Slip and fall injuries occur in apartment, condo, or other rental premises on a frequent enough basis that the question of liability must be answered when injuries result. While some slip and falls happen as a result of a pure accident for which no one is to blame, others occur because of dangerous conditions on a property that should not be present. If you suffer a slip and fall accident in an apartment building and are harmed, who’s liable – you or your landlord?
LANDLORD LIABILITY FOR APARTMENT SLIP AND FALL INJURIES
If you live in a rental property, your landlord is responsible for ensuring your safety – and preventing a slip and fall accident – to a certain degree. In common areas, your landlord owes you a duty of care that includes correcting all known hazards, and making sure that common areas are safe for access. For example, broken stairs in a common hallway must be corrected.
Your landlord is also responsible for certain safety measures within your private rental, too. For example, if you have leaking pipes (which could lead to water on the floor, creating a slip and fall risk), and you report the leak to your landlord, they have a duty to correct the leak within a reasonable amount of time.
Your landlord is not responsible for slip and fall accidents within your apartment that occur as a result of your own negligence, such as your failure to keep walking areas within your own apartment clear.
How to Hold a Landlord Liable
It can be difficult to know which areas of a rental property are your responsibility, and which areas are your landlord’s. In some cases, a lease may specify – for example, your lease may read that you are responsible for removing snow or ice from walkways.
When the responsibility to maintain a property in a safe condition is the landlord’s, however, and the landlord’s failure to do so results in a slip and fall and injury, they can be held liable for your injury if you can prove that:
- A dangerous condition existed;
- The landlord knew of the dangerous condition; and
- The landlord failed to repair the dangerous condition within a reasonable amount of time.
You can seek damages for the full extent of losses you have suffered up to the percentage of fault attributable to the landlord, a concept known as comparative fault.
HOW OUR EXPERIENCED ALBUQUERQUE SLIP AND FALL ATTORNEYS CAN HELP
In an apartment slip and fall case, gathering evidence that provides proof the criteria above is critical for your claim. At the Law Offices of Allan L. Wainwright, the team at our personal injury law firm based in Albuquerque, New Mexico will not only gather evidence on your behalf, but will also work with experts who can reconstruct your accident and testify regarding the cause of your injuries. We have been serving clients in New Mexico for more than three decades, and are ready to guide you through your options after an apartment slip and fall. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.