What To Do After a Winter Slip-and-Fall Accident

While slip and fall accidents are not limited to happening outdoors and in the winter, it is these outdoor winter accidents that those of us living in Alberta are the most familiar with. Life in Alberta includes a lot of thawing and freezing in the winter. Our temperatures like to dip way down low, only to shoot up suddenly and then drastically plummet again. 

Walking outdoors in the winter can turn into an Olympic sport at times. And unfortunately, our freeze-thaw cycles seem to be getting worse. In November 2022, Alberta Health Services reported that 364 slip-and-fall accidents in the Calgary area resulted in people ending up in the emergency room. In November 2021, this number sat at 124. 

So, while we hope you will never be in a slip-and-fall accident, here is what you should do if you find yourself in such a situation. 


Next Steps

Depending on the severity of your fall, it can be hard to think about what to do next. But if your state of mind and physical injuries allow, here is what to do after you’ve fallen in icy conditions. 

  • Just like with a car accident, it is smart to get the contact information of anyone who may have seen the accident happen. 
  • If possible, document the accident with photos of where you fell and the conditions of the surface on which you fell. If you were unable to take pictures at the time of the accident, come back later or have someone else take the pictures for you.
  • Ensure that you know the address of the accident location. 
  • What you were wearing on your feet when you fell can become a problem and can be important evidence for your case. Keep the shoes and take photos of them as well. Note that it will hurt your case if you were not wearing appropriate footwear for the winter conditions.


  • Let the owner or manager of the property know that you fell and where you fell, as it’s important that they have this noted in their own records, as well.
  • Even if you think you’re fine (but especially if you know you’re not), see a doctor. Your injuries should be documented, and you, first and foremost, want to make sure that you’re ok. Some injuries do not become apparent until hours or even days after the accident, so it is important that you seek medical attention even if you think nothing happened.
  • Connect with a personal injury lawyer, as insurance companies usually fight against slip and fall claims. A lawyer knows how insurance companies handle these issues, and you are much more likely to get somewhere with your claim if you have someone knowledgeable in your corner.

A lawyer will also know whom to sue, as it isn’t always clear who is responsible for the spot where you fell (do you sue a homeowner? The municipality?). One ongoing example is a woman suing the City of Kelowna for a serious slip and fall accident she suffered in front of the city’s visitor center in 2021. 

Knowing who to sue is also critical due to the statute of limitations in Alberta. If you are suing a homeowner, you can file your claim within two years of your accident. If you are suing the municipality, you only have 21 days. There are some exceptions to this rule as well. One example is if you had a good excuse for not notifying the municipality. These are important details with which a personal injury lawyer is of tremendous help. 


We Want to Help

At McGuiness Law, we provide free consultations and can advise you about what to expect when involved in a slip-and-fall case. Our team has experience dealing with all kinds of slip-and-fall scenarios. We are dedicated to helping guide you through what can feel like an overwhelming process.

Contact our team today by calling 780-900-7941, or connecting with us via our website contact form