You slip on ice on the sidewalk outside your rented apartment. You trip over a broken stair and fall, breaking your arm. You trip over debris in the walkway.
If you fall inside or outside a home or apartment that you are renting from a landlord, can he or she be held liable for your injuries? In some cases, yes. It depends on where you fell and how the fall occurred. A fall can occur inside or outside an apartment, rental home, sidewalk, parking lot, and common areas and possibly be the fault of your landlord.
Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall Case
In order to sue your landlord for the damages you suffered in a slip and fall case, you must first prove that the or she was liable and that negligence caused your injuries. Liability is based on several factors. First, determine where the accident occurred. Did you fall inside or outside your apartment? If you fell inside, then it is highly unlikely that your landlord would be responsible unless he or she was responsible for an issue that caused your slip and fall. For example, if there was a leak inside your apartment and you notified your landlord, but he or she did nothing, and you slipped and fell on a slippery fall, then your landlord could be held liable.
If your slip and fall incident happened outside, such as on a slippery sidewalk or broken stairs, then it is possible that your landlord could be held liable. It depends on what caused your slip and fall and what your obligations are based on the lease. For example, if you slipped on the snow outside the doorway of your rental home, but your lease says you are responsible for shoveling snow because your landlord lives out of town, then your landlord would not be held liable. Also, if the slip and fall were caused by some foreign substance—such as milk that you spilled in your driveway—then you again would be responsible because your landlord could not have known that the spilled liquid was present, let alone clean it up in time before you slipped on it.
Regardless of the situation, slip and fall cases are not easy to win. Juries tend to rule in favor of the property owners because they realize that too many people are distracted and not watching where they are going. Your best bet is to have a skilled personal injury attorney on your side.
Work With an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney
Slips and falls can cause serious injuries and even death. If you or a loved one were injured by a landlord’s negligence, make sure you understand your legal rights.
The slip and fall lawyers at Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. can assess your case and determine liability. These cases can be complex, so do not delay. Schedule a free consultation by calling our office at 718-596-7800.