Slip and Fall on Black Ice in The Mall Parking Lot
  • Thursday, 17 June 2021

Slip and Fall on Black Ice in a Mall Parking Lot: Are They Liable?

As you walk towards your car in the mall parking lot, you suddenly slip and fall on your back. You were watching your way, but you still slipped. Upon closer look, you notice that there’s a thin transparent coating of glaze ice on where you slipped. 

You’re now feeling an ache in your back. However, you’re unsure who to sue. Read on to know more about who might be liable for your case.

An Overview of Slip and Falls and Black Ice

Slip and Falls

During the winter, the weather brings cold, snow, and ice to most of the areas in Canada. Due to snow and ice, people walking along streets and streets are at risk of injuries from falls. These falls are one of the major causes of injuries, including head trauma or a broken hip.

Unlike younger people who may withstand serious injuries from slip and falls, senior citizens are at a higher risk for life-threatening injuries. That is why businesses and homeowners must always keep their properties in check to prevent these accidents.

If serious injuries result from a slip and fall on snow or an icy walkway, the victim can ask for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and even emotional distress. So, if you’re a business or homeowner, you must prevent the causes of slip and falls as much as you can. 

Black Ice

Black ice is a thin coating of glazed ice that tends to accumulate in shaded areas when the temperature dips below freezing. This type of ice can be commonly found below trees, tunnels, bridges, and overpasses.

If you know that an area isn’t easily reached by sunlight, you must be wary of black ice that might have formed on it to prevent getting caught by surprise.

Injuries Caused by Slip and Falls 

  • Muscle sprains and ligament strains
  • Fractures, including spinal compression fractures
  • Broken bones – most commonly the wrists and hips
  • Back injuries and pain
  • Concussions and other head injuries

Who is Liable for Your Slip and Fall?

If you’re asking who is at fault for slip and fall injuries, it probably would be property owners since they have a legal duty of care to ensure that their premises are safe and free of hazards. Their duty extends to keeping walkways, driveways, parking lots, and other common areas clear of hazards like snow and ice.

When a slip and fall accident occurs due to black ice in a mall parking lot, the mall owner may be held liable for the injuries sustained by the victim. One thing that courts consider is whether the mall owner should have reasonably discovered the black ice before the accident and if the owner had sufficient time to rid the area of the ice. If the owners purposely didn’t rid their properties of dangerous conditions like black ice, they will be held liable for accidents occurring after that.

Slipping on ice and snow can be pretty serious as you may get injuries that are sometimes life-threatening. Serious fall injuries include broken hip, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, knee damage, or broken wrist.

Are you unsure whether to sue or let a slip and fall on black ice case go? If so, get legal advice from Diamond & Diamond’s trusted personal injury lawyers today.

Preventing Injuries while Stepping on Black Ice

In the winter, the frequency of accidents that are linked to snow and ice increases. So, to prevent getting injured from these accidents, it is best to follow practices that can protect you from slipping and falling on ice. Here are some tips from the Occupational Safety and Safety Administration (OSHA):

  • Wearing proper footwear for the conditions, you will encounter
  • Taking short steps
  • Slowing your pace when walking on icy surfaces
  • Sprinkling deicer or sand on icy patches
  • Carrying a cell phone with you in case you are injured
  • Working slowly when performing outdoor chores in icy conditions

If you want to know more tips when walking during the winter, check out this article.

Slip and Fall Damages You Can Recover

If you’ve suffered injuries from a slip and fall that resulted from a property owner’s negligence, you may be able to get compensation for the damages you have experienced. You may be able to recover the cost of your medical treatment by suing the property owner or the person responsible for removing the black ice on the property.

It is also possible to recover lost wages if you can show proof that your injury caused you to miss work. There are also instances where people also get compensated for the pain and suffering that the accident has caused. So, if you’re going to file a claim, it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer to know all the damages you can get compensated for.

Pro Tip

Make sure that you always pay attention to where you are walking, especially during the winter.

FAQs About Slip and Falls on Black Ice

What are invitees and licensees in relation to property owners’ legal duty of care?

Invitees are people who give the property owner a material benefit. For example, shoppers in a supermarket, guests at hotels, mail delivery personnel, and others who are not primarily social guests are invitees. Licensees are people who are visiting the property for social reasons. For example, neighbors, children, party guests, and friends who are social guests are licensed.

How do I prove my personal injury claim?

To prove that the property owner is liable for your injuries after a slip and fall on black ice, you must show that:

-the property owner was aware or should have been aware of the icy or snowy condition.

-the property owner neglected to take reasonable steps to remove or treat the snow or ice.

-the property owner’s negligence was the direct cause of your injuries.

Should I take pictures of the icy path where I slipped?

Yes. Taking a photo or video of the icy path can be used as evidence if you will file a claim against the property owner. In taking the photo or video, be sure to include the area and the property where the icy path is located. In addition, it is recommended that you take a panoramic photo that shows the adjoining property where ice and snow have been cleared away.

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