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Winter Safety Tips for Tobogganing in Ontario

March 20, 2018 - in Advice, Personal Injury

Love tobogganing in the winter?

If you’re a Canadian who enjoys tobogganing, this can be a great way to get outdoors and get some exercise even in the coldest months of winter.

Still, tobogganing can be a rather dangerous activity. As with many outdoor activities, there’s always the risk of serious injury. Some of the time, injuries sustained by Canadian tobogganers may be the fault of the tobogganers themselves. Other times, however, municipalities may be the partial or sole liable party. Just ask Mr. Uggenti.

Uggenti v. City of Hamilton

On their first toboggan run down a snow-covered slope on reservoir property (owned by the City of Hamilton), Mr. Uggenti and his wife struck the edge of a nearby ditch that was covered in snow. In the event, Mr. Uggenti was seriously injured.

In this situation, Uggenti had no prior knowledge of a By-Law that prohibited tobogganing on the site and had safely tobogganed there before with his children.

According to the Occupiers’ Liability Act, the party liable was the City of Hamilton because second 3 (1) states: “an occupier of premises owes a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that persons entering on the premises … are reasonably safe while on the premises.” In other words, it was the responsibility of the owner of the land (the City of Hamilton) to ensure that it was safe for any person entering onto the land.

One snag here is that the law also says that with inherently dangerous activities, the participant is willingly assuming the risk involved. Therefore, when going tobogganing, Mr. Uggenti knew the risk that he could be injured while on his sled, and he did it anyway.

The key caveat is that within this stipulation, the individual needs to be aware of the actual risks he is taking. Mr. Uggenti was not aware of the actual risks. He did not know that there was a ditch covered up at the bottom of the slope where he was tobogganing. Therefore, the fault was not his.

Tips to Keep You Safe While Tobogganing

Naturally, you’ll want to avoid getting into a scrape like Mr. Uggenti if possible, so always follow these key safety tips while tobogganing:

  1. Know whether or not the area you’re in is zoned and safe for tobogganing.
  2. Avoid hills and slopes that are extremely steep.
  3. Avoid hills and slopes that end where there are cars (roads or parking lots).
  4. Choose snowy hills over icy hills.
  5. Wear the proper outdoor attire.
  6. When in doubt of where your toboggan is headed, duck and roll off of your sled to ensure your safety.

In the Event You Require the Aid of Personal Injury Lawyers

If you do end up in a situation like Mr. Uggenti, choose the personal injury lawyer Durham residents trust the most. Lerners Lawyers are the top injury lawyers in Durham, and they can help you navigate your case and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries in the event of a tobogganing accident.

Furthermore, as the best Pickering personal injury lawyers in the area, they will meet with you for a free initial consultation. From there, they’ll work with you to ensure you get the best results and compensation possible. Contact Lerners Lawyers today to discuss your case.