Apartment Slip and Fall Liability
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UPDATED: Feb 5, 2020
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If you are injured in a slip and fall accident at an apartment, you may have a legal claim against the tenant and/or the landlord depending on the circumstances of the injury, the nature of the hazardous condition, and how much control over the condition each party had. As with any slip and fall accident, each case is different and an experienced personal injury attorney can be a valuable asset when you attempt to collect payment for your injuries.
When a Landlord Is Liable for an Apartment Slip and Fall
If a hazardous condition has previously been identified and the landlord is aware of it and it hasn’t been fixed, he might be responsible for the slip and fall injury. If the condition is in violation of state or local housing code, then the landlord is very likely liable if he was aware of it and did not act within a reasonable time. When a condition that caused an apartment slip and fall is either unknown by the landlord, or not serious enough for the landlord to fix, then he is not likely liable for injuries that occur.
Determining a landlord’s legal responsiblity for injuries that occur in an apartment slip and fall accident is similar to any other slip and fall case: if the landlord was responsible for the fixing the condition, knew, or should have known, about it, had reasonable opportunity to take corrective action, and failed to do so before the injury then he may be responsible for a slip and fall accident.
Tenant Liability for Apartment Slip and Fall
If your slip and fall accident occured due to a condition that was not the landlord’s responsbility, then the tenant may be liable. Conditions such as slippery floors, sliding rugs, and dangerously placed furniture or shelving are things that a landlord does not, and should not, have any responsibility for. A tenant may also be liable if his or her actions either hide a condition that the landlord should fix (putting a rug over a hole in the floor), or make a slip and fall injury worse (providing poor medical aid).
Tenants are less likely to have the resources to compensate you for slip and fall injuries that occur in an apartment, so you may need to pursue a claim against the renters insurance policy. Consult an experienced attorney for assistance before taking action.
Known Risks and Slip and Fall Liability
A landlord or tenant may have less liability for a slip and fall accident if the guest should have recognized a dangerous condition prior to allowing it to cause the slip and fall accident. Guests who are intoxicated or careless around obvious dangers may play a role in the cause of a slip and fall accident, and if you contributed to your own injury in this manner then you risk being unable to collect injury damages.
Immediately after a slip and fall accident in an apartment, take the time to document the condition and the surrounding area with photos, and be prepared to provide names and contact information of witnesses to the accident. You will also need to gather evidence from the tenant or landlord about communications they had regarding the condition that caused the slip and fall accident. Gathering evidence is critical to a slip and fall lawsuit, so take the time to do it correctly before taking legal action or filing an insurance claim.
If you were injured due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property, you should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney right away. Landlords and insurance companies will have attorneys to argue they are not responsible, and you should be prepared with an attorney of your own. Most personal injury attorneys experienced in slip and fall accidents offer free consultations, so reaching out to one is a low risk prospect.
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