Is a Landlord Liable for a Trip and Fall?

hallway of a neglected apartment building

If you’ve been injured in a trip and fall at an apartment building or complex in British Columbia, you might be wondering, is the landlord or owner liable? They very well could be. In that case, you could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages or loss of earning capacity, your pain and suffering, and even your loss of enjoyment of life following the trip and fall.

The owner, landlord, or other occupier of a property is responsible for protecting tenants and lawful visitors from physical harm while on the premises. They must maintain safe conditions, adequately alert visitors and tenants to potential or existing hazards, and remove those hazards in a timely and safe manner.

The ins and outs of the Occupiers Liability Act may seem overwhelming, especially following the shock and pain of a trip and fall at an apartment complex. Fortunately, Klein Lawyers in Vancouver, BC can take care of all the details of your trip and fall claim. Our lawyers can explain everything you need to know, file the appropriate paperwork, contact relevant experts, and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Get the help you need following a trip and fall. Call Klein Lawyers at (604) 874-7171 today for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer.

How Do I Know If a Landlord Is Liable for My Trip and Fall?

Following a trip and fall at an apartment building or complex that has resulted in injury, you’ll need to correctly determine who is at fault. Your lawyer will investigate to determine who the occupier of the property is.

According to Section 1 of the Occupiers Liability Act, an occupier is in “physical possession of [the] premises” or “has responsibility for, and control over, the condition of [the] premises.” In short, an occupier could be the owner(s) of said property, the landlord(s) who cares for the property, or both.

The occupier has a “duty of care” to both tenants and legal visitors. This means the occupier must ensure that the tenants and legal visitors entering the property are “reasonably safe” while on that property. In the case of a trip and fall, the occupier cannot purposely create danger for the tenant/visitor or act recklessly in disregard of the tenant/visitor’s safety.

There are criteria to determine if the landlord is liable for a trip and fall at an apartment building or complex. Consider:

  • Was the hazard that caused you to trip and fall obvious?
  • Did the occupier make reasonable efforts to ensure the safety of the premises?
  • Was the hazard a danger to the safety of the tenants and legal visitors present for an extended period of time? Or could the hazard have been easily prevented or remedied?
  • Was the damage that caused your trip and fall created by a contractor?
  • Was a child one of the victims? Children require a higher expectation of safety as they are not able to assess a hazard as an adult would.

Trip and fall incidents caused by hazards inside the leased area of an apartment complex are typically the burden of the tenant or visitor. However, hazards in common areas of an apartment complex or that arise in the leased space but are related to factors the landlord is in charge of repairing (provided the landlord has been notified) could be the responsibility of the occupier.

Don’t feel the need to decipher the liability of a landlord on your own. Contact a personal injury lawyer today.

When Is a Landlord Not Responsible for a Trip and Fall?

There will be instances when a trip and fall is not the fault of the landlord or owner. Consider the cases below, but, to ensure that your personal injury claim is handled correctly, contact a trip and fall lawyer for a free consultation.

  • If the injured person is trespassing, committing a crime, or intending to trespass or commit a crime.
  • If an independent contractor was responsible for the trip and fall hazard, and the occupier had a reasonable expectation that the contractor’s work would be done competently and without incident.
  • If the injury was caused in part due to the negligence of the injured person.
  • If the tenant or lawful visitor signed a waiver absolving the occupier of responsibility. However, the tenant/visitor would have to have full knowledge of the agreement being signed.
  • If the injured person ignored the warnings and failsafes put in place by the occupier to protect tenants and visitors from harm.
  • If the injured party is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are likely to be found liable if the occupier has taken reasonable precautions.

Determining liability for a trip and fall can be extremely complex. A knowledgeable lawyer can determine the legitimacy of your claim.

What to Do Following a Trip and Fall at an Apartment Complex

The limitation period for personal injury due to a trip and fall at an apartment building or complex in Vancouver, BC, is generally 2 years (see Part 2 – Basic Limitation Period in the Limitation Act). If you don’t file within the allotted time, your claim will most likely be dismissed. Don’t delay when it comes to filing your claim!

Additionally, your lawyer will need time to properly build your case. You need to allow enough time for your lawyer to investigate and collect evidence. In essence, it is never too early to reach out to an occupiers’ liability lawyer.

If you find yourself the victim of a trip and fall in an apartment building, here are some steps to take immediately:

  • See a doctor as soon as you can! If you are injured, your health is a priority. Go to the emergency room or urgent care if necessary, or make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Report the incident to the landlord, owner, and/or property management company. Ensure there is a documented report on file with the occupier and keep one for your own records.
  • Document the scene of the trip and fall, highlighting the obstacle, lighting, any signage indicating the hazard, and the date and time of the incident.
  • Ask for the contact information of any witnesses present at the time of your injury.
  • Keep any clothing or shoes worn at the time of your injury; do not launder them in case you are asked to prove their suitability.
  • Keep all paperwork regarding medical treatment and correspondence with your employer.
  • Find a trip and fall lawyer in Vancouver, BC.

Klein Lawyers Can Help

Klein Lawyers has over 30 years of success and experience in the legal field. During that time, we have worked hard to earn the trust and respect of Canadians who need legal representation.

Working with an experienced lawyer is critical, and our team understands the trust clients place in us when representing them. We value that trust and feel honoured that so many clients choose our law firm to fight for them. We are passionate about obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients.

Injured in a Trip and Fall at an Apartment Building?

Contact the Klein Lawyers team today at (604) 874-7171 for a free consultation with a Vancouver trip and fall lawyer. There is no obligation, and your consultation is completely confidential. We are here to help victims of property owner and/or occupier negligence obtain the just compensation they deserve for their injuries.