DON'T BE LEFT OUT IN THE COLD
The busy holiday season is here. But while you search from store to store for that perfect gift for family and friends, know this is also the worst season for serious store slips and falls.
For Canadian shop owners, Christmas shopping has to put them in the black. When Black Friday shopping just isn't enough, those stores, and their employees, rely on your holiday shopping spree to make their year. Aisles are bursting with extra stock as shelves overflow with merch. But when wet, sloppy winter floors lead you right to overstocked narrow aisles choked with too much inventory and dotted with irregular wooden pallets, then slip, trips and falls are the result for shoppers caught unaware.
It doesn't matter if you shop in your local Mom and Pop neighbourhood shop, or that big box warehouse store, any business that invites you onto its property must keep that property reasonably safe. You always have a reasonable expectation of safety when invited into a store to spend your money.
And when that injury happens, that business, that property owner and any maintenance company may be liable for your injury and that injury’s impact on your life.
The usual offenders include ice or snow, water and slush on the floor or a loose, worn or dog-eared floor mat. Sometimes it's merchandise on the floor that trips you up. Heavy goods may fall on your head from display towers. Wooden shipping pallets, that should never leave the back loading bay, clog aisles and become an obstacle course for shoppers whose eyes and attention are purposely drawn by the store to brightly coloured merchandise on the shelves and overhead signage. It may also be important that the store knew about the hazard beforehand and whether the store had a routine inspection system in place so should have known about the hazard.
That store owner or franchise operator may not actually own the property. The true property or commercial real estate owner may also be liable for your injury and loss. A store may have a maintenance company helping them keep the floors clean or the parking lot free of ice and snow. That maintenance company may also be responsible for your injury. Know that there may be at least three or more companies liable for your loss.
If you are hurt when shopping this holiday season, know where you stand. Call and get the legal information you need. Your family may also have claims as a result of your injuries under Ontario's Family Law Act. There are limitation periods or time limits to be aware of when considering a lawsuit. Don’t risk losing your right to obtain compensation for your fall injuries.
Severe store slip and fall injuries can and do happen every holiday season for so many reasons. Get medical help first and then call Martin Law to get your legal help.
Mind those limitation periods and don't let holiday season injuries leave you out in the cold.
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