Occupiers’ Liability Claims
When you slip, or trip and fall serious injuries can result, if the fall is caused by unsafe or dangerous property conditions or poorly maintained areas, the person who is in control of the property and/or the owner may be responsible to pay damages to the injured person. Hopefully, the responsible person has insurance to cover any such Occupiers liability claims.
Your right to claim for compensation in this type of circumstances is governed by the Occupiers’ Liability Act in BC.
Keeping the land or buildings, in reasonably safe condition is generally the responsibility of the owner or occupier of property for the use of other persons who could be expected to come onto or into the property. An owner or occupier could be the person who owns or controls a residential property, bare land, government land and buildings, municipal property, commercial or business premises, recreational centres or sports facilities, for example. Sometimes it is difficult to ascertain the owner of a property – your Buckley and Company lawyer has the necessary contacts and experience to determine this very important fact for you. In some cases, there is more than one responsible owner or occupier.
If the responsible owner is a municipality, there are strict time limits within which you must notify the municipality and commence your claim. If you fail to comply with these strict requirements, you will lose your right to claim compensation. It is a good idea to contact one of our lawyers as soon as possible if you have been injured in a slip and fall incident, so that we can determine whether any special notice requirements apply in your case, and if so, ensure compliance with them for you.
Some examples of unsafe conditions that could lead to injury are poorly lit areas, defective railings or absence of railings, unsafe stairways, wet or slippery floors, obscured holes, icy parking lots, sidewalks or stairways, poorly maintained driveways or sidewalks, poorly constructed or unrepaired decks or other structures, or any other condition that presents a hazard that could cause injury to a person lawfully using the premises.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall incident, you should:
- Take photographs of the location where the incident occurred, and also photographs of the footwear you were wearing. Photographs should be taken as soon as reasonably possible, before the owner or occupier promptly takes steps to remedy the hazard, thereby compromising valuable evidence.
- Get names and contact information from anyone that witnessed the incident.
- Report the incident to the property owner(s) if you know who they are.
- Visit your doctor as soon as possible and follow his or her advice for treatment or therapy.
- Contact Buckley & Company to discuss your claim and to ensure you meet any time limits that apply in your case.