A slip and fall injury is never expected, and its resulting damages can be completely overwhelming. If you’ve been hurt in one of these incidences, then you know that you can be dealt physical and emotional pain and suffering, and your need for medical care may surpass your ability to pay for it. Tack on lost wages due to missed work and you’re suddenly facing one of the hardest times in your life.
Fortunately, depending on the circumstances, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries from the owner or manager of the premises where the accident occurred. This might be true even if you were harmed at your own apartment complex. But before you take legal action against your landlord, you might want to learn a little bit more about what you’ll need to demonstrate in order to be successful on your claim.
What are the landlord’s duties when it comes to keeping a property safe?
Generally speaking, a landlord is obligated under New Jersey law to keep common areas of an apartment complex safe from any hazards that may pose a threat to tenants. This includes broken stairs and railings, torn carpet, and broken sidewalks. Even poor lighting should be remedied by your landlord, as it can lead to dangerous conditions.
While these repairs should be made in a reasonable amount of time, tenants and visitors should be warned of any hazardous conditions until such time as repairs can be made.
Your landlord might also be responsible for keeping certain portions of your own apartment unit safe, too. This often includes fixed items in the unit, such as plumbing and electrical matters. However, it might be hard to hold your landlord liable for injuries suffered by these issues unless you notified them of the issue, and they subsequently failed to remedy it in a timely fashion. So make sure you’re putting your landlord on notice of any safety issues within your apartment unit.
How do you prove your premises liability case?
If you want to find accountability and recover compensation for your injuries, then you’ll need to take legal action. But in order to prove your case, you’re going to have to present evidence demonstrating the following elements:
- The landlord had control over the hazardous condition.
- The landlord knew of the dangerous condition or should’ve known about the dangerous condition after reasonable inspection of the premises.
- The landlord failed to take appropriate preventative steps to repair the dangerous condition and warn others of it.
Therefore, as you work to build your case, you’ll want to retain all communications that you had with the landlord about the dangerous property condition, if any, and try to secure photographs of the hazard that resulted in your injuries. You might also want to talk to other residents to see if they noticed the condition and spoke to the landlord about it. You may even need to go so far as to subpoena maintenance records from the landlord.
Do you need help building your case?
Premises liability cases involving apartment complexes can be challenging. But you shouldn’t let the difficulties of your case prevent you from fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
That’s why you might find it beneficial to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury firm. One of these legal teams might be able to help you fully analyze the evidence at hand and craft persuasive legal arguments aimed at securing the outcome that you want. Hopefully then you can feel like your voice is being heard and you can set yourself on the path to a successful recovery.