If I slipped on a downspout hose which runs to the bottom step at my rental and fractured my ankle, is my landlord responsible for my lost income from work?

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If I slipped on a downspout hose which runs to the bottom step at my rental and fractured my ankle, is my landlord responsible for my lost income from work?

I’ve just returned to work. I also tripped on something growing out of driveway asphalt, damaging the same ankle again.

Asked on April 20, 2015 under Personal Injury, Ohio

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord, the property owner, is liable for your damages (monetary compensation for your injury).

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.

Prior to filing a lawsuit against your landlord, it may be possible to settle the case with the landlord's insurance carrier.  Your claim filed with that insurance carrier should include the medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with the landlord's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.

If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the landlord (owner of the property) based on premises liability.

If the case is NOT settled with the property owner's insurance carrier, your lawsuit based on premises liability must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord might only be liable IF the position of the downspout was unreasonably careless; that is, if no reasonable homeowner would have a downspout running to that location. If that were the case, then the landlord might be liable for your injury--though in that case, if the downspout hose were reasonably obvious, so that someone should have seen it and stepped over it, then you would have been negligent, or careless, too, in tripping over it, and your own negligence, in contributing to the accident and injury, would reduce what you could recover in court for your injuries.


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