Occupiers Liability and Your Lawyer

Legal theory of premises liability holds occupiers and property operators responsible and liable for accidents that occur on their property. At McLeish Orlando, our skilled premise liability lawyers will step up and handle all aspects of your case.

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When you, a child, or someone you love suffers serious injury or death because someone did not keep their premises, street, building or home reasonably safe, it is important to ensure that they have the best legal representation possible. This means a legal team that includes lawyers and clerks that have the experience, funding, resources, and knowledge with occupiers liability lawsuits.  Having experience in proving why a place is not safe, hazardous, and dangerous and how it caused harm to a person is essential for success.

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Experienced Occupiers Liability Lawyers

Experience may be in various areas, and can include cases that involve:

  • Unsafe buildings and homes, including dangerous steps, railings, floors, roofs, windows, electrical, mats, trip hazards, holes
  • Unsafe and dangerous outdoor places, such as trip hazards, ice, slippery liquids,  debris, falling objects
  • Unsafe and dangerous recreational facilities such as jumping gyms, trampoline centers, terrain parks, pools camps, schools, arenas, aquatic centers, gymnastic centers, playgrounds, amusement park ski facilities,  go karting
  • Unsafe daycare and nursing homes

An experienced occupiers liability lawyer will need to determine if your case will succeed and who should be sued.  Having the staff, resources and network of professionals and experts to help investigate is required.

Who to Sue in an Occupiers Liability Case?

Choosing the right parties is a key component and requires searches and investigations into who owns and is in control of the premises.

In determining if the case will be successful, your lawyer will look at potential parties.  These can include companies, government or individuals involved in the ownership, control, and running of the premises.  They may include:

  • The owner of the property
  • The entity or individual  who manages the property, such as property managers, event organizers
  • The entity or individual who patrols or secures the property, such as security companies, bouncers, servers, door persons
  • The entity or individual who designed, built, repaired  or maintained the property, such as contractors, landlords, building inspectors, engineers, hydro, municipal officers and employees
  • The entity or individual who controls what takes place on the premises, such as principals, teachers, employees, managers, coaches, municipal staff, nursing home staff, daycare operators

What Type of Conditions Lead to Occupiers Liability Cases?

Part of the investigation will require an understanding of the type of unsafe activity or condition that was in place at the time of the injury or death of a person.

  • Was it the way the place was designed or built that made it unsafe?
  • Was it contrary to the building code?
  • Did the place comply with applicable standards?
  • Did they use the wrong standards?
  • Was the building properly reviewed by professionals, such as engineers?
  • Was it signed off?
  • Should someone have stopped the activity?
  • Should someone have monitored the activity?
  • Should someone have been patrolling to look for unsafe activity?
  • Did someone forget to do their job or follow a procedure?
  • What was the risk management in place?
  • Did they put up warning signs?
  • Did they solely rely on warnings they knew were ignored?
  • Did their risk management include safety protocols and standards?
  • Did the people responsible for carrying out risk management do their job?

What Standards are Applied in Occupiers Liability Cases?

The leading statute for these cases is the Ontario Liability Act which requires owners and occupiers of premises to be reasonably safe for those people coming onto their premises and to take reasonable steps to maintain the premises. It applies across Ontario.

In addition, depending on where the incident takes place, it may also include other standards and laws that may apply, including:

  • The Ontario building code
  • The liquor licensing act
  • Amusement Devices Act and  Regulations
  • Technical Standards and Safety
  • Municipal Act
  • Electrical Safety Code
  • Child Care and Early Years Act
  • Nursing Homes Act
  • Premises or operators own internal standards and protocols
  • Building Standards

What information is needed for Occupiers Liability Cases?

Your lawyer will need to examine any documents that you have regarding where and how the injury or death took place. This may include:

  • Tickets, forms, and agreements that allowed you to enter or attend the place
  • The municipal address of the place
  • Photographs of the area and any unsafe or dangerous condition
  • Video of the area and where the injury happened
  • Marketing, promotional and invitational material, brochures, pamphlets associated with the premise

What Experts and Records are Needed to be obtained in Occupiers Liability Cases?

An experienced lawyer may have to access or obtain Forensic Engineers and Experts to examine the premises. Accessing records is also needed from associated parties such as:

  • Police
  • Fire Marshall
  • The Coroner’s Office
  • Electrical Safety Authority in Ontario
  • Ministry of Labour
  • Technical Standards and Safety Council
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility
  • Ministry of Labour

Experience and Understanding Injuries and Trauma

A lawyer experienced in product cases involving severe burns, multi-trauma fractures, spinal cord, traumatic brain injuries, disfigurement, amputations and internal organ and tissue damage will know from experience on how to help prove the nature and extent of your injury and what damages or compensation should flow from that.

Building the Case for Compensation

Unfortunately, not all persons injured on  a premise fully recover.  Therefore, they find themselves needing help to ensure they have their financial needs met, that they have professionals and services available to let them live with dignity and independence, and that they are compensated for their pain and suffering.  An experienced lawyer knows that these cases take special care, require significant firm funds, and a good team to succeed.

Litigation success may require the following:

Assembling Top-notch Medical Expert Reports

Selecting experts that specialize in your type of injury to give a medical opinion is key. An experienced lawyer will know which medical specialists are needed.  The specialty will depend on the nature and extent of the injury and can include plastic surgeons, internist, neurosurgeons, neurologist, neuropsychologists, orthopedic surgeons, infectious disease specialist, pharmacologist, physiatrists, etc.

Assembling Medical Illustrations and Using Demonstrative Aids

Not only is it crucial to ensure you have top experts, but you must ensure the court and the people listening to your case understand the anatomy of the body and the injuries sustained. One key component an experienced lawyer will use is medical illustrations, 3D videos, anatomical skeletons and brains, and other aids to help the experts explain the nature and extent of your injuries to the members of a jury.  Demonstrative Aids such as surveys, plans and sketches are also used by the forensic team to illustrate the hazardous condition of the premises.

How can McLeish Orlando’s Lawyers Help in Occupier’s Liability Cases?

The personal injury and occupier’s liability lawyers at McLeish Orlando understand that an unsafe premises can cause serious injury or death. Our goal is to prove the place is unsafe and a hazard and also obtain compensation for the full extent of our clients’ injuries. We retain trusted engineers and medical experts who assist in proving the case  and provide an accurate prognosis for our clients, and who can testify regarding the degree of future disability our clients may experience and the effects this will have on our clients’ lives. We thoroughly prepare each case for trial, however, by doing so we are most often able to achieve a reasonable settlement outside of court.

Our lawyers have handled a number of  occupiers liability cases over the last twenty years  that include unsafe homes, steps, railing, pathways, roofs, nursing homes, daycare facilities, bars, restaurants, schools, shops, malls, hospitals, schools, playgrounds, ski facilities, trampoline centers, jumping rooms, arenas, sport centers, events, festivals, amusement parks and others.

If you or your loved one is in need of a lawyer experienced in dealing with  injuries or death arising out of an unsafe or dangerous place, contact McLeish Orlando Lawyers for a free consultation.

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