Slip and Fall Accident Claims Against Landlords
If You Were Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident, You May Have a Claim Against the Landlord of the Property Where You Fell
When you get injured on someone else’s property, who is liable for your losses? In many cases, the answer is: the landlord. Landlords have an obligation to maintain their premises in safe condition; and, while tenants share this responsibility as well, there are many instances in which landlords will hold responsibility for injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents.
Is the Landlord Liable for Your Slip and Fall Accident?
As a general rule, property owners have a legal duty to protect their customers, visitors, and guests. This is the underlying principle of the law of premises liability, and it applies in most cases. There are some exceptions (i.e. if you intentionally or recklessly put yourself at risk), and there are certain circumstances in which landlords’ liability may be shared or passed to a tenant; but, generally speaking, following a slip and fall accident, the property owner is going to be the first potential source of financial recovery.
When a landlord rents or leases its premises, it remains legally responsible for any and all areas of the property that remain within its control. These typically include common areas such as hallways, stairwells, elevators, escalators, and parking lots. Additionally, even if a landlord assigns responsibility for a particular portion of its premises to a tenant, the landlord may still be liable under applicable state law.
Can You Sue Your Own Landlord After a Slip and Fall?
What if you slipped and fell in your apartment? Or, what if you own a business and you fell at your rented store or office? Can you sue your own landlord for your slip-and-fall injuries?
In many cases, you can sue your own landlord if you are injured in a slip or fall. This is certainly true if the accident occurred in a common area, but it could potentially be true if you fell in your rented apartment or commercial space as well. For example, let’s say you slipped when you walked into your apartment and the floor was wet because a pipe burst in the wall. Since you are not responsible for the plumbing in your apartment building, you may have a premises liability claim against your landlord.
In all cases, however, the rule of negligence applies. If your landlord was not negligent (i.e. if it could not have reasonably anticipated the pipe bursting), then it is not liable for your injuries. With that said, negligence can take many forms; and, if you believe you may have a claim against your landlord for any reason, you should speak with an attorney promptly.
Some examples of landlord negligence that may support premises liability claims include:
- Failure to perform routine maintenance or make necessary repairs
- Failure to remove snow, ice, or debris from a parking lot or sidewalk
- Failure to clean up a spill or accumulated rainwater in a common area
- Failure to adequately maintain the safety of a pool, gym, or other amenity
- Failure to warn of slippery floors or other slip and fall hazards
What if the Landlord Isn’t Liable?
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident and the landlord isn’t liable, then you may have a claim against the tenant. Just like landlords, tenants can be held liable if they negligently allow dangerous conditions to lead to slips and falls. This includes business tenants (i.e. retailers that lease space from commercial property owners) as well as residential tenants who are negligent in failing to maintain their premises free of slip and fall hazards.
Depending on what caused you to slip and fall, you could potentially have other claims as well. At Oberheiden Law, we thoroughly investigate our clients’ slip and fall accidents in order to identify all possible sources of financial compensation. If a landlord was only partially responsible for your accident, we will pursue claims against the other parties that shared responsibility, and we will fight to hold each party accountable for your accident-related losses.
Schedule a Free, No-Obligation Consultation at Oberheiden Law
If you slipped and fell on a landlord’s property and would like to speak with an attorney about filing a claim for damages, contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at Oberheiden Law. To speak with one of our highly-experienced premises liability attorneys in confidence, call 866-376-4871 or tell us about your accident online now.