Components of a Premises Liability Case

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How an Ottawa Slip and Fall Lawyer can help you take legal action

If you have suffered an injury due to poor property management or other consequences of an unsafe environment, an Ottawa slip and fall lawyer can help you get compensation. A knowledgeable lawyer can assist you in assembling what is known as a Premises Liability case. Premises Liability refers to a property owner’s responsibility to maintain a safe environment, and is a term frequently introduced in personal injury cases, or other cases in which a property owner’s failure to maintain a safe environment has resulted in a visitor’s endangerment. Premises liability cases cover a range of incidents, from slipping on ice or tripping on an uneven floor, and everything in between.

The First Steps in Making Your Case

An experienced Ottawa slip and fall lawyers will guide you through the process of litigation, helping you to make sure you have everything you need in order to move forward with a premises liability case.

Determining Negligence and Fault

Before moving forward with a premises liability case, an Ottawa slip and fall lawyer will first help you determine whether or not a property owner is liable. An accident occurring on the premises does not automatically guarantee a property owner’s fault. In some cases, the property owner may not have been able to prevent the incident from happening. The claimant must prove that the property owner had knowledge of hazards on their premises, and had intentionally neglected to properly repair them.

All visitors fall into one of three categories:

  • Invitee
  • Licensee
  • Trespasser

A property owner may not be liable if the visitor falls into the category of “trespasser,” except in specific cases: for instance, if the visitor is a child.

Gathering the Required Documents

In order to prove that the property owner had prior knowledge of their failure to properly maintain a safe environment, and Ottawa slip and fall lawyer will help you to compile the right proof to facilitate the presentation of your case.

You will need to provide the following:

  • Direct evidence is the most effective tool in proving a property owner’s negligence and fault. A dated photograph of the unsafe area or hazard is recommended, as this would qualify as direct evidence, and is easy to procure at the time of the incident.
  • In some cases, proof is hard to find, and the lawyer may opt to argue the case using a concept called res ipsa loquitur, in which the jury is left to determine the negligence of the property owner based on inference, without direct evidence. In these cases, the plaintiff will need to prove one of the following:
    • The property owner should have known about the issue in question, because another “reasonable” person in their position would have known and addressed it.
    • That the property owner was fully aware of the condition, but intentionally chose to ignore it.
    • That the hazard was caused by the property owner

Finding the right lawyer to take your case

Be sure to consult with an Ottawa slip and fall lawyer in order to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.