Children and Injuries in Public Places

Shopping is a part of everyday life. We all shop and eat out from time to time. We take walks on public walkways, streets and parks. Whether it is for entertainment or necessity, we all use public places and our children do as well. Our children accompany their parents and other adults on outings and excursions. In the process, they are exposed to the everyday risks associated with life and they can be injured. Because of their size, injuries to children can have greater impact and can be very serious and permanent.

Typical Ways Children are Injured

Other than injuries in motor vehicle accidents, which is the subject of another article of the Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer Network, the most common injuries sustained by children we see are slips and falls, trip and falls, falling objects from store shelves, escalator injuries, sporting injuries, playing – rough play injuries, play structure injuries, falling down stairs, incidents in stores and malls, incidents at friends homes and parking lot injuries such as trip and fall in pot holes.

Children can trip on items located on store or other establishment floors; they may slip on wet or uneven surfaces, trip in pot holes located on private or municipal property; usually the slips are caused by wet surfaces from spilled substances. Trips are caused by items dangerously placed in open areas, uneven surfaces or holes in floors and other places.

In all cases, owners and occupiers of the stores and establishments are responsible for ensuring the safety of everyone, including children, by creating a reasonable maintenance program and adhering to it. They must keep aisles of stores free of objects, keep surfaces even, shelves safe, clean floors, remove spillages and take whatever other steps needed to ensure children are safe and so as to prevent potential injuries .

If the dangerous condition existed for a long enough period of time when the incident happened, the owner and/or occupier of the premises will be held liable. They will be held liable for known dangers and liability is also possible where they did not know, but should have known of the dangerous conditions, through reasonable inspection steps.

In some cases, items fall on children seriously injuring them. We often see extremely heavy objects – merchandise in large stores (bulk stores), stored 5-20 metres high. These items are extremely dangerous. If an item falls and injures a child, store owners and/or occupiers will be held responsible and will have to pay damages.

Other common ways children are injured are trips in pot holes and shopping centres are often the place where you can find pot holes. Parking lot injuries are common since most people drive to the big shopping malls and must walk from the lot to the mall.

In the end, whatever the cause of the injury, be it a trip or slip and fall or fallen object, owners and occupiers of stores, restaurants, business establishments, shopping malls etc… owe a duty to everyone, and including children of course, to ensure the premises are safe. The owners and occupiers are legally responsible for protecting the health and safety of customers on their premises.

Free Consultations – No Fee Until You Win Agreements

If your child is injured because of a store owner’s fault, contact Ottawa Personal Injuries Lawyers – We are Experienced in Children and Injuries cases. We provide free legal advice regarding your legal rights and the rights of children to seek fair compensation for their injuries. We work on a NO FEE UNLESS YOU WIN basis (contingency fee basis).Call us at 613-315-4878 or 613-315-HURT. Marc Quin, Lawyer, Mediator, Personal Injury Law Author.