Property owners or tenants in Alberta must take reasonable care to maintain properties in a way that will not endanger visitors. While civil litigation might follow a slip-and-fall injury suffered in a store, homeowners might be sued if a babysitter, courier, repair technician or a delivery person is injured due to dangerous conditions on owned or rented property. Typical dangerous conditions cited in premises liability lawsuits include damaged driveways, walkways and stairs — among others.
Reasonable care includes removing snow and ice on walkways and repairing surface gaps or cracks in parking lots and other surfaces. Also, property owners must address unexpected elevation changes and damaged or missing rails on stairways. Seasonal hazards such as wet and slippery fall leaves and other debris must be removed, and steps must be taken to ensure adequate lighting in dark areas. If reasonable care is not taken to eliminate hazards, injured parties might hold the property owner responsible for damages.
When a premises liability lawsuit is filed in a civil court, the judge will consider specific criteria, one of which is whether the danger could have been foreseen and whether acceptable standards of practice were evident in the property owner’s conduct. The amount of time that the dangerous condition existed before the incident that caused the injury will be considered as well as how easy it would have been to eliminate the hazard. These are some of the criteria that can show whether the property owner took reasonable care.
Victims of premises liability accidents such as slip-and-fall injuries who consider pursuing financial relief through the Alberta civil justice system might find the process challenging. A lawyer who has extensive experience in this field might best navigate civil litigation. A lawyer can also provide valuable support and guidance throughout ensuing legal proceedings.