If yesterday’s Super Bowl taught us anything it is that in life sometimes people make some really bad calls. The best way to avoid mishaps and lost Super Bowls is to study the basics. In our realm that does not mean studying up on pass blocks or handoffs, it means keeping your property clean of liability by preparing for the worst.

Owning a home, or a business that is open to the public, brings with it responsibilities. You may be considered liable if someone trips or falls while on your property if your property was not maintained in a way that it is reasonably safe for others. If you are found liable because the property was found to be not reasonably safe, you may be held financially responsible for a victim’s injuries.

Many slip or trip and fall accidents are preventable. These are a few things you can do to ensure your property is safer:

a)       Make sure that lighting on your property is adequate. You may be held responsible if visitors to your property trip or fall because of poor visibility.

b)      As soon as snow or ice starts to accumulate, it should be removed. Salting should be done in anticipation of inclement weather. Try to ensure that all walking paths, steps, parking lots, and driveways are clear of ice or snow. Hiring a company to remove snow might be a good idea if you cannot; just because you cannot remove the snow does not mean you are not responsible to.

c)       Likewise, keep indoor surfaces dry. Keep a few slip-resistant mats at the entrance to absorb much of the liquid coming into the property. If there is any spillage or liquid on the floor, make sure that it is cleaned immediately. If possible, ask visitors to remove footwear.

d)      Keep flooring in good repair. That means you should repair any uneven flooring surfaces and remove any loose tiles or protruding carpet threads.

e)       Broken or loose railings or stair treads can cause visitors to trip. As such make sure that all stairwells are in good repair.

f)       Ensure that floors or walkways are free of hazards. Electrical cords or cables should be taped to the wall or floor, and ideally covered so that they do not cause anyone to trip. Debris and loose items from floors should be removed, especially if they are not as noticeable. If there are hazards that cannot be remedied at the time, warn your visitors by placing noticeable signs and orally advise them of such hazards.

g)      Survey your property every so often and document your data. If something needs to be fixed it, ensure that it is done rather quickly.

If you find yourself a victim of a slip or trip and fall (because the property owners obviously did not read our blog and heed our advice), make the right call and call personal injury lawyers Bergel, Magence LLP at 416-665-2000.