What Does “Duty Of Care” Mean in Ontario Slip and Fall Claims?

What Does “Duty Of Care” Mean in Ontario Slip and Fall Claims

What Does “Duty Of Care” Mean in Ontario Slip and Fall Claims?

Slip and fall accidents happen more often than most people realize. In most cases, people slip and fall on residential and commercial properties because of slippery or wet surfaces. These accidents can result in severe and life-threatening injuries. However, proving negligence in a slip and fall claim can be complicated.

Under Ontario law, accident victims must prove that the owner of the property owed them a “duty of care” and that the duty was breached. Many people are confused about the meaning of “duty of care” in slip and fall accidents.

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident in Hamilton or elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Area, consider speaking with premises liability injury lawyers at Virk Personal Injury Law.

What Is a Duty of Care?

The duty of care refers to a minimum degree of reasonable care expected of people or businesses to avoid causing harm to others. In the context of premises liability law, a property owner or occupier owes their visitors a duty to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition and eliminate known and reasonably foreseeable hazards. In other words, a duty of care means behaving with the degree of care and prudence expected of a reasonable person or business under similar circumstances.

What Role Does the Duty of Care Play in Slip and Fall Cases?

The duty of care plays a key role in determining liability in a slip and fall accident case in Ontario. The Ontario Occupiers’ Liability Act has established that property owners have a duty to inspect their premises and take reasonable steps to eliminate hazards that could put visitors at risk of harm.

However, just because a property owner owes visitors a duty of care does not automatically make them liable for all injuries suffered by visitors. An injured visitor cannot receive compensation for their injuries and losses if they cannot prove that the property owner breached the duty of care and the breach caused their injury and damages.

What Are Examples of a Breach of Duty in Slip and Fall Claims?

Owners and occupiers of private and public property owe their visitors a duty of care. However, if they fail to take reasonable steps to assure the safety of the premises, they may be held liable for any resulting accidents and injuries.

There are two common examples of a breach of duty in slip and fall cases:

1.  Failure to take reasonable action.

It means exactly what it sounds like. A property owner must act reasonably to keep their premises safe for others. In order to establish that the owner breached the duty of care, the injured party must prove that a reasonable owner would have acted differently under similar circumstances. For example, if a customer drops a bottle of olive oil and spills oil all over the floor, the owner or his/her employees must take reasonable steps to clean the flood in a timely manner before anyone is injured.

2.  Failure to eliminate or warn of foreseeable hazards.

Any hazards on the premises that a property owner knew or should have known about are called “foreseeable hazards.” Reasonable property owners must be aware of all foreseeable dangers on their premises to reduce the risk of harm and eliminate or warn of such dangers. For example, if a property owner knows that customers are likely to spill liquids or oils on the premises, they need to conduct regular inspections to eliminate hazards before anyone gets hurt.

How a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Hamilton Can Help

If you or someone you love was injured in a slip and fall accident in Hamilton or other parts of the Greater Toronto Area, consider speaking with our knowledgeable lawyers at Virk Personal Injury Law to help you pursue the compensation to which you are entitled.

A slip and fall lawyer in Hamilton will collect and preserve evidence, talk to witnesses, inquire about video surveillance, and take other steps to help you obtain financial compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact our results-driven lawyers by calling 905-521-8888 or send us an email to info@virklawyers.com to schedule a case review.