What Happens When I get Injured on Someone Else’s Property?

What Happens When I get Injured on Someone Else’s Property?

Written By: Chris MacDonald and Savannah Snyder, Summer Student

As we are in the middle of summer, we may be spending the long days and warm weather at each other’s homes and cottages, whether that be swimming in the backyard pool, by the dock at the cottage, or dinner parties on the patio. We often forget that private property can be a source of injury.

If a guest injures themselves on your property, you may be wondering whether legal action can be sought. The short answer is yes.

If you were injured on someone else’s property, it is equally important to know what legal rights you have. Continue reading to learn more about the responsibilities of property owners.

It is important for property owners to keep their property safe and reasonably fit for use. This includes privately owned properties including homes, cottages, and condos. Additionally, this applies regardless of whether the property is rented or owned.

The Occupiers’ Liability Act

The Occupiers’ Liability Act (the “Act”) governs liability if someone is injured on private property in Ontario. Under the Act, an “occupier” is defined as a person who is in physical possession of a particular premises or a person who has responsibility for and control over the condition of the premises, the activities that occur on the premises, and the persons allowed to enter the premises.

Property owners and occupiers owe a duty of care to ensure that persons entering their property, such as visitors and guests, are kept reasonably safe while on the premises. This duty applies whether the danger is caused by the condition of the premises or by an activity carried out on the premises.

Both owners and occupiers can be liable when someone gets injured on their property due to unsafe conditions.

When Can Someone Sue a Property Owner/Occupier?

An injured guest or visitor can sue the owner or occupier when they don’t keep the property reasonably safe. Determining whether an occupier falls below this requirement depends on the facts of the case and the circumstances surrounding the injury and what caused it. A property owner or occupier does not have to make their property perfectly safe or guard against every possible hazard. However, they do have to take reasonable steps to ensure that their property is reasonably safe for people on the premises. For example, leaving work in the middle of the day to shovel your driveway to prevent a slip and fall because it started to snow is likely not to be held as reasonable. Likewise, in the summer, it is unreasonable to leave work in the middle of the day to ensure no branches fell from the trees in your yard during a thunderstorm. At the bottom of this article, we provide some tips to for occupiers to keep their property safe.

Steps Property Owner’s Can Take

As a property owner, you must take reasonable steps to ensure that your premises are reasonably safe. Below are some tips occupiers can take towards meeting the standard in keeping their home reasonably safe:

  • Repair dangerous property conditions, such as uneven walkways or broken stairs
  • Remove snow and ice from driveways, outdoor stairs, walkways, and sidewalks
  • Respond to known hazards on your property in a timely fashion
  • Restrict access to unsafe areas on your property
  • Put up signs to warn of known threats on your property
  • Keep your appliances and electrical wiring up-to-date
  • Ensure balcony, patio, and deck railings are secured and up-to-code

These are ways property owners can make sure visitors and guests remain safe on their property.

Steps an Injured Person Can Take

If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property, here are steps you can take that may assist you in pursuing future legal action:

  • Consider whether there are any unsafe conditions on the property. Take note of uneven walking surfaces, tripping hazards, or any other dangerous hazards.
  • Look for signs warnings of hazards or restricted areas.
  • Take note of what you activity you were doing while you were injured.
  • Take photos of the area you were injured along with any unsafe or hazardous conditions or warning signs you have noticed.

Although legal action will not reverse the injuries that occurred, pursuing legal action can provide the victim with compensation to treat and manage their injuries and impairments to live as best of a life as possible into the future. If you or someone you love has been injured on someone’s property, our team at McLeish Orlando is here to help. Contact our office for a free consultation to discuss your claim.


Chris MacDonald


Book a FREE Consultation

To start your free consultation, fill out the form below.

Free Consultation Form