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Winter Ice and Snow Slip and Fall Accidents

If you have lived through a winter in Ottawa or the surrounding area, you will know how easy it is to slip and fall on the ice and snow. If you get injured as a result of the accident and it can be shown that the owner or occupier of the premises was negligent in maintaining the property, you may be able to recover medical expenses and other damages by bringing a personal injury lawsuit. A property owner or occupier is responsible to take proactive steps to keep premises safe.

The Occupier’s Liability Act

The rules that govern liability for property owners in maintaining safety at their premises are outlined in the Occupier’s Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.2. Section 3 of the Occupier’s Liability Act requires an occupier of a premises to maintain a safe environment so that people who are entering on the premises and property can expect not to get injured.

Who is An Occupier?

An occupier pertains to a person who (a) is in possession of the premises (land or structures) or (b) has responsibility for and control over the condition of the premises or the activities carried on their premises, or control over who can enter the premises. The occupier of a premises could be a business owner or manager, government or personal homeowner. Sometimes a personal injury claim is brought against more than one party. Establishing who the occupier of a property is can be very important for bringing a claim.

Duties of an Occupier

An owner or occupier is obliged to recognize and remedy a dangerous situation if it is foreseeable that someone could trip and fall due to the condition. Although generally not applicable to snow and ice falls, in some circumstances, it is the owner or occupier that created the dangerous situation. Failing to take action to remedy a situation can result in liability for the occupier, especially if the dangerous situation existed for an unreasonable period of time.

The duty to ensure reasonable safety does not apply to individuals who willingly accept risks, including those who undertake dangerous activities on the premises, such as being intoxicated, or to trespassers. However, an occupier must ensure that their property is not dangerous, so a liability claim by a trespasser is not completely out of the question.

Liability of an Occupier

To succeed in proving that an occupier was liable due to negligence, the law requires that there be:

  • A foreseeably dangerous condition,
  • An owner/occupier that knew or ought to have known that remedial action was needed to prevent an accident from occurring and
  • An injury caused by the dangerous condition that was allowed to exist.

Contact Howard Yegendorf & Associates

At Howard Yegendorf & Associates, our premises liability lawyers in Ottawa can assist you if you have had a slip and fall accident on the snow or ice. We are a plaintiff only personal injury law firm serving Ottawa, Kingston and Toronto. We serve individuals and families whose lives have been significantly disrupted because of accidents on public or private property. Our Ottawa Accident Lawyers worked hard to achieve justice for many injured victims of an accident. Contact us toll free at 1-866-303-5118.