If you slipped and fell on government property in British Columbia, you may have recourse under the Occupiers’ Liability Act (OLA). Under the Act, occupiers of a property have a responsibility to keep it safe for all those legally enter, whether it be a building, the surrounding grounds or even a plot of land.
In the Act, an “occupier” may refer to:
a) the owner of the property
b) anyone who has physical possession of the premises
c) the one with responsibility for, or control over, the condition of the property, the activities conducted there, and the persons allowed to enter.
If you were injured in a fall that occurred on property that is owned or controlled by a government entity, then you could potentially file a suit against them if the agency failed to keep the premises reasonably safe.
What responsibilities does an occupier have to keep the property safe?
The specifications for reasonably safe conditions differ from case to case but an occupier’s responsibilities under the Act may include salting and shovelling outdoor areas during winter. The occupier of a building must also keep floors dry and clear of debris and must ensure all flooring is level so as not to cause a person to lose their footing. Finally, an occupier must be compliant with all building codes, including requirements for handrails on all stairs.
Following a slip-and-fall accident, you may receive compensation to cover your medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of income, housekeeping cost and other expenses. To access this compensation, you will need to file an OLA claim.
The complexities of slip-and-fall cases
You might think to file an OLA claim should be quite simple, but OLA claims can be complex.
After your accident, take photos of the hazard that caused you to fall and write down the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the incident. Once you’ve done this, inform the occupier of the property so they can remove the hazard to keep others safe.
The full extent of slip-and-fall injuries may not be apparent immediately after your fall. Injuries such as joint fractures can lead to long-term conditions such as chronic pain or arthritis. To get the compensation you deserve, you must prove that your fall caused your injuries, and you must show how your injuries will affect you not only in the present but in the future as well. For those reasons, it is crucial that you seek medical attention and get a medical report that you can include with your claim.
OLA claims have strict notice periods, and if you are planning to sue the government, you must supply a written report to the city within two months of your accident. Failure to provide the required report can result in your case being barred. You should note as well that OLA claims have the same general limitation period as all personal injury claims. This means you must file an OLA claim within years of your fall.
Do you want to file an OLA claim against the government?
To increase the likelihood of a successful OLA claim against the government, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. If you need a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver or a surrounding area, contact us at Nirwan Law Corporation.
At Nirwan Law Corporation, we will give you personal attention while we fight to protect your legal rights. And we will not charge you legal fees unless your case is successful. So, give us a call today to schedule a free legal consultation with our experienced personal injury lawyer. Let us show you how we can help.