Injured on Unsafe Premises – Know Your Rights
In Alberta, the Occupiers' Liability Act establishes the framework for who is an occupier of premises and when an occupier can be liable for injuries or damages that occur on unsafe premises. It provides that the owner or occupier of property has a duty of care to ensure that visitors will be reasonably safe while using or visiting the premises.
Our Edmonton personal injury lawyers can ensure that you know your rights if you have been injured on unsafe premises.
Common Causes of Injuries on Unsafe Premises
Injuries caused by unsafe premises are often slip and fall or trip and fall injuries. These are often caused by the condition of the premises, such as:
- - Slippery or dirty surfaces
- - Uneven flooring or sidewalk surfaces
- - Poorly designed or built stairs
- - Lack of handrails
- - Inappropriate surface or flooring choices
- - Poor lighting
- - Failure to remove tripping hazards
- - Hazards created by construction projects.
The duty of care imposed by the Occupiers' Liability Act also applies in relation to activities on the premises and the conduct of third parties on the premises.
Who Is an Occupier?
An occupier is defined as either:
- - A person who is in physical possession of premises, such as the owner or tenant, or
- - A person who has responsibility and control over the condition of premises, the activities conducted on the premises and the persons allowed to enter the premises.
There can be more than one occupier of premises. For example, if you slip and fall while dropping off your child at a private daycare that is run out of a church basement, both the daycare and the church may be considered occupiers.
Who Is a Visitor?
A visitor is anyone who has a right to enter premises or is lawfully present, including a person who entered lawfully but has been asked to leave and is taking reasonable steps to do so.
Recent changes to the legislation were made to ensure that criminal trespassers who are injured while trespassing for the purpose of committing a crime cannot sue their victim or potential victim. These changes were put into place as a result of some high profile incidents in which rural property owners injured criminal trespassers while trying to defend their property and their families.
If a trespasser wants to sue an occupier, they must show that the occupier acted wilfully and in gross disproportion to the trespasser's actions, and that the occupier's actions resulted in a conviction under Canada's Criminal Code.
When Does the Occupiers' Liability Act Not Apply?
The law of unsafe premises does not apply to workers injured at work, or to injuries that occur on highways or private streets. However, that does not mean that you have no recourse if you were injured in either of these scenarios.
Contact our Edmonton Personal Injury Lawyers Today For a Consultation
If you are unsure of whether you have been injured on unsafe premises, it is important that you know your rights as soon as possible. Our Edmonton Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Contact us to book a consultation today.
*Please note that the intention of this article is to offer a general overview on a legal topic, and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice, please speak with a lawyer.