Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are spending more time at home. And that extra time at home provides more opportunity for slip and fall accidents, leading to sometimes devastating injuries.
The answer to the question of whether your landlord is liable for injuries on the property is “maybe.” For you to have a valid personal injury case, you must be able to prove that the landlord did not maintain the property leading to a hazardous condition causing your fall. If you can prove that and show that the landlord either knew about the condition or should have known about the condition, then you would be able to bring a claim against the landlord/owner.
If you’ve recently suffered an injury on a rental property, you might be wondering if it’s worth it to look into slip and fall attorneys in Florida. We strongly recommend reaching out to the legal team of Goldman & Daszkal, even if you’re not sure whether you have a valid case. We can obtain all of the pertinent information and discuss the facts to determine if you have a case.
Most rental agreements set different standards based on whether the accident happens inside or outside. The reason for this is simple: unless you tell the landlord about an indoor hazard, they likely wouldn’t know about it and be able to fix it. Here’s a deeper look as to whether or not your landlord might be liable for your slip and fall accident.
Indoor Slip and Fall Accidents
Indoor slip and fall scenarios often involve a water leak of some sort. The leak turns surfaces that are not normally slippery into a hazard, and residents often fall because they aren’t prepared to encounter a slippery area.
An indoor slip and fall could occur because of poor overall building maintenance as well as poor unit maintenance. An example of a failure to maintain the building would be your landlord neglecting to call a plumber and allowing a ceiling leak to create a puddle in a hallway. A situation involving unit maintenance, on the other hand, would occur within your apartment or house—such as a leaky sink pipe that your landlord doesn’t get fixed within a reasonable timeframe.
Indoor slip and fall accidents that merit a personal injury lawsuit typically involve one of the following issues:
- The landlord knew about a maintenance issue but did not act as quickly as another individual presented with the same issue.
- Your property management group or landlord did not do routine maintenance on pipes, infrastructure, etc. in line with industry recommendations.
- Landlord negligence is another factor to consider. For this to be present in your case, the landlord must both know about the issue and know that it is presenting an unsafe condition for you to live in but still not complete the necessary maintenance.
Outdoor Slip and Fall Accidents
Much like indoor slip and fall accidents, when you suffer an injury outside your rental property, liability will depend on the specific circumstances.
For example, one of the most common slip and fall accident scenarios in Florida involves window A/C units leaking water onto the walkway outside. Some rental agreements might state that it is the lessee’s responsibility to handle maintaining the walkway outside their unit.
Even in cases in which your landlord is responsible, there are nuances to their liability. To stick with our example, it is nearly impossible to make sure there is no water on the walkway from a leaking A/C unit 24 hours a day. If in fact the landlord is responsible for this, they can place a sign warning pedestrians of the hazard, or make sure the water doesn’t stand for too long causing a buildup of sludge.
A comparable situation might be a fall caused by hurricane or tropical storm flooding. It’s always a good idea to stay aware of your surroundings and try to avoid danger, but if you do get injured and feel your landlord was at fault, your next step should be consulting a slip and fall attorney to see if you should take legal action.
Documenting The Scene And Your Injuries
It’s not quite enough to prove that your landlord was liable for your accident; you must also prove that you were injured as a result of the incident. The fact that you slipped and fell is certainly unfortunate, but if you didn’t sustain any injuries, there is no claim for damages. If you are injured, It’s essential to visit a medical professional and create an official record of your injuries.
Just like in any other personal injury case, you should document the scene if possible and the extent of your injuries and damages. Do your best to accomplish the following:
- Take photos of the hazard, whether it’s indoor or outdoor. If you can, also document the source of the hazard, such as a broken pipe.
- Create a record of your injuries. See a medical professional and ask for your patient records so you have proof of your injuries on file. You should also take photos of your injuries.
- Collect information on lost wages. If you must miss work due to your injuries, you should also keep track of how many days you miss and get documentation from your employer.
- Record any missed special events or other stresses on your quality of life due to your injuries. While this portion is not crucial to winning your case, it can help prove your level of pain and suffering due to the accident and can assist your slip and fall attorneys in seeking the maximum financial compensation for your situation.
Slip and Fall Attorneys Ready to Help
The best way to know whether you have a valid slip and fall personal injury case is to discuss the matter with an experienced attorney. He or she will be able to evaluate the details of your accident and begin to determine whether your landlord may be liable.
At Goldman & Daszkal, we don’t get paid unless we win your case. This means that there is no downside to discussing your situation with our experienced slip and fall injury lawyers. Contact us to set up a free consultation.