Even if you are a cautious soul, accidents happen. Maybe you tripped over a piece of frayed carpet or, worse, took a tumble down the stairs when the handrail broke. If you are injured during a fall in your rented apartment or home, when is your landlord liable?
Stairs are the location of many accidents. If the center part of the steps is worn down, you can easily slip whether the surface is wood or carpet. Of course, outdoor steps are particularly hazardous in wet and cold weather. Other causes of slips and falls are broken sidewalks, ripped carpeting, cluttered areas, and loose floorboards.
While you are expected to practice common sense and look where you are going, landlords do have a responsibility to take certain precautions and maintain the property to help prevent these accidents. Although each case is different, generally landlords are held liable for your fall when they:
- Caused the area to be slick or worn
- Knew about the dangerous area but failed to correct it
- Would have known of the danger if they had performed routine maintenance
Your landlord is expected to provide you with "reasonably safe" conditions. In other words, your landlord isn't expected to prevent any possible accident that could happen, but he needs to promptly repair hazards such as leaking roofs and uneven surfaces. Also, your landlord needs to follow the municipality's building codes. If you fall because the building violated these codes, the property owner may well be found liable for your accident.
Not all slip and fall accidents are your landlord's responsibility. You are expected to take safety measures, such as using the railing while descending slippery stairs. Also, if you are using your phone when you fall while walking across an uneven surface, you may be held responsible for your injury rather than your landlord.
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you feel your landlord may be liable for your accident, hire a personal injury lawyer to represent your interests. She can determine whether you have grounds for a case and make certain your legal action is filed promptly.
You are expected to safeguard your own health by behaving carefully and cautiously while in your rented home or apartment. However, if you suffer an injury due to negligence on the part of the landlord, you may be due compensation for your injuries. If you take a fall, seek medical attention. Then call an experienced personal injury attorney like one from Walsh Fewkes Sterba.