Apartment Building Accidents: Who Is Liable?

When accidents occur in apartment buildings, it falls under premises liability law. Property owners must keep apartment buildings, playgrounds, and common areas safe for the people who live there and for those who visit. Failure to do so could result in a personal injury lawsuit. The following is an outline of premises liability law and how it may help those hurt in apartment building accidents to obtain a monetary settlement for their injuries. If you or a loved one have been involved in an apartment building accident, seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer to learn about the options available to you.

What Duty Does the Landlord or Property Owner Have?

The landlord or property owner has a duty to maintain the apartment building and surrounding common areas in a manner that is safe. In order to obtain a settlement in an apartment building accident lawsuit, you will be required to prove that the landlord or property owner did not maintain an appropriate standard of care and caused your injuries. The rules regarding the standard of care in regard to apartment building landlords and owners are as follows:

  • The Tenant Must Use the Property in a Normal Manner

The tenant must not engage in dangerous activity that may put them in harm’s way. If an accident is due to the fault of the tenant, the apartment building owner or landlord will not be held liable for their injuries.

  • The Property Owner or Landlord Must Keep the Property Safe for Tenants

Owners and landlords must keep their properties properly maintained and free from hazards to avoid being held liable after an apartment building accident.

Responsibilities in an Apartment Building

In a rented apartment, the person who is responsible for keeping the property in proper working order is responsible for paying for your injuries after an accident. In most cases, tenant/landlord responsibility looks similar to this:

  • The Tenant Is Responsible for Things Inside the Apartment Like Furniture or Other Objects That Move

If you are injured by something such as a bookcase falling on you, you will be responsible for your accident-related expenses and injuries.

  • The Landlord Is Responsible for All Other Areas

Premises liability law requires landlords to maintain hallways, entryways, and staircases in a safe and appropriate manner. Things that cannot be moved inside the apartment are also their responsibility. These things include flooring, walls, and any fixtures that come with the rented apartment.

  • Proving Negligence

Proving that the property owner or landlord was negligent and caused your injuries may not always be an easy task. Some injuries that happen outside the apartment in common areas may be easier to prove, while those that occur inside your apartment may be more difficult. For this reason, it is typically best to speak with a lawyer to determine if you can prove negligence on the part of the landlord or property owner.

  • Damages

If you are successful in your apartment building accident case, you may be able to obtain money for certain damages and expenses related to the accident. Some of these damages may include:

  • Cost of Doctor Visits
  • Emergency Room Fees
  • Ambulance Transport Costs
  • Unpaid or Outstanding Hospital Bills
  • Cost of Physical, Speech, or Occupational Therapy
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Lost Wages

If you are permanently disabled due to the accident and cannot return to work, you may be able to obtain compensation for future lost wages. This is money designed to repay you for the money you will no longer be able to earn over the course of your career. It is extremely important to calculate future lost wages accurately in personal injury case, so it is best done by a lawyer who has experience in this area of the law.

What Can a Lawyer Do to Help You Win Your Case?

Apartment building accidents are always stressful, and the legal process is hard to navigate even in the best of circumstances. Your lawyer may be able to help you win your case by:

  • Hiring Accident Investigators
  • Speaking with Your Doctors to Prove Your Injuries Are Severe or Disabling
  • Negotiating with the Insurance Company for the Apartment Building or Landlord
  • Filing Court Documents
  • Representing You at Trial

While it is never a pleasant experience going through an accident or injury, you may be able to obtain a monetary settlement to help you through this difficult time. Hiring an attorney may increase your chances of proving that your landlord or property owner was negligent and caused the injuries that keep you from working to support yourself and your family.

The Landlord Is Responsible for All Other Areas

  • Cost of Doctor Visits
  • Emergency Room Fees
  • Ambulance Transport Costs
  • Unpaid or Outstanding Hospital Bills
  • Cost of Physical, Speech, Or Occupational Therapy
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Lost Wages
  • Hiring Accident Investigators
  • Speaking with Your Doctors to Prove Your Injuries Are Severe or Disabling
  • Negotiating with the Insurance Company for the Apartment Building or Landlord
  • Filing Court Documents
  • Representing You at Trial

While it is never a pleasant experience going through an accident or injury, you may be able to obtain a monetary settlement to help you through this difficult time. Hiring an attorney may increase your chances of proving that your landlord or property owner was negligent and caused the injuries that keep you from working to support yourself and your family.