While slip and fall cases may sound common and non-fatal, it can sometimes result in devastating injuries and damages. Some of the fatal injuries caused by slip and fall accidents include broken bones, soft tissue damages, immobility, brain trauma, spinal cord injury, etc. On top of that, you will have to spend nearly a fortune for your treatment and other medical expenses. The lost income will also be a great factor in this case. However, if your slip and fall accident is caused by the negligence of another person, you can sue him/her and claim for fair compensation to cover the resulting damages.
The liability will be clear if slip and fall cases happen at public parks, malls, hotels, swimming pools, etc. However, things tend to be a bit challenging if your slip and fall accident occurred at an apartment complex since multiple parties including the building manager, apartment owner, etc., can be held liable in this case depending on the surrounding circumstances. Hence, it is recommended to rely on the service of an experienced slip and fall attorney. You may refer to the points given below if you are interested to know more about the topic.
Is it Appropriate to Sue a Property Owner after a Slip and Fall Accident at an Apartment Complex?
The property owners or landlords have a duty of care towards their guests. Note that it is one’s responsibility to keep their premises clean and safe. Many people have a misconception that all such rules apply only to the individual apartments or the inside area of apartments. In fact, the premise liability rule applies to the common areas of an apartment complex as well including the swimming pool, corridors, laundry facilities, stairs, etc.
When an apartment owner or building manager hesitates to address a dangerous condition at their building in a sensible amount of time, they are held liable for the slip and fall cases or any other related accidents. They can be held responsible for violating building codes as well. To avoid this, it is recommended to take the necessary steps as soon as possible. At least, put a warning sign at the earliest.
How to Strengthen your Premise Liability Claim
According to California civil code 1941, apartment managers including the property owner or landlord are obliged to ensure that their rental units are properly maintained. This includes proper railing, adequate lighting, maintained stairways, floors, etc. If a person slipped and fell because of the shortcomings in these areas, then the apartment manager can be sued under the premise liability claim. Below are some of the major points that you must prove to make your premise liability claim a success.
- The apartment was not maintained properly and an unsafe condition existed there
- The apartment manager or property owner was aware of this dangerous condition and could have fixed the issue
- They were aware of the fact that if the condition was left unaddressed, it could lead to fatal injuries or other consequences
- You slipped and fell because of this condition that was an aftermath of the negligence of the property owner
Even if your slip and fall attorney prove all the above-mentioned points, the defense party may argue that you were also negligent about the condition and contributed to the accident. If their lawyer is extremely skilled, they can hold you either partially or entirely liable for your medical expenses and other damages. This explains why it is important to file your claim with the help of a well-versed premises liability attorney at the earliest. In that case, your slip and fall attorney can visit the accident site, get it inspected by experts, check out the maintenance records of the building, talk to potential witnesses, and take any other steps to strengthen your claim and obtain maximum monetary compensation for your damages.
Note that you will require convincing pieces of evidence to prove the negligence or liability of the landlord. Even though a skilled liability will know the right type of evidence for this, most of it will be time-sensitive and hence, you will have to act fast. For instance, the property managers can easily erase the footage on the surveillance camera in their building or they can fix the damage before your lawyer or another authorized personnel documents it. They might withhold certain evidence as well such as surveillance recordings, repair logs, etc. Still, your attorney can obtain the evidence by putting legal pressure on them.
Common Hazards at Apartment Complexes
There is no exact reason for this issue since limitless hazards can contribute to slip and fall cases at an apartment building. Still, there are some common hazards that you must be aware of. If your slip and fall accident was caused by any of the following causes, you can claim for your damages on the premise liability grounds.
- Faulty or broken handrails
- Worn carpet
- Inadequate lighting
- Poorly designed bathrooms
- Defective stairways
- Poorly maintained swimming pool and surrounding area