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Criteria required for a viable slip-and-fall lawsuit

| Mar 1, 2021 | Slip & Fall Accidents |

Repair technicians, babysitters, couriers, guests or even people attending a garage or yard sale could fall victim to dangerous conditions on residential properties. Homeowners or tenants in rented homes in Ontario must ensure their properties are reasonably safe and hazard-free.

Slip-and-fall accidents or other incidents that cause injuries could lead to premises liability and personal injury lawsuits against the homeowner and/or tenant.

Potentially dangerous conditions

Homeowners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions within their property. The following are the most common safety risks on properties for which homeowners could be held accountable:

  • Snow or ice on stairs, driveways and walkways
  • Wet and slippery tile flooring and other walking surfaces
  • Gaps or cracks on walkways
  • Unexpected changes in elevation
  • Wet leaves and other debris that could cause slippery conditions
  • Loose or missing handrails on stairs
  • Insufficient lighting

Homeowners can prevent losses through liability by keeping their properties hazard-free. An effective way to achieve that is by having a schedule for regular maintenance. Proof of routine maintenance could benefit a defendant in a negligence claim.

What makes viable claims?

Injured victims of slip-and-fall accidents on another person’s property could choose to pursue financial relief through the Ontario civil justice system. However, for such a lawsuit to be viable, the court will consider the following criteria:

  • Did the conduct of the homeowner meet acceptable standards?
  • Could the danger have been foreseen?
  • How easy would it have been to prevent the danger?
  • Was the length of time that the danger existed unreasonable?

Under certain circumstances, and depending on the lease’s contents, a property owner could be held liable in a claim involving a tenant.

Navigating a premises liability lawsuit in an Ontario civil court after suffering slip-and-fall injuries would require the plaintiff to establish negligence on the defendant’s part. If the necessary criteria are met, the court might award a monetary judgment to cover financial and other losses.