Posted on: 4 June 2015
If you were injured on the property of your rented home, you might be wondering if you can sue your landlord for economic and emotional damages. There are certain laws that govern tenant and landlord interactions, and these come into play when filing a personal injury lawsuit against a landlord. Here are some of the things that will help you decide if you have a strong case against your landlord for a personal injury settlement.
Did your landlord break the law?
The law governs what types of properties can legally be rented in order to protect the public from unsafe conditions. Landlords should be aware of all requirements and meet them on a regular basis. If you can prove that your landlord did not comply with rental laws, they will automatically be responsible for any injury you sustain as a direct result of their non-compliance. For example, all properties should have well-fitted egress windows to allow for escape during fire or flood. If there is a fire in your apartment and you are unable to escape quickly through the windows because they are not the right size or do not open properly, your landlord could be responsible for your injuries. This type of situation is called negligence per se-- breaking laws designed for public protection allows for liability of all ensuing and related injuries.
Did your landlord neglect the property?
Contracts between landlord and tenant detail the types of services the landlord will provide. Usually, unless otherwise stated, the property owner is responsible for basic maintenance, providing reasonable care for the property and tenants. If you are injured because this maintenance is not done, you have a case that you could win. A simple example of this situation would be that your landlord failed to keep the stairs clear of ice during the winter. If you slip and fall down the stairs, they will be responsible for damages.
Of course, reasonable care only extends so far. Other people could be more at fault for your injury, including you. For example, if you are not diligent in watching your child and they fall down the stairs, your landlord will not be responsible for their injuries, as the child is your responsibility and you should have seen the stairs as a foreseeable danger and taken reasonable measures to prevent the accident, like putting up a gate. Another tenant could also cause you injury. In this case, you would sue the other tenant and leave the landlord out of the picture.
Did a defect lead to loss of property or injury?
A landlord can also be held responsible for injuries if the neglect of the property directly leads to the incident. For example, if you inform your landlord that the lock on your door is faulty, and they do not fix it expeditiously, they will then be responsible for any theft of your property or injuries from armed robbery if this was a break-in point for a burglar. Another example might include broken fences on the property that allow for trespassers, or failing to evict a tenant with a violent dog when the apartment complex has a no pets policy. Basically, if sustaining injuries from these third party offenders would have been prevented by the action of the landlord when they were aware of the deficiency or danger, they are accountable for damages.
You may feel like, as tenant, you do not have much of a voice. However, when a landlord is responsible for your injuries, you can make a case against them. Talk to a personal injury attorney about your case, as they will be able to help you navigate the details. You can find attorneys who may be willing to represent you at a site like http://www.sarklawfirm.com/.Share