If you are injured because you have slipped or tripped on a hazard on private property, you may have a claim for compensation for your injuries against the property owner or the occupier of the property (i.e. tenant). Private property owners or occupiers include homeowners, business owners such as retail stores, restaurants and coffee shops, as well as commercial buildings and residential buildings.
Whether you have a claim depends on whether the property owner or occupier was negligent in failing to keep their premises safe or if there has been a breach of the duty of care under the Occupier’s Liability Act. Under the Occupier’s Liability Act, a property owner or occupier has a duty of care to keep their premises safe from hazards and dangerous conditions.
Hazards and dangerous conditions that commonly result in slip and fall or trip and fall accidents include:
- improper lighting
- ice or snow
- uneven walkways
- wet or slippery floors
- lack of proper mats or carpets
- lack of warning signs
- building code deficiencies
- unsafe conditions that pose a hazard
In order to succeed in a claim for compensation for a slip and fall accident on private property, you must first prove liability or fault on behalf of the property owner or occupier. For instance, it is essential to must prove what caused the fall (proof of the hazard or unsafe condition) and that the property owner or occupier failed to safeguard against this hazard as discussed in a previous blog post.
Once liability is proven, then the next step is to prove your injuries and losses through medical evidence. Compensation that is available in a successful claim include:
- damages for pain and suffering
- income loss
- future care costs
- reimbursement of your medical expenses
Examples of case studies on compensation awarded in slip and fall accidents can be found in a previous blog post.
It is important to speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you have been injured on private property. Often, investigation needs to be undertaken immediately in order to successfully prove fault on behalf of the property owner or occupier. There are also some sensitive deadlines that need to be met especially if the injury occurred on City owned public property and if you miss these deadlines you may lose your right or ability to make a claim.