The responsibility of owners and occupiers of real property in the Province of Ontario. Ottawa slip and fall/trip and fall lawyers explain the law.
In Ontario, the occupiers liability act covers the law of occupiers liability. The act creates a statutory duty owed by owners and occupiers to any person who come onto their property. The statutory duty is based on the law of negligence and establishes a generalized duty of care by all owners and occupiers of real property to ensure that persons using their property are safe from harm.
The duty of care extends to persons invited onto property and also trespassers. The specific duty of care of owners and occupiers are defined in section 3 of the act which 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, and the property brought on the premises by those persons are reasonably safe while on the premises.” It is clear that this section imposes on occupiers is an affirmative duty to make premises reasonably safe for persons entering them. All occupiers must take reasonable care to protect such persons from foreseeable harm. In the end, this act promotes and requires positive action on the part of occupiers to make their premises reasonably safe at all times.
The definition of occupier includes any person who has physical possession of their premises, has responsibility for and control over the condition of the premises, has responsibility for and control over activities on the premises or control over persons allowed to enter onto the premises. It is possible to have more than one occupier at the same time. Similarly, premises is widely defined in the act and persons who can be held responsible for negligence include occupiers, land owners, tenants, business owners, managers, maintenance companies and contractors, to name a few.
Occupiers always has a general duty of care to all persons who visit their property. This duty of care includes the duty to warn visitors of dangers on the property. The duty of care extends to all persons including children, the disabled and the elderly. In all cases, the court will review whether or not the persons responsible for the injuries have breached the standard of care applicable to them. The standard of care will be different for each case independent on the facts of each case. The standard of care for occupiers of the premises is not perfect but requires occupiers to keep their properties reasonably safe. In many cases, the standard of care will include the occupiers complying with property standards or standards as set out in various legislations.
Once an injured person has established that an occupier owed them a duty of care and that the occupier failed to meet the standard of care applicable under all the circumstances, the injured person must prove that the breach of the duty was causally connected to the injuries or property damage alleged. In most cases, the issue of causation is relatively straightforward and the connection between the injuries and the breach are obvious.
If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of another person whether it be on a property, in a business, in a retail establishment, a mall, a rental property, on municipal sidewalk or parking lot to name a few examples, it is important that you consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. In all cases, there are limitation periods that apply to claims and the failure to meet the limitation period will result in the case of being statute barred.
The lawyers of Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, Ottawa personal injury lawyers provide free consultations and work on the basis of no fee until the case is won (contingency fee arrangement).
Contact one of our lawyers free of charge at 613-315-4878.