Premises or property liability is an area of law that involves the legal responsibility of owners and occupiers of property for accidents and injuries suffered by persons inside or outside their property due to unsafe conditions. In Alberta, the Occupiers’ Liability Act governs this area of law and places a duty on property owners (homeowners, business owners, tenants) to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition to prevent injury of visitors, for appropriate steps to be taken to correct any unsafe conditions and to warn persons of any hazards on the property.
Unfortunately, some owners neglect to fulfill their responsibilities and do not adequately maintain or repair property thereby putting others at unnecessary risk of injury. This covers properties such as grocery stores, restaurants and bars, retail stores and malls, theme parks and playgrounds, roads and sidewalks.
Causes of accidents on a property may be due to the following unsafe conditions:
- Falling objects
- Ice or snow
- Uneven surfaces
- Impediments in walking surfaces
- Insufficient security or supervision
- Poor lighting
- Defective stairs