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Accident Law

What is The Occupiers Liability Act?

The Occupiers Liability Act is one that defines the rights and responsibilities of property owners, tenants, and managers. The act, most recently updated in 2020, defines “occupier” as a person who is in physical possession of premises, or who has responsibility for and control over the condition of a premises and the activities performed there, or who has control over persons allowed to enter the premises.

When it comes to lawsuits, the occupier is whoever was responsible for maintaining safe premises at the time of the accident.

Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act, the person or company defined as the occupier has a duty to ensure the premises is “reasonably safe” for anyone who has permission to use it. Under most circumstances, this does not extend to injury sustained while taking part in activities with accepted risks. Those engaged in criminal activities or who are trespassing are not entitled to any of the protections under this act, either. With few other exceptions, however, if you are injured on someone else’s property, you have the option of seeking financial compensation through legal action.

What are Premises?

For purposes of the Occupiers’ Liability Act, “premises” can include just about anything. Private residences and commercial buildings certainly count. So too do portable shelters, stationary trains, vehicles, and aircraft. Ships and vessels, even the water on which they travel, can be considered premises as well when negligence leads to injury or death.

There are many different ways a property owner or manager can be negligent. This includes obvious issues such as poor maintenance, obstructed walkways, and slippery conditions. Other issues include:

  • Inadequate lighting
  • Missing safety equipment or features
  • Negligent security
  • Unsecured overhead stock
  • General inattentiveness

Not every accident that occurs on someone else’s property is the result of negligence. Some, however, are. If you suspect your injury could have been avoided had proper steps been taken to keep you safe, it’s a good idea to discuss your case with one of the Occupiers Liability Act lawyers at Stephens & Holman. Thoughtful, attentive, and effective, our lawyers are here to listen, provide honest information about your options, and help you choose the best path forward.

Please call our office at 604-730-4120 to schedule your initial consultation today. We have 25 locations. We serve all of British Columbia.