Learn About Occupiers Liability Before It’s Too Late

Safeguarding the well-being of all individuals on their property is imperative. Security and accident prevention are moral and ethical obligations. Accidents, injuries, and more serious consequences can result from safety neglect. Property owners may be liable for negligence-related injuries or damages. Maintaining safety procedures prevents accidents and mitigates legal danger. But if it happens, having competent occupiers liability lawyers by your side is important.

Case Study: Real-Life Occupier’s Liability Case

Keown v. Coventry Healthcare NHS Trust, 2 February 2006.

An 11-year-old boy attempted to climb a fire escape outside a hospital. Unfortunately, he fell and sustained severe brain injuries. Although the hospital was aware of children playing in the vicinity, they were unaware of their use of the fire escape. During the court proceedings, it was determined that the hospital bore some responsibility, yet the boy also shared culpability as he was aware of the risks involved. The hospital appealed, contending that the boy’s injury stemmed not from the hazardous nature of the location but from his chosen actions. The appellate court concurred, stating that the peril did not arise from the condition of the premises but rather from the boy’s conduct.  In conclusion, the court absolved the hospital of liability for the boy’s injury, asserting that it did not result from any inherent peril on the premises but rather from the hazardous behaviour he elected to undertake. 

Understanding Occupier’s Liability

In law, the idea of fault and responsibility is known as liability. After someone else’s negligence causes harm to another, the responsible party must compensate the victim for their losses. Injured guests on your property may be your responsibility, which may apply even if you did not directly cause the injury. Proof that a property owner failed to maintain a reasonably safe condition is necessary to establish the occupier’s liability.

Occupiers Liability Act: Defining The Terms

Important Term Legal Meaning

Occupier

  • Defined as the legal owner of the premises 
  • The person responsible for maintaining the premises, deciding what may be done there, and granting access to those who need it.
  • Residents who own or rent a home are considered occupiers. You might be considered an occupier if you hire a location to hold a gathering. 
  • A single property can have multiple occupiers.  

Premises

  • land and structure
  • ships and vessels
  • trailers and portable structures that are intended for residential, commercial, or shelter purposes
  • when not in use, railroad carriages, locomotives, vehicles, and planes

Tenancy

  • covers all types of tenancy, including statutory tenancy, implicit tenancy, and any contract that grants the right to occupy, 

Occupier’s Responsibility

If you own or control a place where people come in, like a store or a house, you are responsible for ensuring it’s reasonably safe for them. This means you must take care of the place so that people and their stuff are protected. This responsibility covers three main things:
  1. The condition of the place itself. So, you need to make sure the building and surroundings are safe.
  2. What happens in the place. You must ensure that any activities there don’t put people at risk.
  3. How other people behave in the place. You must try to prevent any harmful behaviour from others on your property.
However, there are a couple of exceptions:
  • You should not be held accountable when an individual knowingly and voluntarily engages in risky behaviour.
  • If your land is primarily used for farming and someone obtains unauthorized access, you are not liable for their well-being unless you knowingly and recklessly put them in harm’s way.
occupiers liability lawyers

Occupiers Liability Claims: Common Dangers

Guests are at risk of harm from a variety of property risks. Here are a few examples of common hazards:

Accidental Trips And Falls

Slips and falls are prevalent in bad weather. Travellers risk severe injuries on wet, snowy, or ice paths. The following are some more typical causes of slips and falls: 
  • neglected liquid spills
  • broken stairs
  • uneven floors
  • rippling carpets
  • loose electrical wires
  • clutter
  • poor light

Violations Of Building Codes

Visitors are at risk from several building code violations. Falling ceilings, broken or missing railings, broken or malfunctioning elevators or escalators, and poor electrical wiring are all hazards.

Lack of Proper Protection

Anyone occupying a property has full responsibility for anything that happens there. The occupants may be liable if avoidable security failings, such as untrained security personnel, flawed or nonexistent security systems, or unmonitored entry points, cause the victim’s damage.

Other Potential Dangers 

Empty or unattended swimming pools, uncapped wells, insufficient fencing around potentially hazardous areas or animals, lack of signage, and haphazard substances are among the most common property dangers.

Things To Do After An Accident

An occupiers’ liability attorney can help you get compensation when you get hurt on someone else’s property. To strengthen your rights and begin preparing your occupier’s liability lawsuit, you can do the following:
Capture images of the accident site. Do your best to capture the dangerous situation and the accident scene from different perspectives. It is critical to obtain images promptly. Beware of the occupier fixing the issue before you can document it.
Receive medical treatment. No matter how minor your injuries may seem at the time of the accident, you must see a doctor without delay. Follow their treatment plan and attend all appointments.
Inquire about statements from witnesses.  If somebody was nearby during the event, you should contact them and get their statement. If you use social media, be careful who you tell about the accident. Your insurance company may see whatever you publish online and use it to reject your claim.
Reach out to an experienced attorney. You may lay a solid groundwork for your claim and get the compensation you rightfully deserve with the assistance of an experienced occupiers’ liability attorney.

Contracting Out Of Liability

If you own or control a property, you are responsible for ensuring it’s safe for people who come onto it. However, you can change or limit that responsibility if you make it clear to those people through an agreement, sign, or notice. But there are some rules:
  1. You can’t change or limit your responsibility to someone who doesn’t know about the agreement.
  2. You can’t change your responsibility for someone who’s allowed onto your property without your permission.
Even if you have a contract that says others can come onto your property, you still have to ensure it’s safe for them, regardless of what the contract says.

Strategies For Reducing Liabilities

Reduce liability risks to protect yourself or your business from legal and financial issues. Consider these strategies:
  • Coverage Insurance: Get customized insurance. This may include general, professional, and product liability, depending on your industry and business.
  • Regulation compliance: Maintain compliance with industry-specific laws and regulations to reduce legal risk.
  • Quality Control: Implement quality control to ensure safety and reliability. This can reduce liability claims from accidents, flaws, and other issues.
  • Worker Training: Train your staff to understand their roles and do them safely and successfully. Staff training reduces accidents and liabilities.
  • Records and Documentation: Document transactions, correspondence, safety protocols, employee training, and other important information. Good documentation can help defend liability claims.
  • Regular Checks and Maintenance: Inspect facilities, equipment, and vehicles regularly for safety concerns and maintenance issues.
  • Lawyer: Consult liability lawyers to assess risk exposure and implement risk management solutions.
  • Continuous Enhancement: Update your risk management techniques depending on feedback, changing conditions, and past lessons.
occupiers liability lawyers

Get The Compensation You Deserve

Following safety standards shows a commitment to local legislation and building requirements, which protects persons and promotes a sense of community. Safeguarding visitors to your property is important for social and legal reasons. Hiring a lawyer to act as your legal counsel is the best line of action if you become a victim of negligence. You may rely on the knowledgeable attorneys at Sidhu Personal Injury Lawyers Edmonton to guide you through this difficult time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Under specific conditions, yes. Occupants have a lesser duty of care to trespassers but can still be sued for injuries caused by their willful or cruel wrongdoing, including putting traps or making hazards on purpose.

Yes, public spaces can also be subject to occupier’s liability. If a government agency or municipality fails to keep public property reasonably safe, it could be held liable for injuries on such property.

Injury claims under occupier’s liability have different statutes of limitations. To avoid missing claim deadlines, see a lawyer immediately.

Share this:
CONTACT US

We’re not around right now. But you can send us an email and we’ll get back to you, asap.