, or contributed to, the unsafe condition. There are often multiple parties that share responsibility and liability for an unsafe condition, including not only the property owner or property manager, but also the party who was contracted to clear the parking lot of ice and snow or a contractor who improperly repaired the parking lot surface.

 

Disclaimer: Our blog is intended to inform our existing and prospective clients about topics pertinent to their lives. While our goal is to provide accurate and factual information, this in no way should be taken as legal advice or applied to specific cases. It is in your best interest to contact a licenced and practising lawyer for legal representation, as matters of the law are often complicated and cannot be fully assessed without knowing all of the details of a case.