Premises Liability Lawyers Calgary

Injury-causing accidents can happen anywhere, at any time of the year.

In the cold winter months, it is not uncommon for Albertans of all ages to be involved in slip and fall accidents caused by insufficiently cleared snow and ice in parking lots, building entrance ways, and other outdoor locations. In fact, Alberta has the country’s second-highest rate of hospitalizations resulting from accidents caused by ice and snow.

But serious accidents on other people’s properties can occur in the summer months, as well. People enjoying outdoor swimming pools, recreational facilities, or amusement parks could be injured in unexpected accidents while attempting to have fun in the sun. Furthermore, throughout the year, accidents in malls, grocery stores, apartment buildings, office towers, and other commercial or residential properties could change the lives of unsuspecting accident victims.

No matter the season, accidents on someone else’s premises could have profound impacts on a person’s life. Depending on a number of factors – including the condition of the accident scene, the age and physical condition of the victim, and the circumstances that caused the injuries in question – a regular, routine errand or event could end in severe, even catastrophic injuries.

As the result of accidents on property owned and/or managed by another party or entity, unsuspecting community members could sustain injuries requiring hospitalization, surgeries, long-term physiotherapy, attendant care, and dramatic adjustments to their overall lifestyle. Some injuries commonly sustained in these types of accidents include:

  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back, neck, and shoulder injuries
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Facial and dental injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • And more

According to the World Health Organization, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related fatalities and are responsible for more instances of disability than transport injury, drowning, burns and poisoning combined.

What is premises liability?

Liability is a legal term for responsibility. Premises liability deals with who is responsible if you are injured on someone else’s property.

There is a common misconception that if you are injured on someone else’s property that they are automatically liable, or responsible, for your injuries. That is not the law. You must prove that they are responsible for your injuries under the law.

The law says that a property occupier owes you a duty of care to make sure you are reasonably safe when using the property. What is reasonable depends on many different circumstances. A large and sophisticated retail outlet will be held to a different standard than a smaller store with less resources. Businesses will be held to different standards than private residents.

You also owe a duty to yourself to be aware of your surroundings and spot hazards before an accident happens.

Occasionally accidents are not attributable to anyone’s fault. They are true accidents.

Since the standard of reasonableness is a broad concept, it can be tricky to know if your injury is the legal responsibility of an occupier. For example, if you slipped on ice or snow on someone else’s property, the occupier may or may not be liable. It depends on what they did to keep their property safe.

That is why, if you were injured on someone else’s commercial or residential property, you may benefit from a free initial consultation with our Calgary premises liability lawyers. Contact us today to receive personalized feedback on your case.

Who is Responsible for Accidents on Someone Else’s Property?

In accordance with the provincial Occupiers’ Liability Act, an Alberta property’s occupier has a duty of care to people who have the legal right to visit their premises. In this context, the term “occupier” could refer to a party or entity that:

  • Owns the property in question
  • Is responsible for the condition of the premises (e.g., property manager, superintendent, etc.)
  • Controls access to the property
  • Oversees the activities conducted on the premises

The people who own, oversee, or control access to a property have a legal responsibility to you to protect your physical safety on their property. Occupiers are legally required by law to take proactive precautions to reduce the risk to you of becoming a victim of an injury-causing accident or event on their premises.

If an occupier knows (or should know) about a potentially dangerous hazard on their property, and that hazard injures you, they may be considered liable. Similarly, if an occupier grants admission of a dangerous individual to their premises who assaults you, the occupier may be liable for damages arising from injuries sustained as a result.

Occupier’s liability only applies to you when you have legal right to visit the premises at the time of the accident. In Alberta, trespassers to residential or commercial properties are often not entitled to pursue legal action for injuries they sustained.

If the negligence of a property’s occupier caused you to sustain injuries in an accident, our Calgary premises liability lawyers may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve. To discuss your options, contact our premises liability lawyers for a complimentary no-obligation consultation.

How is liability established in premises liability claims in Calgary?

The first step in establishing liability is to identify the hazard that caused your injury. Snow and ice are common hazards in Alberta. Inside of retail stores, liquid or other slippery substances on the ground might cause you to slip and fall.

Other situations are not so obvious. For example, we had a case where a client slipped and fell on a pool deck of an indoor swimming facility and suffered a fractured vertebra. We required an engineer’s inspection to determine that the epoxy surface on the pool deck had been over-applied, causing the water on the pool deck to bead and create a hydroplane effect when our client took a step.

The next step is to see if the hazard was the result of a breach of the occupier’s duty of care. Occupiers are not held to a standard of perfection. For example, an occupier is not expected to make sure their property is clear of all snow and ice all the time. This is an impossible standard to meet. Rather, the law requires the occupier to take steps to deal with the snow and ice they know they are going to get. To be liable for your injuries, you must show they had an inadequate system to deal with the snow and ice, or if they had an adequate system that they were not following it at the time of your fall.

Finally, there must be a causal connection between the occupier’s breach of duty, the hazard, and your accident. This is demonstrated using the “but for” test. You have to show you would not have been in an accident “but for” the occupier’s breach of duty. For legal help on these types of claims, please contact our lawyers for legal help.

How our Calgary premises liability lawyers can help with your claim

After sustaining injuries on property that is owned, occupied, or managed by another party, you may find yourself struggling to stay on top of all the injury-related expenses you have incurred. Recovering from injuries can be expensive, and you may not be prepared for the financial obligations that often arise after being hurt on someone else’s property.

If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, our Calgary premises liability lawyers can help you pursue fair compensation. Our Calgary premises liability lawyers have experience helping people who have been injured as the result of:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Trip and fall accidents
  • Accidents caused by improperly cleared ice and/or snow
  • Maintenance hazards that have not been adequately addressed
  • Dog bites and attacks
  • Lack of security personnel on-site
  • Escalator or elevator malfunctions
  • Schoolyard accidents
  • Amusement park accidents
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Unaddressed fire hazards
  • Improperly cleared fire exits
  • Lack of fire safety protocol
  • And more

By pursuing legal action against all parties responsible for your injury-causing accident, our Calgary premises liability lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation for damages you have incurred, as well as damages you might incur in the future. To learn more about working with our premises liability lawyers serving Alberta and the ways in which we may be able to help you in the wake of an injury-causing accident, contact us today and schedule your free initial consultation.

What damages are available for victims injured on someone else’s property?

If you are injured on someone else’s property and you are able to establish the occupier is liable for your accident, then you may be entitled to damages. Damages is a legal word for money. You get damages for different harms and losses that you have suffered. We divide these harms and losses into different heads, or types, of damage.

The first type of damages is called non-pecuniary damages. This is also known as pain and suffering. In short, you get money for being injured. The amount you get depends on many factors including:

  • The type of injuries you sustained;
  • How long it took you to recover;
  • To what extent you have ongoing pain or impairment;
  • How these injuries have affected the activities in your life, including:
    • Your recreational activities;
    • Your domestic activities;
    • Your work activities
  • How these injuries have affected you psyche;
  • How these injuries have affected your relationships with friends, families, and co-workers.

The second head of damage is past wage loss or past loss of earning capacity. This head of damage is approached differently depending on where you are in your work or educational career. If you have a steady job, and missed a fixed amount of time, then we can add up the wages you missed. If you are a student or in another situation where you have lost opportunities, then we try to articulate the value of your lost ability to fully utilize your earning capacity.

The third head of damage is future wage loss or future loss of earning capacity. This head of damage is less likely to be straightforward and considers many factors like the chance of early retirement or loss of career options that might have been available to you in the future.

The fourth head of damage is loss of housekeeping capacity. This head of damage recognizes the fact that domestic activities have economic value and people who have their ability to perform these types of activities reduced have also suffered an economic loss.

The fifth head of damage is an in-trust claim. An in-trust claim is a rare claim where a family member or friend went above and beyond what is expected caring for you after an accident. In some cases, the court can award you damages on behalf of the services they performed for you.

The sixth head of damage is for actual out of pocket expenses incurred because of the accident. This is typically for treatments, medications, and other aids or modifications to your home or vehicle required because of your injuries.

The seventh head of damage is future cost of care, which is predicting what future expenses you will require for treatments, medications and other medically justifiable expenses.

Schedule a free consultation with our Calgary premises liability lawyers

If you were injured on someone else’s property, your first impulse might be to leave the scene as quickly as possible to avoid embarrassment. You may believe that you alone were to blame for your injuries and are, therefore, responsible for your medical expenses and other financial losses.

However, if your accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, our premises liability lawyers may be able to help you pursue compensation by taking legal action against the at-fault property owner/occupier. To review the details of your case, contact Preszler Injury Lawyers today.


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