What to do if I am a tenant and am now being named in a lawsuit regarding an injury that a postal worker allegedly had falling into a depression in the front yard?

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What to do if I am a tenant and am now being named in a lawsuit regarding an injury that a postal worker allegedly had falling into a depression in the front yard?

Asked on April 26, 2012 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unless the amount being sought is so low that it's easiest to simply pay, retain an attorney. Neither a property owner nor a tenant is automatically liable (or financially responsible) for an injury suffered by a third party on property he/she/it owns or rents; however, the owner or the tenant could be responsible if he/she/it failed to take reasonable care of the property, and such failure, especially with knowledge of a condition or problem, led to the injury. For example: if you were responsible under your lease for the yard's upkeep and you did not fill in an obvious depression, you could be liable; or even if the landlord is responsible, if you knew of the depression but never reported it to the landlord, so the landlord never had the opportunity to fix it, you could, under some circumstances be liable.This is not to say that you will be liable--just that the potential for liability exists, and therefore you need to take this suit seriously.

If sued, whenever it's not worth simply paying, you should get a lawyer.


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