Slip And Fall Injuries: Landlords And Tenants

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), for Americans, an unintentional fall is the leading cause of injury for every age group other than young adults aged 15-24. This statistic may be surprising, but any slip and fall lawyer will likely confirm this to be the case. Accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and only the most surefooted are rarely lucky enough to avoid a slip and fall injury throughout their lifetime.

While slipping and falling may at first seem like it is 'just an accident,' and therefore no one is responsible, fault and wherein it lies is a much grayer line in the eyes of the law. One such gray area is when it comes to the rights of a tenant versus the responsibilities of a landlord. Here is what to consider should you become injured on a rented domicile.

What Constitutes An Injury?

A slip and fall injury can happen in any number of ways in a home or apartment unit. Tripping on a broken stair tread and falling down, stumbling over large driveway or walkway cracks, slipping and falling because the outdoor lighting wasn't working, tripping over a garden hose that was left out, and slipping on wet common areas or icy walkways during the winter are all common household slip and fall injuries.

If a tenant becomes injured in one of these ways and negligence on the part of the landlord can be proven, a tenant can recoup their losses for things such as lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses associated with the injury.

Is The Landlord Negligent?

This is the key question. A landlord obviously can't be expected to prevent every conceivable way a person may inadvertently hurt themselves on their property. However, landlords are expected to keep their rental properties at the highest state of maintenance and repair. If something is broken, they are expected to fix it in a timely manner.

Tenants also have a responsibility to be sure to let their landlord know when something needs to be repaired in the first place. This is especially important in your specific unit as a landlord is unlikely to inspect it more than once or twice a year. The law must find a landlord was aware of a potential hazard and had more than enough time to prevent the resulting injury by repairing it.

Should you become injured from falling, whether you believe the landlord to be negligent or not, be sure to consult a qualified slip and fall attorney immediately. The decisions made immediately after the event, such as getting photographs of the scene, can mean the difference between a successful case and a failure.