Occupiers’ Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents

Winter weather increases the risk of slip and fall accidents, especially if sidewalks or driveways are not kept clear of snow and ice. Last summer, we discussed occupiers’ liability in the context of accidents at the cottage, and who might be legally responsible if anyone was injured due to unsafe conditions. If someone suffers a serious injury after a slip and fall on someone else’s property, they may be able to claim compensation from the occupier of that property.

What is an occupier?

Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act any owner, tenant, or other party with responsibility and/or control over a property can be considered an occupier at law. As such, they must keep their property reasonably safe for anyone that enters it. If they fail to do so, and a person suffers an injury, the occupier may be held liable for that person’s damages.

Determining who is an occupier can be a complex legal question. It is possible for a property to have more than one occupier. For example, if a property is rented, both the property owner and the tenant could be considered occupiers. Even without a formal lease, a party could potentially be considered an occupier if they take a significant amount of care and control over a property.

Occupiers’ liability for winter slip and fall accidents

Occupiers, especially in busy commercial and public spaces, must keep their premises reasonably clear of ice and snow. Indoors, they should place mats in high traffic areas and have a procedure or system in place to prevent floors from becoming a slipping hazard. Many occupiers hire a third party company that specializes in snow removal.

If an occupier negligently allows ice and snow to accumulate, or does not ensure the floors in a property are kept reasonably clear and dry, they could be held liable for a slip and fall accident.

Representation for victims of winter slip and fall accidents

At Derfel Injury Law, we represent individuals that have been seriously injured after a winter slip and fall. If your slip and fall accident was the result of negligence, you may be able to obtain compensation through a civil claim against the occupier(s) of the property.

Our lawyers have decades of experience helping victims get their lives back on track after a serious injury. To make an appointment and discuss a potential claim with a member of our team, contact us online or call 416-847-3580. We have space to meet with clients in either Toronto, at your convenience.