Understanding Occupiers Liability
Ontario readers might be surprised to learn that tenants may be held liable if someone is injured on the property that they occupy. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, an occupier is a person or organization that occupies a building, whether through lease or ownership. Occupiers Liability is the responsibility to maintain areas such as parking lots, driveways, walkways, ramps, stairs and aisles. This means that such a person might be held liable for certain slip-and-fall accidents.
In the event that an occupier fails to keep the property reasonably safe and causes someone to trip, slip or fall, he or she may be named as a defendant in court. Liability may be shared in cases where there are multiple occupiers, such as a tenant and a property owner. Examples of dangerous property conditions are poor lighting, debris in areas reserved for walking, loose or missing handrails, slippery surfaces, or snow and ice that has not been removed.
The Importance Of Property Maintenance
The best thing that an occupier can do to avoid a premises liability lawsuit is to be diligent in maintaining the property and to remove all hazards. There are several criteria used to determine whether an occupier failed to maintain an appropriate standard of care. For example, a lawyer may look at whether the danger was foreseeable and whether the hazard existed for an unacceptable amount of time.
The information contained in this article is intended for informational purposes and is not meant to be construed as legal advice. Each case is different, and liability is a complex concept. A personal injury attorney might review an individual’s case to determine whether his or her injuries are the result of hazardous property conditions. In the event that a lawsuit is warranted, a lawyer might work with an injured person to obtain a settlement.