At a quick glance, premises liability law is a fairly simple concept. Property owners or occupiers in Nova Scotia are responsible for keeping those who visit their property safe at all times. But delving a little deeper, premises liability can become quite complicated as questions arise about who is actually responsible for accidents that occur.
If you have been injured while visiting someone else’s property, it is important that you speak to a premises liability lawyer. They will be able to help you make sense of your case, and they may be able to get you compensation for serious injuries.
Types of Premises Liability Accidents
When individuals think about premises liability law, they often think about slip, trip and fall accidents. It is true that this is one area of premises liability law, but it also covers much more than that. Some other common types of premises liability are:
- Broken or uneven flooring
- Broken steps or stairways, including handrails
- Security issues resulting in criminal assaults or attacks
- Negligent lighting leading to criminal attacks or slips, trips and falls
- Ceilings that are caved in or collapsing
- Unsecure objects that fall, including a store’s merchandise on shelves
- Broken or unsafe elevators or escalators
- Slippery surfaces, such as floors, that have not been cleaned up
- Cuts, bruises and scrapes from broken glass
- Swimming pool accidents
Unsafe conditions can be almost anywhere, and an accident on someone else’s property can happen for many reasons. Any time a person is involved in an accident on another person’s property and that accident was due to the negligence of the owner or occupier, they need to speak to a premises liability lawyer who may be able to help them with their case.
Determining Responsibility in Premises Liability
In most cases, it is true that the owner or occupier of a property is responsible for maintaining a safe environment for any who may visit. Those who own private property are responsible for ensuring all parts of the property are safe; and a landlord may be responsible for ensuring the structure is safe.
Tenants may be responsible for everyday maintenance, including clearing snow and ice from their sidewalk and front steps.
But there are other instances in which neither the owner nor the occupier may be to blame.
For instance, if the owner of an office building hires an overnight cleaning crew and those staff members leave a spill on the floor, they may be held responsible if someone comes in first thing in the morning and slips on it.
Because the owner had done everything they could to ensure the building was properly cleaned and maintained, the fault would lie on the cleaners, who neglected to clean the spill.
If however, the owner of that same building had not done their due diligence when hiring the company by making sure that they were licensed and experienced, they could still be held liable.
It is these kinds of cases that make premises liability law somewhat confusing at times, and why it can be difficult to determine who was at fault for an accident. While the Occupiers’ Liability Act speaks mainly of owners and occupiers, there may be other people involved who are also partly or entirely to blame.
How a Premises Liability Lawyer Can Help
If you or someone you love has been injured while on someone else’s property, speak to a premises liability lawyer as soon as possible. There is a time limit on these types of cases, so it is important that you speak to a qualified lawyer as soon as possible.