June 2, 2017
About $500 to $700. That’s about how much it would have cost a landlord in New Orleans to repair a leak in one of his tenant’s apartments. However, because the landlord refused to comply and fix the issue in a timely manner, the tenant slipped and fell in the puddle of water caused by the leak. This landlord is now facing a negligence charge and a handful of court and attorney bills—much greater than $500 or $700.
Who Is Responsible?
These cases—where a danger or defect on the property causes a slip and fall accident—are referred to as “premises liability” accidents, and they are more common than you may believe. They can occur in a private rented residence, as in the case above, or they can occur in a public area, such as a store or on a street. After an accident like this occurs, the question becomes, “Who is responsible?” The answer can differ based on each circumstance.
The tenant will typically be held responsible for any accident that occurs because of a movable object in the apartment. This could include a slippery rug, improper means of hanging objects, or dangerously placed furniture. A tenant will also be held responsible for any dangerous condition in the apartment that he or she knew about, but did not alert anyone about prior to the accident. It is the tenant’s responsibility to make the landlord aware of dangerous conditions before a landlord can be held responsible for them.
Typically, the landlord will be responsible for any injury caused by anything outside of the individual’s apartment, but still on the property. This would include dangers in a stairwell, hallway, parking lot, etc. In addition, the landlord is responsible for any immovable object in the apartment including, but not limited to, appliances, walls, flooring, etc. As mentioned before, it is a tenant’s responsibility to alert the landlord of any dangers that may arise in the apartment; however, once alerted, it is the landlord’s responsibility to repair the dangerous condition in a timely manner.
What to Do After
If you have been injured because of negligence of a landlord, you could be entitled to compensation for your pain and all the costs associated with your injuries, including medical bills, time off work, and any other financial or physical problems. After a slip and fall accident, we recommend you follow these steps:
1. TREAT: First and foremost, you should seek medical attention. Your health should always be your number one priority in these cases. It is important to go to a doctor as soon as possible so your injuries can be properly documented. These records will be extremely important should you decide to pursue compensation for your injuries.
2. REPORT: It is important that these injuries are reported to the person responsible. Be sure to get a copy of a detailed written report from the landlord.
3. DOCUMENT: In addition to your written report, it is important that you also document everything yourself. Be sure to collect names, addresses, and phone numbers of anyone who could act as a potential witness if need be. It is also important to take extremely specific pictures of the injury itself, any conditions that contributed to it, and the exact location of where it occurred. It is even suggested that you document the clothes and shoes you were wearing at the time of the accident.
4. QUIET: Limit your communication with the landlord only to what is necessary for the written statement. It is also important that you DO NOT post any details related to your accident on any form of social media. It is suggested that you do not give any statements to your insurance company until first speaking with an attorney, and do not take or place blame.
5. CALL: Once all of these steps are handled, you are ready to consider legal action and contact an attorney to represent you. These cases can often become complicated and hard to prove. It is important to have a trained professional fighting on your side and translating the legal terminology. Be sure that you choose an attorney that you trust to ensure that you get no less than what you deserve from your accident.
If you’ve been injured because of a slip and fall accident, call one of our personal injury attorneys at Hensley Legal Group today for a free case review, or contact us online.