Slip and fall accidents can occur in a variety of circumstances. Many people every year are injured because they slip and fall as a result of ice, snow, liquid substances, miscellaneous objects, or hidden hazards. To succeed in a slip and fall claim, you must prove that the occupier of the premises was negligent in some respect. Slip and fall claims in British Columbia are largely governed by the Occupiers’ Liability Act.
An occupier of land is under a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that a person is reasonably safe on the premises.
The term “occupier” has wide meaning, including someone who owns the premises, someone who has responsibility for the conditions and activities of a premises, and someone who has control over the conditions and activities of a premises. In some situations, there can even be more than one occupier of a premises.
The term “premises” also has wide meaning, and can include land, structures, ships, vessels, and trailers. In addition, railway locomotives, railway cars, vehicles, and aircraft can be considered premises, as long as they are not in operation.
There are many relevant factors in considering whether an occupier has fulfilled the duty imposed on him, such as whether an unusual danger was present, whether a warning had been provided, whether the occupier was aware of the danger but chose not to do anything, the ease or difficulty and the expense with which the unusual danger could have been remedied, and any prior record of safe usage of the premises by others or by the injured party.
In certain situations, for example at a grocery store or shopping mall, an important factor to consider is whether or not the occupier of the premises had a reasonable system of inspection and maintenance in place, and whether or not the employees were actually adhering to this system at the time of the accident.
An occupier’s duty of care does not require the occupier to remove every possibility of danger. The test is one of reasonableness, not perfection.
Pursuant to Sections 285 and 286 of the Local Government Act, there are strict time limits imposed on you by law with respect to any claim you have against a municipality.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is best to seek an immediate free consultation with Veale Law, so as to protect your legal rights before it is too late.