When someone is injured due to a slip and fall on someone else’s property, the question of who is responsible often comes into play. Is there someone else responsible for these injuries, or was it truly just an accident? There is legislation that has been put in place to help determine who has responsibility, and what should be done in the event of a slip and fall. This is called The Occupiers Liability Act. If you think you have a claim, it’s important to take action quickly. While an injured person has two years to start a claim, there is only 10 days to provide notice for municipal properties and 60 days for private properties. This makes it critical to consult with a personal injury lawyer as early as possible.
Here are a few other things you need to know about the Occupiers Liability Act:
What is the Occupiers Liability Act?
The Occupiers Liability Act is a law within the province of Ontario that helps determine who could be found liable in an accident involving a slip and fall and if any compensation should be paid out to the person who was injured in a slip and fall accident.
There is one specific part of this act that is outlined referred to as duty of care. This duty applies to individuals or groups, and it defines the minimum standard of care these individuals or groups of people need to provide to ensure their property is safe. This standard of care applies to hazards caused by the property’s condition (like ice-covered walkways) or if an activity occurred on the property to make it dangerous.
If a person or group doesn’t uphold this duty and meet the minimum standards of care, they could be found negligent.
How are my injury and duty of care related?
The law regarding duty of care states that a business or property owner must ensure all visitors are safe while on their property or premises.
The owner cannot assume that their property is safe or be completely ignorant of any potential hazards. The laws in Ontario have established that owners are responsible for regularly inspecting the premises they own and then taking the appropriate steps to fix any issues.
Is liability automatically assumed?
This Act does not automatically assign liability in the case of a slip and fall accident, and a victim must be able to prove that the owner failed to fix the issue or prevent the hazard from happening in the first place.
How can property owners fulfill their duty of care?
If you own a business and/or property, there are a number of ways you can help ensure the property is safe for visitors, such as:
- Post appropriate signs – for example, if you own a store and you have mopped the floors, make sure you post a wet floor sign so visitors are aware that the floor could be slippery.
- Repairing any issues when they happen – if there are items like cracked sidewalks or broken stairs, fixing these issues as soon as they happen will help ensure no one gets hurt on them.
- Installing property equipment – make sure that hallways, stairs and so on are lit properly and have handrails and anti-slip materials present. These can help to prevent slips, and therefore reduce the liability of the owner.
- Performing regular seasoning maintenance – in the winter, ensure that sidewalks, walkways, and parking lots are adequately shovelled/plowed, and that salt or gravel is used to prevent slipping.
Contact Hoffman Law today
If you believe that your slip and fall injury is due to another party’s negligence, you need to remember that you only have 10 to 60 days to provide notice (depending on the type of property).
Contact Hoffman Law as early as possible to speak to a personal injury lawyer. We will go through all the details of your case and your injury, and help you determine the next steps to pursue compensation. The consultation is free and we don’t get paid unless you do.