Seeking Damages From a Landlord for a Slip and Fall Injury
July 1, 2020
When you choose to rent a home or apartment, you expect it to be safe. You expect that your landlord will maintain your house in a way that is safe and free of any risk. When they don’t, you and your family may be at risk. If you slip and fall, you may be left with expensive and time-consuming injuries. Unfortunately, the law is not always clear about who is at fault and who is financially responsible.
The Most Common Causes Of Slip And Fall Accidents
There are many things that can lead to a slip and fall injury, which include:
- Uneven floorboards
- Icy sidewalk and steps
- Loose wires
- Broken stairs
- Torn carpeting
- Unsecured floor mats
- Recently mopped or waxed flooring
- Uneven steps or floors
- Abrupt transitions between flooring surfaces, such as from carpet to wood
Each of these conditions can be dangerous, leading to an injury that requires expensive care. You might have medical bills, be required to take time off work, need rehabilitation, and have property damage.
Is The Landlord Liable?
One of the first things that you might consider following an injury is who is at fault. Generally speaking, landlords are not held liable for injuries to tenants and their visitors caused by dangerous or hazardous conditions of the leased premises. This is because, in leasing premises to a tenant, the landlord turns over complete control of the leased premises to the tenant and thus the landlord is likely to not be aware of dangerous or hazardous conditions that arise on the leased premises.There are a few situations in which the landlord could be responsible for your slip and fall injury. Here are a few examples:
- Knowledge of the dangerous condition: It is the responsibility of the landlord to repair any known hazards. If they fail to do so, they may be responsible for any following injuries. A hazard would be considered to be known by the landlord if the condition existed at the time the landlord leased the premises to the tenant. Or a tenant may put a landlord on notice of a dangerous or hazardous condition that has arisen during the tenancy that the landlord is responsible for repairing under the lease — for example, a broken staircase.
- Reasonable action: While it is the responsibility of the landlord to provide a safe environment, it is also unrealistic that they can prevent all dangers. If the landlord did take action to prevent a dangerous risk, then it may be questioned if they took reasonable action. Did they take action in a timely manner and was that action reasonable in removing the risk?
- Location of the condition: Although landlords are typically not responsible for conditions within leased premises, they can be held liable when injuries occur in other parts of rental properties, such as in the common areas of the property, parking lots, driveways, and abutting sidewalks. This is because these areas usually remain in the control of the landlord, unless in the lease the landlord has given complete control and maintenance responsibility to tenants.
Each case is different when it comes to landlord liability. The court will look at all of the available details and determine who is at fault.
Comparative Negligence In A Slip And Fall Case
In many injury cases, it is possible for more than one party to be at fault. Although a landlord may have been responsible for repairing a hazardous condition, that condition may have been created by the tenant himself or herself. The state of Pennsylvania does recognize comparative negligence. This means that you can collect compensation for an injury as long as you are less liable than another party. Specifically, Pennsylvania law allows an injured party to recover compensation so long as he or she is not 51 percent or more at fault for his or her injury. If the injured party shares some fault but is less than 51 percent responsible, then his or her recovery will be reduced to reflect his or her share of fault (for example, damages of $100,000 may be reduced by $20,000 to reflect a 20 percent share of fault).
Reasons To Work With A Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were injured while renting a property, it is important to consider your compensation eligibility and rights. Depending on the details of your case, it is possible that your landlord is at fault. When you work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who is familiar with Pennsylvania’s property laws, you can ensure that your tenant rights are protected.For example, your landlord may contest liability for the dangerous or hazardous condition that injured you, especially if the condition was on the part of the premises that were exclusively leased to you. A personal injury lawyer may still be able to hold your landlord at fault by showing that the condition existed when the premises were leased to you, or that you gave your landlord notice of the condition, the landlord was responsible under your lease for repairing the condition, and the landlord had sufficient opportunity after your notice to conduct repairs before you were injured.Your attorney may also be able to identify other at-fault parties. In many larger rental properties, it is common for landlords to hire management companies or maintenance companies to take care of curing or repairing dangerous or hazardous conditions. Your attorney may be able to show that the maintenance or management company’s negligence was partially or entirely at fault for causing your accident and injuries.
Contact A Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Personal Injury Case In Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive Pittsburgh PA Accident Attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of a slip and fall in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 564-4770 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Avenue, Pittsburg, PA, 15212. The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.