Accidents on Public Property in Toronto
There is an expectation that when you are on public property, that the property is well-maintained. However, sometimes individuals may fall and sustain injuries while on public property. In that situation, a person might want to call a lawyer in order to start pursuing a case. Cases involving public property often have very quick notice periods during which the person must provide notice to the government. This is true for property owned by the provincial government, as well as public sidewalks and streets. If you have sustained an injury on public property, talk to a Toronto public property liability lawyer. A Toronto premises liability lawyer can help you pursue damages and advocate for you.
Difference Between Liability on Public and Private Property
If the property is owned by the provincial crown, there is potentially a required 10 day written notice period, meaning that the person has to give the provincial crown notice that they are going to pursue action against them. Otherwise, the claim may be barred. There are further notice requirements as the person gets closer to filing their claim, and those must also be adhered to. This likely requires a consultation with a Toronto public property liability lawyer to ensure that the person does not miss them.
When a person falls on a municipal roadway or a sidewalk, there is also a 10 day notice period where the person must provide a written notice to the municipality of the accident and their injuries, and that they may be pursuing a claim. If the person missed that notice period, their claim may be barred. In municipal sidewalk and roadway cases, the injured person must prove that the municipality was grossly negligent in causing the person’s injuries.
Understanding an Occupier’s Duty of Care
All property owners need to ensure that they have taken reasonable steps to inspect their property for hazards, as well as reasonable steps to remove hazards on the property or otherwise make it safe for visitors. The particulars of that duty of care will vary from case to case based on how often the property is used, how the property is used, and who uses it. For example, a rural residential property will have a different duty of care than a retirement home or a mall that has high foot traffic.
Most citizens appreciate a system that holds parties responsible for accidents they have caused, and respect the needs of people who have suffered injuries and losses as a result of another’s negligence, tough on perpetrators and supportive of victims that is also true in premises liability cases where people who do not maintain their property to a reasonable degree could be putting people, especially vulnerable members of our society like children, the elderly or the disabled, in a significant risk for injury or even death.
The same general damages are available for injuries on public property as there are for injuries on private property. People who have suffered an injury are entitled to pain and suffering damages that correspond to the seriousness of their injury, how much the injury has impacted their life, and how long the injury lasts. If they have lost income or have been made less capable of earning income, the victim may be entitled to damages for loss of income in the past or in the future.
They may also be entitled to out-of-pocket expenses, including any money that they have had to spend as a result of their injuries, such as expenses for medical treatment both in the past and medical treatment they may need in the future. If their ability to do their household chores has been diminished, they may also be entitled to damages for loss of housekeeping capacity. An inability to do housework is also compensable—not just work the person does outside the home.
In order to receive damages for a personal injury claim, the victim must be able to show that somebody else is responsible for their accident. In a premises liability case, that means a property owner, lessee, or somebody who’s responsible for maintaining the property has to have done something that put the person in danger and caused the person’s accident. In order to obtain full compensation, the person must also have evidence that they were injured.
This means that when the victim sees their doctor, they should tell them about everything that they are experiencing and make sure that the record accurately reflects their actual symptoms. It is also important, whenever possible, to preserve evidence in order to ensure that they receive full compensation. This can include pictures of the person’s injuries, receipts for any amount of money that the person has spent, or notes about any money that they have lost. If you have sustained an injury on public property, speak with a Toronto public property liability lawyer who may be able to fight for a positive outcome for you.