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.