If you accidentally trip or slip, gravity takes over and you hit the ground, often causing injuries. If you are like most Canadians, your initial reaction is embarrassment and a feeling that it was somehow your fault.

Under our laws, the owner or tenant of the place where you fell is responsible to keep the area reasonably safe. If they knew or should have known that there was a dangerous condition, such as a pot hole, uneven walkway or ice, then they are responsible. That is why they have insurance, so any damages do not come out of the pocket of the private individual.

If you fall on a city sidewalk due to ice or snow, then special considerations apply. You must let the city know in writing within 10 days unless your injury prevents you from doing so.

Any lawsuit for a fall must also begin before two years have elapsed, after which time they are barred.

If you fall, and it is caused by the dangerous condition of where you were walking, try to get the names and numbers of any witnesses, take a photo of the area if possible, and call a lawyer for advice. Most personal injury lawyers will not charge you for the initial information, and usually won’t charge you any money unless you collect.