All property that is owned by someone other than the government is considered private property. Cases involving private property can be complex. If you have been injured on someone’s property and would like to pursue damages, it is important for you to contact a skilled premises liability lawyer right away to discuss your case.
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Invited Guests vs Trespassers
Anybody who is not the owner of a property and not trespassing is considered a visitor. Broadly speaking, an invited guest is somebody who is allowed to be on a particular property. Generally speaking, that could almost anybody, because stores and commercial properties are usually open to the public.
A trespasser, however, is anybody who enters someone’s land without express or implied permission. The status of an individual is an important distinction for someone’s Toronto private property lawyer to understand going into a case.
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Expectation of Safety
Private property owners in Toronto, like commercial property owners, must take steps to ensure that their property is safe for people who could be visiting. Whether it be people delivering mail, people coming to their front door, or people using their driveway, owners of private properties have to understand that at some point, other people are going to be on their land.
They need to take precautions to ensure that they are inspecting their property to see if there are any hazards that could cause injury to other people, and once those hazards are found, they need to take reasonable precautions to remove them or to otherwise make the property safe for people who are visiting the premises.
Consequences are precisely the same for injuries that happen on commercial and private properties in terms of the same general analysis applied, which concerns whether the property owner taking was reasonable steps to ensure that the property was safe for people visiting. That same test is used for private property as well as commercial property. The only difference is that when commercial properties have a higher rate of visitors or a specific kind of visitors, such as a preschool where there are many children present, they may need to take special precautions to ensure people are safe on their property.
Type of Property Involved
The type of property involved in a premises liability case matters, so far is at changes what efforts the property owner must take to ensure that the property is safe. For example, at a property that is used regularly by thousands of people, the property owner and people maintaining that property need to take extra steps to make sure that it is safe, in comparison to a remote property where there are very few visitors.
Essentially, people should take precautions appropriate for the amount and type of people who are visiting the property. Properties that are frequented by people with mobility problems, such as retirement homes, need to take extra precautions to make sure that the property is safe for the specific type of guests that they frequently have.
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Condition of the Property
The condition of the property can play a significant role in a Toronto private property claim. Cases involving property that is not well maintained often succeed, because unsafe and unmaintained conditions can show a pattern that the owners are not taking reasonable precautions to make it safe for invitees and guests. If a property is very well maintained, that may be submitted as evidence that its owners are taking steps to make sure it is reasonably safe for guests.
If the injured person does not take reasonable precautions when entering a property, it can mean that they are partially liable for their own injury. Their damages award will be proportionately reduced to account for whatever percentage they are liable for their own accident. For example, if somebody is 50% responsible for their own accident because they were not taking care in walking on the premises, their damages award is going to be reduced by 50%.
If both the injured person and the property owner is at fault in a premises liability case, the damages will be reduced in accordance with the percentage that the injured person is at fault. For example, if the injured person is found to be 50% responsible for their injuries on the accident, their damages award will be reduced by 50%. It’s important to note that injured people who are partially responsible for their own accident and injuries may still be entitled to compensation.
Rights of Property Owners and Landlords
A property owner has a right to reasonably deny people entry to their property, provided that it is in accord with human rights regulations.
Generally speaking, leaders and landlords will have a contract between them that define the obligations and responsibilities for maintaining the premises. That contract is a very important piece of information for an injured person to review because it can potentially tell the person who is responsible for their injuries.
Both parties have a duty to make sure that the property is reasonably safe for people to use, but, in particular, landlords have greater obligations to ensure the property is safe for visitors and well maintained. To best understand the rights of landlords and other land owners in private property claims, a Toronto private property liability lawyer must be contacted.