Many people in America rent homes, where a family comes together but a landlord dictates many of the rules of a property. So what happens when you slip and fall on your landlord’s property – was it fault of your own or could the landlord be held liable?
The Theory of Negligence
At the head of every personal injury claim stands the theory of ‘negligence,’ which helps determine who is liable in an accident. If nobody acted negligently, then nobody is liable for your injuries. Just because you fell on your landlord’s property does not automatically mean that they were negligent and that you would win in your case. In other words, the landlord must have done something to cause your accident. You also have to show that the landlord must have known about the unreasonable condition that caused your accident, because if they had no idea about it, they may not be liable either.
Let’s talk about a common example: There is a leak in the ceiling of your apartment, and the landlord knows about it. However, instead of fixing it, he leaves it alone for a few weeks, and in that time your husband slips and falls, injuring himself badly. The landlord could be held under negligence and be held liable because he knew about it and had time to fix it, but chose not to. However, if the leak just started and you did not notify your landlord, but sustained an accident, they will probably not be held liable because they had no opportunity to fix the problem.
Now, what happens if the accident takes place outside? Perhaps you slipped on ice that was on the sidewalk in front of your rental property and your landlord owns the sidewalk. Liability will typically depend upon the lease you have with your landlord. If your lease states that this is something that the landlord will take care of, but he failed to do so, he could be found negligent and owe you compensation for your injuries.
No matter what happens in your claim, it is always difficult to prove a slip and fall accident. Juries tend to think that people should just watch where they are going, which means that you may come across difficulty in your case. When you sustain a slip and fall accident, you should gather as much information as possible to make your claim such as pictures of the accident scene, your clothes, and bruises you’ve sustained. Call us today with more information on how we can help you move forward with your claim.