What to do if I rent my house and was injured on the property due to my landlord’s negligence?

I injured myself in a hole that is on the property; injured to the point I needed hand surgery to repair my injury. My landlord told me his insurance company doesn’t cover medical bills just liability. I wonder if I should persue this more as my medical bills are outrageous and financially out of my ability to pay? I feel the landlord’s negligence is to blame.

Asked on February 16, 2013 under Personal Injury, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If the landlord was indeed negligent, then whether or not his insurance would cover this, you could sue him to recover your out-of-pocket medical costs, lost wages, and possibly pain and suffering, for any disability or impairment of life function you have suffered. The landlord may be at fault if:

1) The hole was such as to pose a threat to the average person;

2) The landlord either knew of the hole (such as because you had told him) or reasonably should have known of the hole (e.g. it was so obvious there is no way he could but have known).

If the landlord did not have knowledge and reasonably would not have been expected to know of the hole, however, he most likely wouold not be liable--in that case, since he didn't know there was a problem or danger, he was not negligent, or careless, in not addressing it.

Also, if the hole was something of which you had been aware, that may reduce your monetary recovery, since in that event, you may be considered to have been negligent as well in not avoiding a hole which you knew of; a plaintiff's (person suing) own negligence can reduce his/her recovery.

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