When you live in an apartment, it’s possible to be exposed to a number of dangerous situations, depending on how well your landlord has maintained the building. In some cases, those who become injured on apartment premises can pursue a lawsuit against their negligent landlord, to recover for medical expenses, time off work, and other losses.
However, it’s important to consult with a seasoned premises liability lawyer before you bring a claim against your landlord. Aside from the fact that the lawsuit may make things more difficult for you, it’s also fairly difficult to bring a premises liability lawsuit against the proprietor of your own building.
What Is a Landlord’s Responsibility to Tenants?
Landlords have a clear and unquestioned duty to keep their premises safe for residents and to provide adequate warning about potential risks on the property. Typically, a good landlord will invest in comprehensive general liability insurance for their tenants, to ensure that they are covered in the event of a personal injury lawsuit, but this is not always required.
Of course, since the apartment building is also your own place of residence, your landlord cannot be held responsible for everything that goes wrong in your unit: They can only be held accountable if they committed some form of negligence, and breached their “duty of care” towards you as the tenant.
Here are the core duties that your landlord must observe:
- Keeping common areas clean, well-maintained, and in good working order.
- Ensuring that your unit is safe from preventable hazards, by installing appropriate fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Promptly notifying tenants if there are any hidden building hazards, or if a common area is not in good working order.
When Do I Have a Case?
Because landlords do have these core duties to their tenants, it may seem like a simple matter to show that they were negligent. However, in practice, it can take a lot to prove negligence in court. When determining if you have a case, your attorney will need to thoroughly investigate the specific circumstances that led to your injuries and gather appropriate evidence.
Here’s what your lawyer will have to show in order to succeed with a premises liability case:
- Your landlord had a duty of care to correct the problem.
- Your landlord had enough time to fix the problem, and it wasn’t unreasonably expensive or hard for them to do so.
- Your landlord breached this duty and acted in a negligent manner.
- Your landlord could have easily foreseen that someone could be seriously injured because of their negligence.
- Your injuries were directly caused by their failure to fix the problem.
At Mathias Raphael PLLC Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have years of experience handling complex premises liability cases for apartment tenants. From slip and fall claims to fire and burn injuries, we’ve successfully pursued damages for a range of clients, and ensured that they received the compensation they needed.
If you believe that your landlord’s negligence led to a serious injury, we’re ready to help you navigate the claims process. With free case evaluations, decades of combined legal experience, and a history of proven results, we can give you the seasoned legal advocacy you deserve.
For more information, call (214) 739-0100 today and speak with one of our skilled lawyers.