Landlords have many responsibilities and roles. In addition to inspecting and fixing property issues, they are mandated by the state and national laws to uphold health and safety standards. It requires them to maintain their premises according to the health and building code, perform maintenance, and ensure that tenants are safe.
Injuries on the premise
If a landlord fails to maintain their property and ensure its safety, and you happen to hurt yourself in an accident as a result, you may have the option of bringing a personal injury claim against them for compensation. And you don’t have to bring a formal lawsuit to get compensation – you can get adequate compensation by negotiating with the landlord and their insurance company. This is especially true if you just sustained minor injuries.
However, if you sustain serious injuries, you may want to consult with a personal injury or guidance and help. This is because the case might involve lost income and medical costs above $10,000. Better yet, the damage could be debilitating or expose you to toxic substances, and so on. In this case, it might be in your best interest to let the lawyer help, as he or she has experience bringing personal injury claims against landlords.
Under negligence, when the landlord’s action or inaction is the leading cause of your injury, the court can hold them liable, even if they did not intend any harm. Their action or inaction is the just cause when anyone could reasonably tell that it would lead to injury. The court will look at the following elements to gauge whether the landlord was negligent or not.
As mentioned earlier, the landlord will be held liable if they are legally obliged to repair and maintain potential hazards. So, for instance, if you stumble and break a hand in a corridor that has no lights or stairs that’s broken, the landlord is responsible.
Knowledge of the dangerous condition
The landlord must inform tenants about any hidden danger – like an uneven floor or poisonous garden plants and so on.
Foreseeability and proximate cause
If a reasonable individual could have predicted that injury could arise due to a faulty thing – like a broken staircase or loose handrail under the control of the landlord, the landlord needs to fix the issue or provide an alternative option to prevent an accident. Usually, the court does not require the landlords to act drastically to keep the tenants safe in all risky situations. But the landlord needs to exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries. The only exception is when the landlord is dealing with minors.
Types of compensation
You may get compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic harm includes lost income, medical cost, lost earning capacity, and cost of future treatment. Non-economic injuries include any disfigurement or scarring, pain, and suffering, reduced life quality as well as emotional distress arising from a damaged personal relationship or physical trauma.
In some cases, the landlord or insurance company may fight to reduce your claim, arguing that you were partly at fault. If the court determines that you were not paying attention or were distracted, it can cause a reduction of your damages.