Sometimes, a slip and fall is a completely unavoidable accident. No matter how much caution is in play, conditions can change in an instant and create the perfect recipe for a slip and fall.
But in many circumstances, the conditions which contributed to the slip and fall were created due to the negligence of the properties occupier.
For example, if you suffer a slip and fall caused by an obstruction in a walkway, a lack of lighting, slippery or ice walkways, or other conditions which a responsible property occupier may be reasonably expected to mitigate against, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal injury claims involving slip and fall cases are some of the most common personal injury claims filed in Alberta. Diamond & Diamond has seen just about every type of slip and fall claim imaginable. Here’s what you need to know about the occupier’s liability.
Alberta Law on Occupier’s Liability in Slip and Fall Cases
The responsibilities and potential liabilities of property occupiers are laid out in the Alberta Occupiers Liability Act.
The act states that:
- The occupier of the property is responsible for ensuring that the property is reasonably safe for visitors.
- This duty encompasses the maintenance of the conditions of the premises of the property, whether it be privately or publicly owned.
- Failure to perform this duty constitutes a breach of the occupier’s duty of care, which constitutes negligence under Alberta law.
The Occupiers Liability Act makes it clear that property occupiers must take responsibility for the safety and conditions of the property they occupy.
An occupier’s failure to uphold their care of duty may expose them to liability. In the event of a slip and fall accident which results in a personal injury claim, the occupier may be held liable for expenses owed to the plaintiff, such as compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the accident.
Understanding Occupier’s Liability in Alberta
To understand the Alberta Occupiers Liability Act, it’s necessary to define the most important term used in the act: occupier.
In this context, the occupier refers to “any owner, tenant, or other party that holds responsibility or has control over a property.”
A property may have multiple occupiers at any given time.
For example, if a landlord rents a house to two tenants on the lease, both the landlord and the two tenants can be considered “occupiers” of the property and be responsible for the upkeep and care of duty on the property.
In the event of a personal injury claim being filed against the properties occupiers, the court may determine which occupier was liable for the specific circumstances which led to the accident.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Alberta
There are an endless variety of circumstances which may contribute to a slip and fall. However, some of the most common and preventable conditions which lead to a slip and fall in Alberta include:
- Obstructions or obstacles in walkways
- Poorly maintained or damaged walkways (holes, potholes, uneven terrain, unsafe stairs, etc)
- Slippery or icy conditions
- Insufficient lighting
- Poorly maintained parking lots
- Tripping hazards
While a property occupier is not necessarily liable for all slip and fall accidents which occur on their property, they can be found liable for any accidents where it can be proven that they neglected their duty to provide a safe environment for anyone visiting, working on, or utilizing the property.
In cases where neglect can be clearly demonstrated — especially cases involving any of the common reasons listed above — slip and fall claims can often be handled in short order.
Recoverable Damages in Slip and Fall Cases
Slip and fall accidents often result in damages, which can be recovered in court through a personal injury claim against the property occupier(s).
The property occupier(s) may be held liable for a variety of damages as long as they resulted from the slip and fall incident on their property.
Such damages may include:
- Medical bills (hospital bills, follow up care, rehabilitation, physical therapy, etc.)
- Pain and suffering compensation
- Lost wages
- Damages to personal property (clothing, belongings, vehicle, etc)
Learn the details of occupier’s liability in slip and fall cases from Alberta’s foremost experts. Contact Diamond & Diamond Law today to schedule a free consultation with one of our top personal injury lawyers.
Talk to Diamond & Diamond About Occupier’s Liability in Slip and Fall Cases
Take all the guesswork out of your personal injury claim by letting the legal experts at Diamond & Diamond take the reins.
With extensive experience handling all of Alberta’s personal injury claims, Diamond & Diamond’s team of lawyers have all of the experience necessary to handle your slip and fall case with the utmost care and professionalism.
Curious if your slip and fall claim is valid? Before you schedule your free consultation to get a definitive answer, take a look at our guide on the validity of slip and fall claims.
Ready to schedule that free consultation?
Get in touch via our 1-800 number. Or use the online contact form directly on our website.
Prefer to do things face to face? No problem! Stop by our any of our Alberta offices to get the ball rolling.
“Take photos of the shoes you wore during the slip and fall accident. This may become an important piece of evidence in arguing your case.”
FAQ on Occupier’s Liability in Slip and Fall Cases
Is there a limitation on the period when it comes to filing a slip and fall claim in Alberta?
In Alberta, personal injury claims — such as slip and fall claims — must be filed within 2 years of the date of the accident.
Are homeowners liable if they don’t remove snow from their sidewalk?
If a homeowner failed to maintain a walkway or path by allowing snow to build up, or ice to cause unsafe walking conditions, they may be liable for a slip and fall injury which occurred on their property.
I am partially at fault. Should I still file a slip and fall claim?
To assess the unique details of your specific case, contact Diamond & Diamond for a free consultation. One of our personal injury attorneys will be able to advise you as to the validity of your claim and if it is worth pursuing.