Any residents of Ontario that try to answer the question in this article’s title can find some clues in Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act. Invited hikers and campers should get protection from the landowner assuming that the landowner has invited them to venture onto a specific section of the privately-held land. On the other hand, trespassers remain unprotected.
Specific times when a landowner can be held responsible for hikers’ or campers’ injuries
If the hiker or camper got injured after venturing onto a spot in the owner’s land that had unsafe conditions, such as hidden tree stumps, then the presence of those same stumps might be the cause of an accident that could be blamed on the property owner.
If the mentioned stumps had been created recently, when the owner cut down the unwanted trees, then the owner could be held responsible for any injuries that were caused by the recently-created stumps. When activities undertake on a piece of land have made it unsafe, then the landowner becomes responsible for any injuries to invited guests at that unsafe location.
Areas of land in Ontario where the Occupiers’ Liability Act applies:
• Marked hiking trails
• Private roads
• Utility rights-of-way
Times when the landowner could not be held responsible for an accident-related injury:
When the hiker or camper sustains an injury that manages to highlight the natural dangers, those associated with the generally risky nature of both hiking and camping, then the landowner’s liability vanishes. For instance, if a camper got burned lighting a fire, the landowner could not be held liable for that particular injury, as per personal injury lawyer in North Bay.
A message for all landowners, regardless of the size of the temporarily occupied land.
Owned land needs to be maintained, regardless of its size. Even a small corner lot in the city must be cared for, to a limited extent. If a landowner allows the flora growing on the small piece of land to flower and attract bees, then that could increase the chances that the absence of careful maintenance might become all too obvious. Bees might migrate to the dense patch of flowers. That could expose pedestrians to the threat of bee stings.
Landowners could prevent emergence of such a threat by taking proper care of their property. For that reason, a pedestrian that suffered a bee sting would have reason to charge any landholder with negligence. Once hit with such a charge, the landholder would need to compensate the stung pedestrian. That is the clear message for anyone that owns a piece of land. Be sure that you set aside time for maintaining that property, or invest a portion of your finances in paying for the necessary maintenance services. Pick one of those 2 options.