Can you sue your landlord if you get hurt on their property?
Tenant injury law is a complicated subject. Apartments are some of the only living areas where two parties are responsible for different aspects of injury prevention. Any injury that occurs in an apartment or as a tenant is possibly subject to some sort of tenant injury law. The situation can easily become complicated, and therefore it often requires legal intervention.
Tenant Injury Law
Tenant injury law mostly pertains to the laws governing individuals when they are hurt on the property of their landlord. Landlords have the most liability in a handful of different situations. Here are the areas where a landlord may be responsible:
- They may be held responsible when an individual is hurt in a common area like a recreation room or a parking lot, where almost every incident that occurs could be connected to a landlord in one way or another. Nearly every part of that area is the responsibility of the landlord. Cleaning up spills and fixing guardrails is part of being a landlord. Tenant law would be particularly unforgiving on landlords if a tenant is injured in a common area. There is a good chance that the landlord would be held fully liable for all of the medical bills that person would incur.
- Liability is significantly different if an individual is injured in their own apartment. There is a certain amount of shared liability in a person’s personal space. For example, if a person spills water on the floor and falls, they cannot sue their landlord for the injury. It is assumed that they would be able to clean up the water themselves. The main exceptions to this rule focus on the instances where a person is asking a landlord to take an action or make a repair that is covered in the lease. If the landlord is shown to be neglectful or acting with malice by failing to make that repair, they would be held liable for the injuries that occur. Both passive and active neglect are grounds for a successful lawsuit.
What to Do if You Are Hurt
Anyone who is injured on their landlord’s property needs to at least consider enlisting the help of a lawyer. Most consultations are free, and they can end up saving thousands of dollars in the long run. If you’re injured, you should act as quickly as possible to collect as much evidence as possible about the incident to give it to your attorney.
Injured parties should take pictures and collect witness statements from any people who may have seen the accident. Individuals should also save all of the correspondence that they may have had with their landlord and other management for the property.
A personal injury attorney will advise you on whether or not you have a viable case against your landlord. If you do have a case, the lawyer will often present the case to the landlord and look for a settlement. A settlement can help prevent the uncertainty and bad publicity of a public trial.
If settlement negotiations fail, there is always the chance of a trial and a potential victory in a jury case. But the vast majority of cases end either at or before the settlement phase. A settlement can be offered at any point, even during a jury trial.
An injury can be stressful and expensive. Holding any responsible parties accountable can ease the burdens of the injury. In addition to this, it can make a landlord be more responsible in the future, which would help other tenants to avoid injuries as well.