Can I Sue the Landlord for an Apartment Slip and Fall?
In California, you can sue the landlord for an apartment slip and fall if the landlord was negligent with regards to the condition that caused you to slip. If the landlord’s negligence played a role in the accident, then you may be eligible to recover any damages in a lawsuit.
One of the landlord’s defenses to the claim that your Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer makes may be that you were at least partially responsible for the accident. Here at Ellis Injury Law, we have been standing up to landlords in asserting our clients’ rights for over 25 years.
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What is negligence in a slip and fall case?
No matter how serious your injuries are due to the slip and fall accident, it still does not mean that the landlord of the apartment is automatically liable. Instead, you must prove that the landlord was negligent with regard to the dangerous condition that caused your fall. You must prove that the landlord either knew or should have known about the safety hazard and did not properly remedy it.
Examples of unsafe conditions that cause slip and fall accidents
Any number of dangerous conditions may develop in an apartment building and cause you to slip and fall. Here are some common examples that slip and fall lawyers have seen:
- There is a leak in the roof, leading to puddles of water in one specific area, and that area is not blocked off in any way nor are there any warning signs posted.
- There is a tile floor in the apartment building’s lobby, and people are frequently tracking ice and snow inside when they come in from outside, making the floor very slippery. There are no signs posted to warn about a wet floor and nothing is done to keep it dry.
- The landlord does not remove snow and ice from the apartment complex’s parking lot within a reasonable period of time, making it dangerous for tenants to walk.
- A piece of one of the steps of a staircase in the apartment complex has been loose for weeks, and could easily cause an accident if it breaks when someone steps on it.
How to prove if the landlord was actually negligent
If the landlord did not know about the dangerous condition and it is not reasonable to expect that he or she should have known, then it is possible that the landlord will not be found to be negligent. In one of the examples above, if the roof just started to leak five minutes before you slipped and fell, the landlord did not know it was leaking, and there was no reason to suspect that the roof needed any sort of repairs, the landlord may not have been negligent. On the other hand, if the puddles of water from the leaky roof had been there for six hours, and five different tenants had informed the landlord about the dangerous condition, then a slip and fall attorney will have an easier time proving that the landlord is negligent.
What if you were partially responsible?
California law operates under comparative negligence, where more than one party may be held responsible for the accident. For example, if the jury finds that you were 25% responsible for the accident and the landlord was responsible for 75% of it, then you would only recover 75% of the damages. Any shared fault on your part will also be a consideration when it comes to negotiating a settlement with the defendant, as both sides typically negotiate based on what may happen if the lawsuit goes to trial.
Possible scenarios where the victim may have been partially responsible would include reading the newspaper while walking and therefore not noticing an icy patch on the ground, not wearing the proper shoes to be safe under the circumstances, or walking on a part of the property where tenants are not expected to be.
Do not hesitate to contact an attorney
Being able to prove that there was a dangerous condition that caused you to slip, that the landlord was negligent in allowing that condition to develop, that your fall is what caused your damages, and then minimizing the amount of your comparative negligence can all be very complicated and delicate. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will know which steps to take and when to take them. Even more, they can help ensure that you maximize your financial recovery.
We do not collect any fees unless you win
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in an apartment complex, call Ellis Injury Law today for a free case review. Our phones are always on, and we will not charge you anything unless you prevail.