What does the term “premises liability” or “property liability” mean?
“Premises Liability” refers to the duty of a property or land owner or one who controls property or land (such as under a tenant in a lease) to maintain the property safe, including:
- Keeping the premises in a reasonably safe condition at all times;
- Take steps to correct any defects or hazards that the owner or occupier knew or ought to have known about; and
- Warn persons of any latent (not apparent) or other hazards on the property.
The most common personal injury cases we see in relation to premises liability or property liability is slip and falls or trip and falls causing injury. We also see many cases of persons being injured by falling objects or injured because of falling from defective stairs. In most cases, the person was injured because the property owner or occupier did not have a reasonable system in place to maintain the property safe.
What are some common types of premises liability claims?
Some common types of premises liability claims are (this list is not exhaustive; there are many other ways to be injured on property):
- Suffering an injury due to a falling object.
- Suffering an injury due to a slippery surface.
- Suffering an injury due to an uneven surface.
- Suffering an injury due to items on aisles.
- Suffering an injury due to defective stairs.
- Suffering an injury due to improper lighting.
- Suffering an injury due to snow.
- Suffering an injury due to ice.
- Suffering an injury due to a security guard assault (negligent security cases).
- Suffering an injury due to improper procedures being followed.
- Suffering an injury due to breach or violation of standard building codes.
Slip and fall accidents that occur on property owned by someone other than the injured victim are often referred to as an Occupier’s Liability Accidents. In Ontario, 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. Occupier’s liability accidents can include, but are not limited to slip and fall accidents caused by:
- snow and ice
- improperly constructed stair cases
- wet floors
- uneven floors
- worn carpeting
- poor lighting
- worn or broken staircases
- worn or broken sidewalks or steps
Prompt legal advice and attention to these claims is essential. Often the evidence to establish negligence on the owner of the property will not be available indefinitely. Also, in certain circumstances, the injured victim is required to give notice of their claim to the property owner within days of the incident occurring or else the claim could be statute barred forever.
If you or someone you know is a victim of a slip and fall or trip and fall, please contact us at (416) 306-3817 immediately for a free legal consultation.