Property owners in Ontario have a duty to take reasonable care to keep their properties safe. Consumers visiting stores and couriers, repair technicians, delivery persons and babysitters visiting private residences must be protected from suffering injuries in slip-and-fall or other accidents. Property owners who fail to take due care might be held liable for damages.
Areas that could pose dangers include walkways, driveways and stairs, and many more hazards need attention during the winter months. Walkways must be free of accumulated snow and ice, with particular attention to surface gaps or cracks and elevation changes. Wet floors and tiling also pose slip hazards that must be addressed, and wet, slippery fall leaves can be equally hazardous. Inadequately lit areas might also be dangerous.
If a lawsuit is filed against a property owner, the court will consider specific criteria, one of which is whether the danger was foreseeable and whether it existed for an unreasonable length of time. Was the threat preventable, and how difficult would preventative measures have been? The court will also determine whether the property owner’s conduct was within acceptable practice standards.
Seeking recovery of damages through the Ontario civil justice system could be a complicated process, which might be best left in the hands of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Legal counsel can assess the circumstances that led to the injuries and determine the viability of a lawsuit. The lawyer can then provide valuable support and guidance throughout ensuing legal proceedings in pursuit of relief for financial and emotional damages sustained.