Generally, personal injury claims are a type of legal dispute that can be filed to compensate for any accident or injury a person may have suffered from someone else’s act of negligence. What if you have suffered an accident on your landlord’s property? When injuries on a premise arise, injured tenants may bring a personal injury claim against their landlord. From these lawsuits, plaintiffs can hold landlords financially responsible for compensation for the damages they suffered.

Who Can File a Claim Against Landlord?

Generally, tenants may bring lawsuits against their landlord for injuries that occurred on the premises. By signing a lease, tenants have the contractual right for landlords to make repairs to hazardous conditions. However, landlords will not be accountable for just any injuries that tenants suffer on the premises. Hence, it is a crucial part of this type of personal injury claim that tenants are able to prove that the landlord’s action or inaction directly resulted in the injury. The principle of negligence is the basis that courts use for assessing the landlord’s accountability. Additionally, the following factors are used to determine a landlord’s liability;

  • Control over the dangerous condition
  • Knowledge of hidden danger
  • Cost and feasibility of reducing the danger
  • Likelihood of serious injury
  • Failure to take reasonable steps to prevent an accident

Additionally, the three main criteria that should be met to ensure a successful claim against a landlord;

  • The landlord owns the property
  • The injuries resulted from the landlord’s negligence in properly maintaining the property, and
  • That negligence was a substantial factor that caused the injuries

Aside from tenants of the residence, other victims such as guests of tenants, business visitors, and trespassers can file a lawsuit against a landlord or property owner as well. Some states do not make the distinction between the victims, as long as the injury was sustained on the premise. However, in California, distinctions are made by the landlord’s foreseeability of the visitor.

What Are Unsafe Conditions?

Premise liability law states that landlords and tenants are liable for any accidents that occurred by dangerous property. Dangerous property can be anything from poor building materials, faulty construction, and construction hazards. Premise liability accidents may also include slip and fall accidents. Common accidents that occur in residential areas include;

  • Slip and fall on a slippery surface
  • Tripping over hidden obstacles or clutter
  • Falling through weak or poorly maintained floorboards
  • Injuries from broken stairs
  • Falling in a hidden sinkhole
  • Falling due to poorly installed railing
  • Other injuries from hidden defects

Landlords and property owners are legally required to keep tenants safe. Additionally, in some cases, when landlords fail to maintain their property, the liability extends to the tenant’s guests or visitors’ injury as well. Landlords and property owners should pay attention to three main injury preventive measures;

  • Repair the hazard
  • Protect people from harm from it
  • Adequately notify tenants about potential dangers of the hazard

Landlords are expected to keep up these measures for their entire property in a frequent manner. Property inspection must be done when new tenants move in when renewing a lease and after a tenant moves out.

What Are Landlords Liable For?

Landlords are liable for anyone who:

  • Owns
  • Leases
  • Occupies
  • Or controls a property

The property can be held accountable for the injury that occurs on it. Theoretically, tenants can be held liable as well, but in most cases, landlords have deeper pockets and are in a better position to compensate for injuries. Individuals that have suffered from injury arising from the dangerous conditions of the property may recover from 2 types of damages.

Compensatory Damages Against Your Landlord

Compensatory damages are money awarded to plaintiffs that cover damages from loss or injuries such as;

  • Medical bills
  • Emotional damage
  • Loss of consortium for your family
  • Lost income
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Punitive damages

Punitive damages are generally awarded in addition to compensatory damages. The aim of punitive damages is to punish or deter wrongdoers from doing the same action. Premise liability claims often deal with the concept of negligence, hence only a few cases grant punitive damages to plaintiffs

Contact Pride Legal

If you or a loved one has been seeking to file a claim against a landlord we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.